A Willenhall school is chalking up success through the Teaching Apprenticeship programme with the University of Wolverhampton.
Short Heath Junior School is one of the first in the Walsall Council area to sign up to the scheme which enables staff who are working in roles such as teaching assistants to upskill and enhance their skills and qualifications with the support of their school.
Apprentices attend lectures and seminars during the year at the University’s Walsall Campus, continuing to work within their schools for the rest of the time.
The Apprenticeships are an employment-based route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), enabling people who are working in a school and already have an undergraduate degree to gain a teaching qualification.
Becky Bray, a former Teaching Assistant at Short Heath, is on the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship (Primary). She said: “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but the opportunity hadn’t come along. I was working as a Teaching Assistant in school and they advertised for an apprentice teacher. It gives me the opportunity to earn money at the same time as gaining the experience I need.
“I hope to gain Qualified Teacher Status and then from September become a newly qualified teacher and have my own class.
“It’s all funded through the Apprenticeship Programme so we don’t pay tuition fees and we get paid as an unqualified teacher as we are doing it. The University is very supportive so if I feel like I am struggling I can contact them or the school.”
Cathy Draper, Executive Headteacher, Short Heath Federation, added: “The most important benefit is that we have been able to identify talent in school and it’s really important to us that we can provide opportunities for our staff to grow and develop and make the best of themselves.
“Using the Apprenticeship programme the course fees are funded so it enables that staff member to have access to training they may not otherwise have done.”
Councillor Bal Chattha, Portfolio Holder for Personnel and business support at Walsall Council, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Walsall schools and the University in order to spend our Apprenticeship Levy in the most appropriate manner; supporting residents to possess the skills required to enter into and progress in work.”
For further details about the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship, visit: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprenticeship-courses-/postgraduate-teaching-apprenticeship-primary--secondary/
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Date Issued: Wednesday, 26 June 2019