Building on school term structures and calendars, the teacher apprenticeship has been designed to provide apprentices with a pattern of study that enables early engagement with the requirements of the programme, including introduction to key elements of teaching, learning and academic study.
The programme runs for a minimum of 12 months and begins in early September in line with the first term of the school year. Most of apprentices time is spent engaging in on-the-job school-based training (Monday–Thursday). Apprentices will be released from their school setting to undertake university-directed study every Friday.
With support from the employer, apprentices are required to spend a minimum of 20% of paid working hours on studies and be able to evidence this. This is a statutory requirement for apprenticeships and the funding is conditional on this being met. Off-the-job learning includes activities which have not previously been a part of the role or which furthers an apprentice's development into new areas.
- Hold an honours degree (lower second class or above)
- English and mathematics qualification at least level 2
- Have achieved a grade C (or equivalent) in GCSE English, mathematics and science
- University-based testing is available for suitable candidates
Whilst experience is not a condition of entry for initial teacher education courses we recommend that potential apprentices take up opportunities to gain a realistic understanding of whether teaching is right for them. The Get Into Teaching School Experience Programme offers opportunities around the country to book a day's worth of experience.
All offers of places are subject to required regulatory checks including an Occupational Health check and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Since March 2020, all interviews have taken place over Skype.
Core modules and skills
The PGCert Apprenticeship programme at the University of Brighton prepares each apprentice to teach in one of the following age ranges:
Early years or primary age range
- Principles and Issues in Education
- Professional Knowledge in Education
- Professional Enquiry in Education
Secondary age range
- Principles and Issues in Education
- Professional Knowledge in Education (secondary subject)
- Professional Enquiry in Education
Upon completion of the programme, apprentices will be equipped to:
- plan, teach and evaluate, using a range of strategies and resources that enable all learners to make progress
- reflect critically upon the quality of their teaching and its impact on pupils' progress and use the findings to improve future practice
- establish a purposeful learning environment that reflects high expectations of learning and behaviour and fosters constructive relationships
- demonstrate self-confidence, flexibility, and the evaluative and reflective skills that enable trainees to engage in creative teaching and learning activities, and respond to educational change
- work collaboratively as a member of a team, to assess learning needs, set appropriate learning objectives and establish a purposeful atmosphere in the classroom
- communicate effectively to create a constructive dialogue with learners, parents, carers and colleagues
- make critical connections between theory, policy and practice.
Teaching and assessment
The teaching and learning approaches have been chosen to promote a positive approach to learning and refine apprentices’ capacity for critical reflection. The aim is to provide a holistic learning experience that will enable apprentices to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills. Methods used include:
- workshops to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills and inter-professional fields of study
- analysis of key texts and supplementary reading to enhance understanding and intellectual ability
- group discussion, presentation and debate, to encourage development of critical analysis
- skills of critical analysis and further increase involvement and collaboration and interpersonal, group and communication skills.
The work-based component of the programme is split into three compulsory assessed school-based training (SBT) phases. Formative and summative feedback on apprentices developing classroom practice is provided at each of these phases. Assessment is primarily made by school-based staff and visits by university tutors supporting the school in assessing the apprentice.
Whilst engaging with university study assessment methods include:
- professional development discussions
- lesson planning
- self and peer evaluation
- subject audits.
Employer and apprentice commitments
In order to deliver the programme, the employer undertakes to:
- conduct a workplace induction and set out a contract of employment
- provide an appropriately qualified workplace mentor to support the apprentice
- attend apprentice's progress review
- release apprentice for scheduled off-the-job training
- have an Apprenticeship Agreement in place from the start of the programme.
Throughout the programme, apprentices will:
- attend the workplace for the agreed pattern as set out in the employment contract
- record all training sessions and off-the-job learning
- attend scheduled university learning sessions and complete all assessments as required by the university and End Point Assessment Organisation
- behave in a safe and responsible manner at the workplace and university
- engage with regular progress reviews
- complete, throughout the apprenticeship, a professional development portfolio.
Fees and funding information for apprentices
As an apprentice the cost of your learning programme is covered by your employer through their Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account.
Higher and degree level apprentices are not eligible for any element of student finance. This is because they receive a salary instead of the student loan package. However, if you are experiencing any financial difficulties, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 642 888.
Apprentices studying at Higher and degree level may be able to access funding in relation to additional support but this is available through the university and not Disabled Students Allowance. Apprentices may also be able to apply for Access to Work funding for work-based equipment and software. Please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team on 01273 643 799.
Living costs and benefits
Higher and degree level apprentices must fulfil the standard eligibility criteria in order to apply for means tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. If you have any questions about entitlement to benefits, please contact the Student Advice Service on 01273 643888.
Higher and degree level apprentices who are undertaking a full-time mode of study can be treated as being exempt from paying Council Tax. Although some programmes require study on a day-release arrangement, this can still be classed as full-time study. You will need to obtain a letter from the Student Information Desk at any campus and send this to your Council Tax department when you enrol on the programme.
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