How to…fund apprenticeships in schools

‘No one said it would be easy…’ However, when it comes to apprenticeships in schools – funding and levies – it asked to be asked, ‘Does it need to be so hard?’ Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers reports in Education Executive.

The government’s announcement of the new post-graduate teaching apprenticeship, which will enable graduates to be employed as unqualified teachers while training, poses many questions ahead of its launch in September 2018. So, what do school business managers need to know?

Firstly, let’s look at the bigger picture. As of April 2017, employers with an annual pay bill exceeding £3m are required to pay 0.5% of their annual pay bill into the apprenticeship levy. For every £1 an employer pays into the levy, the government adds a top-up fee of 10p. The government target is for 2.3% of employees to be apprentices by 2020 – all businesses should, therefore, be working on apprenticeship strategies to meet this target.

Follow the money

In education, as maintained schools come under local authority pay bills, they are all affected by the apprenticeship levy. Most multi-academy trusts are also affected. Apprenticeship levy funding can be drawn back down to pay for training costs associated with employing an apprentice. Schools which are not eligible for the apprenticeship levy will receive government funding to cover 90% of the training costs.

We now have the teaching apprenticeship to consider too – and there is much to think about. The cost of training (for example, the amount that will need to be drawn down from the levy) will be £9,000 over a minimum of four terms. Unlike other apprenticeships, teacher apprentices must be employed on the unqualified pay scale (currently £15,817 outside London) for the first three terms and on the main pay scale in term four.

Teacher apprentices will be required to complete ‘off the job training’ for at least 20% of the time. They will need to attend central training and, in order to meet the requirements of qualified teacher status (QTS), spend a period of time (usually six weeks) in another school. They must be paid on a full-time basis, to include this time spent away from their employing school. For certain subjects, there is an additional salary grant available from the government.

Read more information and advice How to…fund apprenticeships in schools

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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