New teaching apprenticeship set to transform pathway to classroom

New teacher degree apprenticeship will support schools to recruit and retain the excellent teachers they need in vital subjects including maths

A new teaching apprenticeship will launch this autumn revolutionising the way schools recruit teachers while supporting more people to earn while they study for a degree.

The teacher degree apprenticeship will offer a high-quality, alternative route for people to become qualified teachers. This includes people who may not be able to take time out to study full-time for a degree such as teaching assistants or staff already working in schools, to access this route to a rewarding profession. 

Trainees on the new teacher degree apprenticeship will spend around 40 per cent of their time studying for their degree with an accredited teacher training provider, gain qualified teacher status and all tuition fees are paid for, so trainees won’t be saddled with the student debt.

The announcement coincides with national apprenticeship week. Apprenticeships are a brilliant way for people of all ages and backgrounds to build successful careers in a huge range of professions from nursing to medical doctors and space engineering to fusion technology, with opportunities available at all levels up to a degree level.

Since 2010, over 5.7 million people have started their apprenticeship journey and the government is increasing investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024-25, ensuring businesses have a pipeline of talent to grow the economy.

Apprenticeships are a cornerstone of the government’s plans to provide people with an excellent route into some of the best careers and contributing to a high-skill, high-productivity economy.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, said:

"The teacher degree apprenticeship will open up the profession to more people, from those who want a career change to those who are looking for an earn and learn route without student debt.

"It will be a game-changing opportunity for schools to nurture and retain talent from the ground up, helping apprentices to gain the knowledge and skills they need to teach future generations."

There are record numbers of teachers working in schools – up by 27,000 since 2010. To attract the brightest and the best teachers, the government is investing £196 million this academic year to get more teachers across key subjects.

The TDA will build on this by diversifying the route into teaching and ensuring schools across the country can continue to recruit the teachers they need so young people have access to the top teaching talent they need to succeed. There are almost 400,000 individual teaching assistants in state funded schools in England. The TDA will provide a new route for teaching assistants who do not have an existing degree to train to become a teacher and continue their career progression in the classroom.

By the end of 2022 almost 90 per cent of 16-17 year olds were in education or apprenticeships. The latest figures show an 11% increase in the number of young people starting their apprenticeship journey compared to the same point last year, with young people continuing to make up over half of all apprenticeship starts.

As the government prepares to introduce the new advanced british standard, which will see all young people study some form of English and maths to the age of 18, it will be more important than ever for schools to attract and retain teachers in these vital subjects.

To support schools to offer the new apprenticeship, the government will launch a pilot scheme working with a small number of schools and teacher training providers to fund up to 150 apprentices to work in secondary schools to teach maths. Training providers will bid to partake in the pilot and trainees will be recruited from this autumn and start their training the following year.

Degree level apprenticeships have grown in popularity in recent years with a wide range of opportunities already available including construction, accounting and law.

The Department for Education and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) are working with an employer-led trailblazer group to develop the teacher degree apprenticeship to ensure it is high quality and meets the needs of schools.

The South Farnham Educational Trust, the chairs of the trailblazer group, said:

"The TDA presents an ideal opportunity for talented professionals without a degree to pursue their dream of teaching. 

"The opportunity to gain QTS and a degree through the new TDA would enable our Trust to invest in talented individuals early in their career and grow them into outstanding teachers of the future.

"The TDA allows individuals to earn a salary while completing their teacher training, supporting those who may not have the financial means to pursue a traditional university-based teacher training programme."

The Stoke and Staffordshire Teacher Education Collective, together with Staffordshire University, said:

"This new route to qualification will offer a potentially powerful combination of reflective and on the job learning within and for our local communities.

"It will enable us to widen opportunities for people committed to the transformative role that education plays in society."

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), said:

"Having this alternative quality route into teaching should make a big difference with encouraging people from wider backgrounds into the profession, helping with social mobility and making sure schools get all the talented teachers they need.

"I think it’s also really important that this will provide extra support for brilliant teaching assistants and other people working in schools, who want to be teachers, to make that next step."

The teacher degree apprenticeship is a four-year training programme and will be available for people to train as primary or secondary teachers. It will build on the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship (PGTA) by offering a work-based route to attaining degree and qualified teacher status (QTS).

The teacher degree apprenticeship grant funding pilot will be a one-cohort pilot and evidence will be used to inform the future of the programme. Providers and employing schools will be able to develop and run teacher degree apprenticeship courses without additional funding within the same timeframes as the pilot.

Apply to offer the maths teacher degree apprenticeship

Department for Education
The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP