The University of Buckingham is one of the largest providers of the apprenticeship route to Qualified Teacher Status and optional PGCE. Our next cohorts will start in August 2023 and January 2024.
The apprenticeship-levy funded course allows schools to take on a teacher for a year at limited cost to the school.
When asked, 98% of students (who graduated from their Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship with PGCE in June 2022) said they either would or already have recommended the University of Buckingham’s Teacher Apprenticeship to a colleague.
The Teacher Apprenticeship provides a fee-free, salaried route for graduates to enter the teaching profession whilst also gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in 12 months, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn. 12 months direct training followed by up to 3 months for the End Point Assessment (EPA).
We have been delivering teacher training to the next generation of teachers at The University of Buckingham for 20 years and have excellent levels of success. We offer two routes:
This is funded by the employer levy account for the Apprenticeship and QTS element, with an additional assessment charge for the PGCE qualification of £500. Please note the additional charge for the PGCE qualification must be funded by the employing school or trainee but cannot be paid through the apprenticeship levy fund. If you complete Route 1 successfully you will achieve:
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Teacher Apprenticeship (Level 6)
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE, Level 7)
Route 2 – Teacher Apprenticeship + QTS (level 6)
This is fully funded by the employer levy account for the Apprenticeship and QTS, there is no PGCE qualification gained through this route*. If you complete Route 2 successfully you will achieve:
Qualified Teacher Status
Teacher Apprenticeship (Level 6)
*Please note you cannot transfer from route 2 to route 1 once you have started the course.
Why choose a Teacher Apprenticeship?
The tuition fees for the apprenticeship with QTS are zero.
“The support I have received from my University Tutor has been excellent – she is so understanding and has been very helpful in replying to all of the (many) questions that I’ve asked; nothing has been too much trouble.” Ruth Settle, apprentice teacher
“The course is structured fantastically well with lots of support from the University lecturers and tutors. My Tutor is available anytime for support and guidance. I was amazed at how dedicated the tutors are in their respective role, my tutor travelled up to Birmingham from Devon to carry out my termly review. I have been looking to qualify for 5 years but having a young family I could not take time away from work to do this, The University of Buckingham’s PGTA was the perfect solution, the on-the-job training has allowed me to qualify whilst maintaining an income.” Suhail Tariq, apprentice teacher
“Leaders have developed an ambitious, coherent and challenging ITE curriculum. Based around five curriculum themes, the well-structured course is informed by the core content framework and underpinned by a wealth of pertinent academic research. Together, heads of cohort, subject leads and mentors ensure that trainees foster a deep subject knowledge and rich range of pedagogical skills. Trainees typically become very well-informed and highly reflective practitioners.” Ofsted, 2021
Why consider the additional PGCE aspect?
A PGCE qualification adds an academic layer to your qualification. It is evidence of your further engagement with research and the ability to synthesise and reflect on matters in education in extended academic writing. For many employers it is therefore an attractive qualification.
If you do choose to complete the PGCE alongside your Apprenticeship with QTS, you will need to submit three essays based on the advice you have been given, the lectures you have attended and your reading.
Successfully passing these assignments alongside your Apprenticeship with QTS will result in you being awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Education from The University of Buckingham.
Information for the School
Employers that pay into the apprenticeship levy (employers in the UK with an annual pay bill over £3 million) will be able to use up to £9,000 of funding from their apprenticeship service account to cover the cost of training and assessing the apprentice.
Employers that do not pay the levy, or who have insufficient funds in their digital account, can access funding to support the training and assessment of an apprentice. The government will pay 95% of the costs of training and assessment for the apprenticeship and the employer will pay the remaining 5% which equates to a maximum charge of £450 (this excludes the PGCE additional cost).
You must know whether your school is a levy or non-levy payer.
The Apprenticeship Levy is an amount paid at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s annual wage bill and will be paid through Pay as you Earn (PAYE)
The school will be paying the Apprenticeship Levy each month if it:
has an annual pay bill of more than £3 million
is connected to any companies or charities for Employment Allowance purposes and has a combined annual pay bill of more than £3 million.
If the school does not fall into the above categories, it would be classed as a non-levy company. This does not mean it cannot apply for the funding. All non-levy payers can employ up to 10 apprentices annually and get 95% funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. As the employer your school will just pay 5% of the total cost of the Apprenticeship (currently £450 in total, not including the cost of the PGCE), for a qualification that costs significantly more.
Employers that have insufficient funds in their digital account can also access the levy funding in the same way. The government will still pay 95% of the costs of training and assessment for the apprenticeship and the employer will pay the remaining 5% which equates to a maximum charge of £450 (this excludes the PGCE additional cost). In every case the school will need to apply/create a digital account which can be done via the UK Gov website. This will no doubt be done by a business manager within your school so please ensure this is done before applying.
Before setting up your apprenticeship service account the school will need:
an email address
the Government Gateway login for your organisation (or you can use the accounts office reference number and employer PAYE scheme reference number if your annual pay bill is less than £3 million)
authority to add PAYE schemes to the account
authority to accept the employer agreement on behalf of your organisation
It requires information and sign-off from various departments within the school, such as finance and HR, so ensure these departments are open. This is one reason for NOT applying at the start of the summer holidays.
A trainee reference from the school will be required at the outset so an interview can be arranged.
the Teacher Apprenticeship programme is available for prospective primary and secondary school teachers in England
you must be employed full-time in a school while you learn on the job. In some cases, this may be a school you are already working at, or have an existing relationship with
if you are employed in a state school you will be paid a minimum of the unqualified 1 teacher salary pay scale for your region
if you are currently working as an unqualified teacher or teaching assistant, it offers new opportunities for career progression, plus higher earning capacity, recognition, and status
you will receive a combination of classroom teaching and off-the-job training as you work towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
apprentices split their time between school and university study. You will receive practical, school-led training alongside experienced staff, and spend at least 20% of your time off-timetable to learn the pedagogy of teaching
the course starts at the end of August 2023 or in January 2024
How is the Apprenticeship delivered?
Regular support from your workplace Mentor to support your success.
20% off the off-the-job training time attending online talks, reading, writing about your progress, observing other people teaching
Experienced University Tutors will deliver high-quality training to support your teaching pedagogy throughout the Apprenticeship
These feed into 12 months of direct training, QTS is awarded and the End Point Assessment is triggered. Upon successful completion of the End Point Assessment, the Teacher Apprenticeship is achieved.
Secondary Subject Specialisms
Different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the course will be taught by a subject specialist. We can teach all school subjects including Art, Music, Design Technology, Food Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computing, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Arabic, Geography, History, Politics, Citizenship and PSHE, Religious Studies, Psychology, PE and Mandarin.
What support will I receive?
During this 12-month school-based course apprentices will work under the guidance of a mentor in their school and a University of Buckingham tutor. Apprentices will have weekly meetings in school to review their progress and to set targets, termly visits from their University of Buckingham tutor to assess progress and guide their development, as well as regular meetings and reviews via an online platform.
The Apprenticeship includes 20% ‘off-the-job’ training which is delivered in a blended form of online and face-to-face meetings and seminars which are supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. Apprentices will be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards by their mentor and tutor.
Successful completion of the Apprenticeship training leads to the recommendation of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).
Achievement of QTS is a mandatory requirement for apprentices to proceed through the gateway to the End Point Assessment which completes the Apprenticeship. This is comprised of a lesson observation and professional discussion conducted by an external End Point Assessment Organisation to quality assure the training and development of the apprentice. This takes place within three months of reaching the gateway (successfully completing the practical period, being recommended for QTS and meeting all other eligibility criteria) as determined by the employer.
August 2023 entry
You must apply by 30 June 2023
The compulsory induction and onboarding day is Thursday 24 August 2023
Online training will happen on twenty Thursday afternoons during term time.
The course lasts 13-15 months (teaching ends in June 2024 followed by the end-point-assessment period)
You are required to do a second school placement – normally three weeks. This must happen between November and March.
January 2024 entry
Apply by 3 November 2023
The compulsory induction and onboarding day is Thursday 4 January 2024
Online training will happen on twenty Thursday afternoons during term time.
The course lasts 13-15 months (teaching ends in November 2024 followed by the end-point-assessment period).
You are required to do a second school placement – normally three weeks. This must happen between March and September.
These course dates may change but are our current estimate:
August 2023 start
24 August all day
The below days talks will run 1.30-4.30pm
14, 21, 28 Sep
5, 12 Oct
9, 23 Nov
11, 18, 25 Jan 2024
1, 29 Feb
18, 25 April
9, 16 May
13, 27 June
January 2024 start
4 Jan all day
Talks below run from 1.30-4.30pm
9, 16, 23, 30 Jan
6, 27 Feb
5, 12 March
9, 16, 23 April
14, 21 May
10, 17 Sep
5, 26 Nov
have a UK degree*
GCSE in English Language and Maths at grade C/4 or above*
GCSE Science C/4 is required for Primary trainees
you must be teaching your subject for a minimum of 50% (and a max of 80%) of a full timetable including prep and planning time, across two consecutive key stages; this should equate to 12 hours per week, minimum
your school cannot be rated Inadequate by Ofsted
you must be eligible to work in England as an unqualified teacher
you do not already have QTS but are working in a school in England.
*For equivalent qualifications, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that your qualifications meets the University entry requirements.
In addition, you must:
demonstrate competence in literacy and numeracy before and during the course
attend an interview as part of the initial assessment
obtain the commitment from your school to release you for a second school placement and to provide a suitable mentor
provide a satisfactory criminal record check (DBS) and show the physical and mental fitness train to teach
Complete a minimum of 120 days in a school
Be released from employing schools to spend time teaching in a contrasting school during the year, for a minimum of 3 weeks (15 full days).
If you work in a special needs school
We train teachers from Special Schools as well as SEND teachers in all schools. If you teach children a curriculum which is normally taught to younger children than your classes (e.g. you teach pupils aged 12-14 a Key Stage 2 curriculum) you will need to do a second school placement in a mainstream school where you can teach an age-appropriate curriculum.
What is involved?
Before the Apprenticeship starts, The University of Buckingham will:
obtain evidence that the apprentice has an Apprenticeship Agreement with the employer
sign a Commitment Statement between the apprentice, UoB and the employer
sign an Employer Provider contract agreement
complete all relevant induction paperwork also including initial assessments; this will be communicated in more detail should you decide to proceed.
On the programme:
we will train your mentor, a teacher in your school
you will be assigned a tutor from The University of Buckingham
a handbook will be issued to guide you through the programme
you will be trained in the Core Content Framework to meet the Teachers’ Standards
every week one or more of your lessons will be observed by your mentor and you are set targets
every week you do some set reading on a part of the syllabus
training is delivered online in half or full days regularly throughout the programme
there are monthly meetings with your tutor/assessor to monitor and record progress
once every term (at least every 10-12 weeks) you have a formal Progress Review with your tutor and employer representative (usually your mentor) to assess your progress and set next targets
three times a year your Tutor will come to your school, observe your lessons, meet with you and your mentor and write a report.
On successful completion of the course:
After the 12 months of direct training, you will be nominated for the Qualified Teacher Status to the Department for Education and be eligible to proceed to the End Point Assessment
During the following 3 months, you will take the End Point Assessment (EPA) involving a lesson observation and an interview. If this is successful you will be awarded the Apprenticeship Certificate by the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency), and for those who successfully passed the PGCE route, your PGCE award from The University of Buckingham as well.
Closing date for applications: 30 June 2023 or 3 November 2023
It can take at least 6 weeks to process applications. Please do not leave applying until the last minute. If you or your school are inaccessible in the summer holidays, your application will not be complete before the course begins.