Teacher apprenticeships continue to open doors for new teachers

Almost 80 teachers have been trained through the scheme since it was launched in 2018.

Date: 3 February 2023

In 2018, a group of education professionals from Viridis School in Hackney became one of the first cohorts in the country to start a Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship Programme (GTAP). Four years on, the scheme, and their partnership with London Metropolitan University, is going from strength to strength. 

Over the last 20 years, schools in Hackney have developed into some of the very best in the country. Retaining and attracting excellent teachers has been a crucial part of this success. With the number of young people entering the profession falling across the country via traditional routes, it’s become vital to innovate.  

For the 19 Hackney graduates of the Teacher Apprenticeship of 2022, all have achieved Qualified Teacher Status and 14 achieved Distinction in the Apprenticeship. 

“Developing the apprenticeship programme has provided us with a new opportunity to recognise early talent and a platform for our experienced practitioners and leaders to grow the next generation of teachers,” says Rachel Davie, Executive Headteacher of Orchard Primary School, which is part of the Viridis federation of schools in Hackney. “The success of the programme means the federation benefits from a cohort of new teachers each year who have had a robust training offer and hands-on experience.”  

The GTAP has created new opportunities for professionals already working at a School to continue in their current role and earn while they learn. Apprentices study for one year for, one day a fortnight during term time at the University. They additionally benefit from training and development at the school. The following school year, they complete their End Point Assessment in the first term. 

Successful Apprentices achieve Qualified Teacher Status and a PG Certificate in Education (PGCE)/Professional Graduate Certificate. 

James Moriarty, graduate of the Teacher Apprenticeship at London Met said: “I was born and raised in Hackney and had built up extensive experience in primary schools, but hadn’t gained his qualified teacher status. Like most people, I had bills to pay, so taking a year off to do teacher training just wasn’t going to be possible for me,” commented James.  

“When I heard that I could work at my School while also working towards my Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) I jumped at the opportunity.” 

This mix of practical experience and theory is crucial to the success of the apprenticeship, according to Rob Fonseca, Head of Initial Teacher Education at London Metropolitan University: “The academic work is very successful partly because it is embedded in the practical work that the apprentices are doing every day; their essays and research are more meaningful as a result of their immersion in the specific context. 

A growing success 

Since that first cohort, London Met has grown its relationship with schools Hackney and established links with Now London Met works with a number of the Lead Schools in the Borough to deliver the apprenticeship at Primary level - Viridis (Hoxton Gardens, Southwold and Orchard Primary Schools), Primary Advantage (De Beauvoir, Gainsborough and Morningside Primary Schools), Hackney Teaching Schools Alliance (Gayhurst, Kingsmead, Mandeville, Nightingale, Princess May, Rushmore, Sir Thomas Abney and Tyssen Primary Schools) and New Wave (Grazebrook, Shacklewell and Woodside Downs Primary Schools). 

Find out more about the Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship Programme at London Metropolitan University

A group of children in an early years education class led by two teachers