Teaching Apprenticeships

The postgraduate teaching apprenticeship is an employment-based initial teacher training (ITT) route leading to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Apprentices are trainee teachers employed by schools. The apprenticeship allows them to combine paid work with on and off-the-job training.

Structure of the apprenticeship

The apprentice must:

  • be employed by the school
  • spend 20% of their paid hours in off-the-job training
  • be assessed to make sure they meet the standards for QTS
  • take an end-point assessment (EPA)

Off-the-job training includes developing the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours set out in the teachers’ standards.


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Teaching Apprenticeships - General Information 

If your school is considering this route:

  • If you are an Aquila school, please contact Tracey for the most up to date information and to coordinate the application process: thoward@aquilatrust.co.uk
  • If your school is a maintained school, find out what procurement process will be required by the Local Authority.
  • If your school’s Ofsted grade is 3, we can discuss what opportunities there are available to train with us.  If your Ofsted grade is 4, unfortunately we cannot train with you.
  • Establish whether your candidate (if you have identified a potential apprentice) is eligible: UK or EU citizen, has lived in this country for at least 3 years prior to starting the training, meets the GCSE and degree requirements for entering initial teacher training.

The key features of the Teaching Apprentice ITT route:

  • The Teaching Apprenticeship route runs parallel to School Direct (salaried). However, it lasts 12 months. The ITT training programme and QTS assessment are the same for both routes.
  • The ITT provider’s costs are paid for out of the levy (£9,000). This is arranged by the Aquila central team for our schools.
  • Flexible start dates throughout the academic year
  • The school employs the apprentice for at least 12 months. He or she must have at least 20% ‘off the job’ training for activities such as independent study, in-school training, attending courses and training days, focused visits to other schools.
  • For DfE funded places, the school receives a grant to contribute to the salary costs (see below). The school must have DfE permission to recruit to funded salaried places. There is currently no funding for primary trainees – see below,
  • The trainee is assessed for QTS within the 12-month apprenticeship programme, at which point QTS is awarded and the teacher moves to the qualified teachers’ pay scale.
  • A separate ‘end-point’ assessment, takes place after 12 months.  This is in line with national guidance, usually is in the region of 2.5 hours. The assessment involves a lesson observation, consideration of evidence and a discussion with the trainee and representative(s) from the school/ITT provider.
  • An End Pont Assessor will be nominated by eQ  to carry out the EPA.
  • A trainee on the Teaching Apprenticeship route can move to a different school after QTS has been awarded, and have the end-point assessment there.
  • ITT providers offering the Teaching Apprenticeship route must be on the RoATP (eQ is).
  • ITT providers offering end-point assessments must be on the register of end-point assessors (eQ is).

Salary grants

 For the postgraduate teaching apprenticeship training route, the DfE grants to schools to contribute to the training and trainee salary costs. This grant contributes to the apprentice’s salary.

The same grant amount is available regardless of the location of the school. Grants are paid on a per trainee basis. For 2021 to 2022, the DfE are offering grants of:

  • £15,000 for chemistry, computing, maths and physics trainees
  • £1,000 for classics and languages trainees

The employing school does not pay employer’s National Insurance if the apprentice is aged under 25.

For unfunded apprenticeship subjects eg art, dance, drama, PE, or if the school does not have access to a funded place: the school pays the apprentice’s salary; the levy covers the ITT provider costs.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has funding rules for what the levy funding can be spent on.

Other points

The start date doesn’t have to be in September. eQ offers September, November, January, April and June starts.

Schools that are not currently part of a School Direct alliance can form a new partnership to access this funding.  If your school is not part of a School Direct/Teaching Apprenticeship partnership, we can help you access the grant funding for DfE-funded subjects for any apprentices by connecting you with one of our partner schools.

Aquila is in partnership with eQ as a lead school.

eQ Teaching Apprenticeship Information 2021-2022


The teaching apprenticeship has to be 12 months long. The apprentice must be employed and paid as a teacher throughout this period and until the end-point assessment has been completed.

At the end of the apprenticeship period, there’s a check that the apprentice teacher is ready for the end-point assessment. This is the ‘Gateway’ leading to the end-point apprenticeship assessment. The apprentice teacher standards are almost the same as the Teachers’ Standards, and the apprentice is required to demonstrate that the Teachers’ Standards are still met well.

The teacher training programme takes place within the period of the teaching apprenticeship. It starts soon after the start of the apprenticeship. The trainee is assessed for QTS before the end of the apprenticeship. At that point, the apprentice teacher becomes an NQT and is paid as a qualified teacher.

If the apprenticeship starts before the ITT programme, the assessments take place at a similar time. For instance, if the apprenticeship starts in early June, the ITT programme could start in September. The assessment for QTS would be in early June. The Gateway would be passed in mid-June enabling the end-point assessment to take place in late June or early July.

If the apprenticeship starts at the same time as the ITT programme, the QTS assessment may take place a couple of months before the end-point assessment. For instance, if they both start in September, the QTS assessment will be in June/July. The end-point assessment takes place when the trainee has returned to school in the Autumn term.

The start and end dates of the apprenticeship and the ITT programme are recorded on the front page of the training plan.

Apprenticeship training requirements

All apprentices must have at least 20% off-the-job time for training. They have to demonstrate that they have (a) had the right amount of off-the-job time, and (b) used it for training purposes.

See pages 5 and 6 for a definition of what counts as off-the-job training, the hours must be logged on e-track on a weekly basis.

What happens after QTS has been awarded

Once QTS is awarded, the apprentice becomes an NQT when the school registers him or her onto the induction programme. The apprentice must be paid as a qualified teacher after the award of QTS by the DfE.

The apprenticeship training continues, drawing on a post-QTS training module which directs the training up to the end of the apprenticeship. The apprentice/NQT builds on the targets set at the assessment for QTS and for the NQT year.

The end-point assessment as a teaching apprentice

This is carried out by an assessor from another ITT provider on the register of end-point assessment organisations, after the Gateway is passed. This is in line with national guidance, usually is in the region of 2.5 hours.  One lesson is observed, and the assessor holds a discussion with the apprentice, a representative from the school and (if possible) a representative from eQ as the ITT provider. The portfolio is not re-assessed, but its evidence should be drawn on in the discussion. 

Application process

Applications for DfE-funded teaching apprenticeship places are made via UCAS for September starts.

Applications for places at other times of the year or without DfE funding applications are via the eQ application form.

Teaching Apprenticeship places can be advertised on the Recruit an Apprentice website at https://www.gov.uk/recruit-apprentice, via UCAS or the school’s own advertising platform.

Additional Links

Information for trainees


Apprenticeship standard and the end-point assessment plan for the teaching apprenticeship


Off-the-job training: 20% of the apprentice’s working time

The 20% off-the-job training must be during the apprentice’s paid hours, for the purpose of attaining the apprenticeship. Off-the-job training is not part of the work for which the apprentice has been employed (ie it excludes teachers’ normal duties – planning and preparing lessons, teaching lessons, assessing learning. PPA time does not count towards the 20%, since it is expected for all teachers).

The DfE has indicated that teaching apprentices should have roughly (ie at least) 47 days of off-the-job training during the 12-month apprenticeship. A working day is estimated as having 7.5 hours.

The apprentice must log at least 360 hours of off-the-job training, in the off-the-job record.

What counts as off-the-job training?

Training element

Training time

in days

in hours

eQ training days: each counts as a full day, including preparation time

Compulsory for all: training days 1-10

Primary: English (3), mathematics (2), and additional subject days eg PE, Early Years, science

Secondary, as appropriate: science (2 days), maths (3 days), English (2 days), all other subjects (1)

Post training day webinars  (1 hour each + voice day-15 hours

Primary: 16 days + webinars = 17


Secondary: 10 + webinars = 11 Add subject days as appropriate




 (82.5 + 7.5 hrs per extra subject(s) day)


eQ Tutor Visits

5 tutor visits during the training programme, if the initial visit takes place at the start of the apprenticeship (NB the final visit – the assessment visits is not included as assessments for QTS are excluded from off-the-job training)  


5 days




Formal in-school training

Weekly 1-hour training meeting led by an in-school trainer: for approx. 38 weeks

Weekly lesson observation and feedback: 2 hours per week: for approx. 38 weeks


5 days


10 days





Directed tasks in school, leading to the production of high-quality evidence for the portfolio and assessment for QTS

Weekly preparation and follow up for in-school training and observation 1 hour for approx. 38 weeks

Weekly reflective activities: e-track journal and Evidence Records 1 hour for approx. 38 weeks

Subject knowledge auditing and development – average 3 hours per learning sequence, for at least 8 sequences

Pupil focus inc. pupil pursuit, case studies – at least 2 days (SEND/EAL)

Background reading – at least 2 hours per week

2 assignments including wider reading, planning and drafting

Learning tasks  as set out in  e-track leading to QTS

Post-QTS module 1-3 months, to include preparation for post-course assessment; planning and delivery of the end point presentation and completion of post QTS module.



5 days


5 days


3+ days

2 days

10+ days

6 days

12 days


6 days














Visits to other schools / the age range before & after that focused on for QTS

Primary: 1 day in a secondary school and at least a day in the age range before the one you focus on for QTS

Secondary: 1-2 days in a primary school and at least a day in the age range after that you focus on for QTS (ie visit to Post 16)  For 14-19 trainees- they should understand FE routes that link to the subject.

Second school orientation visit at least half a day

All trainees spend a day (or more) in a special school (where possible)



2-3 days


2-3 days

½ a day

1+ day



15 – 22.5


15 – 22.5



Observing or shadowing other teachers

2 days


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Teach First

Teach First logo blue

Teach First Training Programme

Cost: You do not pay tuition fees

Salary: Yes

Funding available: No

Length of training: 2 years

Available for: Early years, primary & secondary

Qualification: PGDE with QTS

Teach First is a UK charity supporting schools to build a fair education for all, working with schools in the areas of greatest need.


Summer Institute: An intensive five-week course over the summer before you start in school, Summer Institute will get you ready for a class full of expectant pupils.

During Summer Institute you’ll:

  • Learn the theory and practice of education and how to manage a classroom
  • Grow your knowledge of the curriculum and your subject/phase
  • Get to know other trainees, your support roles and your university tutors

Your first year:

From day one you’ll be in the classroom, starting with 60% of a fully qualified teacher’s timetable (80% for secondary). Plus you’ll earn an unqualified teacher’s salary.

You’ll spend most of your time in school but also attend training days and conferences run by Teach First. You’ll build your knowledge of teaching theory, get more practical training and network with other trainees. Throughout the programme you’ll be supported, trained and assessed by a Teach First expert, a mentor at your school and a university tutor. Teach First has links with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Once you complete your first year on the programme, you’ll have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and be part-way to your Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Leadership (PGDE).

Your second year:

Now a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT), your salary will go up to the teachers main pay range. You’ll be teaching a full timetable and may have the opportunity to further build your leadership credentials with responsibilities such as:

  • Becoming a subject or year leader
  • Mentoring pupils as they think about what to do after school
  • Running a club that helps pupils aim higher and achieve more

During the year you’ll complete the final two modules of your PGDE. Teach First will still be there supporting you alongside your school and university, through training days, conferences and one-to-one support

After the Training Programme:

With you PGDE you can work anywhere, at home or abroad, as a teacher. You’ll also be part-way to a master’s degree which you can complete part-time should you choose to over your third year in the classroom.

On top of that, you’ll be a Teach First ambassador and part of a 10,000-strong ambassador network.


To be eligible for the Teach First Training Programme, you need:

  • A 2.1 degree or above (2.2 degrees will also be considered)
  • A degree or A-levels related to the primary curriculum/ the subject you will be teaching
  • Grade C/4 or equivalent in GCSE maths and English for secondary teaching. Grade C/4 in one GCSE science in also required in addition to maths and English for primary and early years teaching.

More information on the Teach First Training Programme can be found here.

Currently working in a school? If your school is eligible for partnership with Teach First, then your headteacher can nominate you for the Teach First Training Programme, meaning you can complete the programme in your current school.  Your headteachers nomination will show you’ve got the potential to be a great teacher and that’s why you’ll be offered a fast-tracked place on our programme.

More information on the Teaching Assistant Fast Track can be found here.