Level 6 Postgraduate Teacher with QTS Apprenticeship FAQs

An apprenticeship needs to be established by the employer of the proposed apprentice. The employer engages a registered apprenticeship provider (in this case, the University of Derby) to deliver it. Therefore, the employer will be a local authority if your school is a maintained school, or the relevant trust if you are an academy, multi- academy trust or independent school.

Yes. The employer will need to set up and support the apprenticeship place, funding it from their levy pot. They will be responsible for ensuring that there is a qualified teacher at your school who will act as the apprentice’s mentor, and for ensuring that the apprentice will be released from their employment duties for a suitable proportion of their working week.

Yes. The applicant will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week full-time and as an unqualified teacher. We will need to check that they will have sufficient responsibility for sizeable classes of students during their apprenticeship year, teaching an age-appropriate curriculum. Teaching Assistants can apply to be an apprentice but, by the start of the apprenticeship, they need to be paid as below and be in a role that enables them to fulfil the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours as defined in the Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship Standard.

Yes. This is a requirement of the levy funding regulations, without which the levy fund cannot be used to support the apprenticeship. It, therefore, needs to run for at least 16 months from the start of the apprenticeship until the end of December in the following year.

Payment at all times must be in line with the minimum wage or above and the employer’s pay policy (noting that the employer may be a single academy or a multi-academy trust, or a local authority):

  • if it is an academy trust, the salary must be in line with what they pay unqualified teachers (UQTs)
  • if it is a local-authority-maintained school, then the salary must be between the minimum and maximum of the unqualified teacher pay range

Yes, that is possible, although:

  • while you can fund this course through your apprenticeship levy contributions, you cannot access the additional grant funding from the Government (described below)
  • we will need to consider the curriculum and age range that your proposed apprentice teaches, to ensure that this could create a training experience that is fully compliant with ITT regulation

Yes, that is possible, although:

  • we will need to consider the curriculum and age range that your proposed apprentice teaches, to ensure that this could create a training experience that is fully compliant with ITT regulation; the apprentice’s second placement will need to be in a mainstream school

A full-time apprentice will need to spend at least six hours per week of their employed time in off-the-job training. This training cannot take place in the apprentice’s own time, it will need to be in their paid hours. Note that ‘full-time’ is defined as being at least 30 hours per week by apprenticeship rules, but in that case, the apprentice would still be required to attend university for one day each week in most weeks (see below).

The employing school will need to provide an experienced member of staff who will act as the mentor for the trainee, and they will need to engage with our mentor briefing and support

There is a pre-induction meeting in July for trainees and their mentors, and some pre-course work to be done prior to enrolment

There is an initial university-based induction period in early September

Apprentices undertake two placements. The first – and main – placement takes place at the school at which the apprentice is employed. The second takes place at a contrasting school, for the first half of the Spring term. During the second placement, the apprentice will obviously not be working at their employing school but will still need to be paid by their employing school

For the majority of the placement periods, the apprentice attends the university for one day per week. Currently, this is on Wednesdays.

If successful, the apprentice will be awarded a university advance diploma at Level 6 by the university and will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status. They will then undertake an End Point Assessment during the Autumn term of their ECT year.

You will need to confirm to us that the apprentice has a clear DBS and is Fit to Practice to enable us to complete our compliance checks. We will contact you by email to obtain your confirmation once the apprentice is accepted onto their course.

The fee for Level 6 Teacher apprenticeships has been set nationally at £9,000, which we draw from your employer apprenticeship levy fund. As an employer, you must pay an Apprenticeship Levy each month if you have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million or are connected to any companies or charities for Employment Allowance purposes and have a combined annual pay bill of more than £3 million.

If your organisation does not pay into the levy, then the charge to you is only 5% of this figure (at the time of writing), with the government covering the rest of our fee. This currently equates to £450 and you will be invoiced for the bulk of this portion of the fee at the start of the apprenticeship and the remainder on completion.

An individual interested in becoming an apprentice, or a school interested in establishing an apprenticeship, should check that the individual meets the minimum entry requirements and if these requirements are met, get in touch with the apprenticeship hub at the University of Derby apprenticeships@derby.ac.uk so that we can connect you with the relevant course leader. We will explain the course and funding arrangements to you and check that your school can meet our requirements for teacher training: the curriculum that is taught, the age range of the pupils, the provision of an experienced teacher who will mentor your apprentice, and so on.

Following these initial conversations, if both the employer and the University of Derby are happy to go ahead and establish an apprenticeship place, then a vacancy can be created on the DfE Apply website. Your employee can then apply for the course via the DfE’s Apply website, and our Course Team will arrange to interview them. As part of this process, they will need to submit an Individual Needs Assessment, called a skills scan: their self-assessment against the Teachers’ Standards.

If the interview process judges that the employee is suitable for our course, we will make them an offer. If they have met all entry requirements, this will be an unconditional offer; otherwise, the offer will state the conditions that the employee will need to meet in order to be able to enrol on the course.

Our Apprenticeships team will sort out all the necessary financial and legal arrangements with the employer. We will liaise with them, but they can be contacted at apprenticeships@derby.ac.uk if you have any general questions.

Applications are made through the DfE’s ‘Apply’ website, once the training place has been set up. The university will assess the application against the minimum entry requirements, and those who meet or exceed these requirements will then be invited to an interview after which an offer of a place may be made.

As well as the ‘Apply’ application the apprenticeship hub will also send you an addendum to complete to capture details that are not available via the ‘Apply’ system, which are needed to satisfy the Education Skills Funding Agency apprenticeship eligibility requirements.

The EPA is a judgement made of the apprentice against the professional teacher standards by an external provider. The assessment, which is set out nationally, involves an observation of the apprentice teaching, and a subsequent professional discussion. The discussion will involve you as the employer, the University of Derby as the training provider, and the external assessor.

Yes. After the award of QTS but before the EPA has been completed, the apprentice is basically the same as any ECT. Even if they change employers before the EPA occurs, they can have a full-time ECT timetable in the fourth/autumn term. They are no longer in the ‘6 hours per week off-the-job training' period once they complete the course and can start as a normal ECT whilst awaiting their EPA.

There is nothing to stop an apprentice from changing employer before completing the apprenticeship. In such instances, the responsibility for funding the remaining period of the apprenticeship falls to the new employer. The apprenticeship hub will liaise with both the former and the new employer to confirm the share of the funding to be provided from the levy fund of each employer.

As the employer of the apprentice, you will need to sign an Employer Agreement, Apprenticeship Agreement, and a Commitment Statement with the University of Derby. The Commitment Statement is a three-way document between the employer, the apprentice, and the University of Derby. These confirm your commitments to us and to the apprentice. 

If the applicant has taught for over three years in at least two different schools, then they may be eligible for the Assessment Only route. This is not a training programme, but an official assessment of the individual’s teaching made against the national Teachers’ Standards.