Case study

Discovering her love for teaching with the help of our Teacher Apprenticeship

Discovering the love for teaching

Samantha had been a Teaching Assistant for twenty years, but after teaching a class of fourteen- to nineteen-year-olds with profound and multiple learning difficulties, Samantha was introduced to a completely different side to teaching, sparking the start of a new career path.

Samantha said: “This wasn’t a career path I had considered; however, I rose to the challenge and successfully completed my first term, discovering a different side to teaching I had previously missed. The head teacher was impressed by my commitment and achievements within the role. She championed me to progress within the teaching direction”

After completing her Higher-Level teaching Assistant Course (HTLA), Samantha had further sparked her passion and decided she wanted to pursue a teaching career. Samantha explained: “When the course was completed, a new school year began. I was asked to cover PPA in a variety of classes across the depth of the school in classes with varying abilities and needs of the students. This time enabled me to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience of teaching using a variety of pedagogies. Additionally, it built my confidence in leading a large team of staff, as most classes have at least one TA and often two TA’s and Pupil Support Assistants (PSA’s). It was at this point I decided I wanted to pursue a teaching career.”

Finding her feet as a teacher

Starting her career in teaching, Samantha began her journey by completing a Foundation Degree at her local college which was credited by the University of Derby. She says: “I completed this alongside working full time within my own class, as well as managing my time with my children and family. The support of my colleagues and family was imperative, as it was challenging to achieve a good work/university/life balance at times.”

After finishing her Foundation Degree, Samantha went onto complete a Degree of Bachelor Arts in Childhood Educational studies through a different university, however the global pandemic put a holt to her plans. “Due to the global pandemic, I spent a year unable to progress further as my setting was not keen on me visiting other educational facilities during these uncertain times.”

Although her career had been put on hold due to the pandemic, Samantha did not let this stop her. “At this point I had been an unqualified teacher for seven years. The drive to become a qualified teacher engaged my commitment to pursue the final push to gain qualified teacher status.“

Applying for the Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship

After finding her new passion for teaching, Samantha was supported by her head teacher in completing her Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship.

“The head teacher of my setting suggested the apprentice programme. She had been made aware of the opportunity and felt this would be a good way to progress”

Researching for alternative routes such as schools direct and the assessment only route, Samantha felt that the apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity for her. “I felt that the apprenticeship was a good opportunity to remain working within my setting and continue to be paid. This was hugely important to me as I have family and commitments. The access to an academic setting and all the opportunities to develop myself further was also appealing.

Progressing through her career as a teacher

Now on the road to becoming a teacher, Samantha has been offered a permanent job as a teacher: “The programme has obviously enabled me to progress to be a qualified teacher. I have been fortunate enough to be given a full-time permanent teaching position within my setting.”

A student teacher helping a child in a classroom.

Level 6 Teaching Apprenticeship (with QTS)

The Level 6 Teaching Apprenticeship (with QTS) is an employment based route into teaching. Find out more about this apprenticeship, including what it entails and how to get on to the programme.

Discover more about the Level 6 Teaching ApprenticeshipDiscover more about the Level 6 Teaching Apprenticeship