At Greenacre School, we view Continuous Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) as an important recruitment and retention tool.
In 2017, Greenacre partnered with Barnsley College to support ten Teaching and Learning Apprentices (Level 2). These apprentices completed their academic studies with the support of the College and our very own ‘Buddy Group’ whilst enjoying a placement at our school.
The project was hugely successful and eight of the apprentices from the first cohort went on to gain substantive employment at our school. Apprentices are now viewed as a key element in the ‘Pipelining and Recruitment’ process, with the added bonus of growing and shaping our own practitioners to respond to the very unique needs of our setting.
Robyn Teaching Assistant Apprentice Level 2 and Level 3
“I applied for the apprenticeship because I was unsure on what I wanted to do, and I really enjoyed the week I spent at Greenacre on my college placement. During my interview I cried due to nerves, so I really did not expect to get the position; however, I was delighted that they were prepared to give me a chance. I worked really hard with both the college and school staff during my Level 2 course, so I felt really supported. Halfway through my apprenticeship I was offered a permanent TA position on the basis I completed the rest of the course. I successfully completed my Level 2 course and requested that I progress to the Level 3. This course was a lot more work, so I decided to leave my weekend job at Greggs. Although at times I struggled with the workload and meeting deadlines I continued to receive support from my family, the College, Buddies and my class team. I am glad I persevered and thanks to the patience of everyone else I have finally finished my apprenticeship and obtained a full-time job that I love.”
Following the successes with the Teaching Assistant apprentices we focused our attention on the needs of our existing staff. Higher Level Apprenticeships were considered as a method of growing and developing our own staff including teachers and middle leaders. Three teachers engaged with ‘Masters’ level apprenticeships to support them in leading key roles within the school. Additionally, the Level 5 Teaching Apprenticeship ran in partnership with Leeds City College; this afforded us the opportunity to support staff in their development from HLTA to Teacher.
Amy Level 5 Teaching Apprenticeship and Academy Co Teacher
“I started working at Greenacre School over 8 years ago as a Level 1 Teaching Assistant. Greenacre has always supported my growth through CPD training and other courses which were available to ensure I grew as a professional. I have always had high hopes of one day becoming a teacher. In 2015, school supported me to complete the Higher-Level Teaching Assistant qualification and I am currently accessing the Level 5 Teaching Apprenticeship. This has given me the opportunity to gain exceptional knowledge and understanding regarding the Behavioural and Cognitive factors of learning. Through Greenacre School’s CPD offer and their engagement with the Apprenticeship Scheme I now have the opportunity of realising my aspiration of becoming a teacher and from January 2021 I will be taking up my new role as an Academy Co Teacher.”
At Greenacre we have found the apprenticeship pathway highly effective in supporting us with our recruitment processes and the retention of existing staff. The fact that the tuition fees are paid through the Levy is just the icing on the cake.
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