Published On: 25/11/2022|530 words|2.7 min read|

After launching our Level 3 Teaching Assistant apprenticeship a few months ago, we have caught up with Charlotte Barton, MD at Progress Schools – a national alternative provision (AP) provider, to hear her experiences to date of working with us to train their newest recruits.

Q: What made you choose the apprenticeship route to train your staff?

“As an alternative provision provider, we operate in a niche market. Our learning stretches far beyond academics. We deliver a 360-degree, holistic approach to educating some of the most vulnerable young people. Our Teaching Assistants and Pastoral Mentors are crucial to this, so it was really important to us that their professional development equipped them with the knowledge and skills needed to best support our students.

“CSS are training and education specialists, so I knew they would deliver a fantastic service which was built around our needs as an employer to deliver a tailored training programme for our support staff via an apprenticeship.”

Q: How many of your colleagues are on the programme so far?

“To date, seven colleagues who hold Teaching Assistant and Pastoral Mentor roles have started working towards their apprenticeship qualification with CSS. We’re hoping to build on this number over the coming months as we recruit more support staff into our schools.”

Q: Why did you choose CSS over other training providers?

“Being part of the same group of providers, CSS have a really solid understanding of our niche market. But it was important to us that whoever we worked with, took the time to get to know us, the service we offer and the ways in which we support our students to achieve their potential. The team from CSS did just that by taking the time to visit our schools to truly understand who we are as a provision. They were then able to apply the apprenticeship framework in a tailored way that best supported our teaching methodologies. The work they had done before offering apprenticeships gave us a sense of assurance that learning would be tailored to the needs of our students whilst being delivered against an apprenticeship framework.”

Teaching assistant with student
Q: What do you feel sets CSS apart from the rest?

“I really value how closely we work with the team there. We have weekly meetings which are extremely beneficial. It is so refreshing to work with a training provider that constantly wants to provide solutions to problems and innovate new ways of working collaboratively.”

Q: Would you recommend an apprenticeship programme to other education providers?

“Yes certainly. So far, we have found an apprenticeship to be a really effective way to upskill our colleagues. Not only can the framework be tailored to a certain agree through elected modules, but the delivery of this works well around our school day as colleagues are studying through a mixture of face-to-face and distance learning, with independent study, so it works well for us as we don’t need to release them to attend college for example.”

Complete Skills Solutions currently deliver the Level 3 Teaching Assistant apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are available to individuals aged 16+ with no upper age limit, making them a cost-effective way to train new and upskill existing members of staff.

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