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Article in Schools Week

We were pleased to be mentioned in an article that appeared in Schools Week on 26th November 2021 about Apprentice Teaching Assistants.

We recognise that our staff are key to the success of our schools and to the success of our pupils. 

We place a high importance on providing high quality learning opportunities and career development to staff at all levels and believe that this provision brings huge benefits to the whole Tandridge Learning Trust community. 

The Trust has three key values: equity, integrity and collaboration.   It is important to us to remove any possible barriers to joining our Trust; offering the option of earning a salary whilst training makes joining us an attractive proposition for those who might otherwise not be able to access such training.  We sometimes find that apprenticeships attract colleagues who are changing career paths to accommodate personal circumstances or realise new ambitions; providing a fair salary enables the realisation of these aims.  

Placing a high importance on collaboration, also means collaborating with our local communities.  All of our schools are in close proximity to each other within Tandridge and all work closely with their local community.  We have found that recruiting apprentices is an excellent way for us to work with and to support those local communities; we have successfully recruited apprentices from the local area as well as some ex-students who want to start their career in education.

We have found that providing apprenticeships is a good way to support our staff to develop the key skills for certain roles and provides a structured way for them to achieve qualifications.  For example, Teaching Assistants follow the Level 3 standard which, when complete, ensures full competency as a teaching assistant and provides a foundation into a number of other career paths.  Working and learning on the job, together with academic input is a perfect fusion for success in such a practical and vital classroom role.  Where possible, at the end of the apprenticeship we look to retain staff into permanent roles, so we consider the investment is well worth it.  

A key benefit of the apprenticeship scheme is that our organisation has an actively contributing member of staff who can fulfil a valued role within a school from day one whilst local colleges confirm the level of skill and knowledge achieved and help to ensure the progress of our apprentices. As a Multi-Academy Trust we have the flexibility to pay above the national minimum wage in some cases, should we choose to do so. We believe that in doing so we demonstrate our commitment to support our local community and to attract the best talent possible in the current employment market.