Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeships (PGTA)
Level 6
Teacher and Pupil

What is a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship (PGTA)?

The PGTA is a 12 month, fully funded and salaried teacher training programme, which leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).   

A PGTA consists of two parts:

Part 1

A 12 month apprenticeship with an end point assessment in the term after the apprenticeship ends. The apprenticeship runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of September the following year.

Part 2

A teacher training course leading to QTS. The QTS course runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of July.

There are three stages to the PGTA:

Stage 1

Pre QTS: This involves bespoke support for the prospective apprentice to get ready for the QTS programme to ensure that they can successfully engage with the programme. This may include GCSE equivalency tests,         functional skills exams or subject knowledge enhancement courses.
Stage 2

QTS programme: Our unique course is designed to help apprentices to fulfil a wider teaching role (including that of pastoral care) within their chosen educational context. This course will provide apprentices with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the additional option to obtain a PGCE at Master’s level. Working closely with our experienced staff, aspiring teachers gain the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to become successful early careers teachers.
Stage 3

End Point Assessment (EPA): An independent End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) is appointed to assess the apprentice and verify that they meet all aspects of the overarching PGTA programme. This usually involves a joint observation and a professional discussion as well as a review of the evidence collected during the teacher training year. The EPA will take place in the first half of the autumn term after completion of the QTS course.
The apprenticeship is not complete until all 3 stages of the programme have been assessed.

What will the employing school get out of offering a PGTA?

  • Retain valued members of staff and upskill them to qualified teacher status.

  • PGTAs are able to take their own classes without the need for a host teacher to be present in every lesson.

  • You will be able to record all formal observations, mentor meetings and mentor targets and track progress, assessment data and evidence on our bespoke online platform School IP.

What does the employing school need to commit to?

  • PGTAs must have 20% free time for off-the-job learning. What these 20% look like differs from course to course. For our primary trainees this will be their Friday live training sessions which take place either face-to-face or via Teams.

  • For the secondary course this will either be the online trainee teacher enhancement programme or, depending on geographical location and prior subject knowledge, the two subject weeks.

  • The 20% off-the-job training also includes PPA time, study time and in-school training like training days or twilight sessions.

  • If the apprentice is also completing the PGCE they will need time off to attend the live lectures (either face-to-face or remotely).  There a 2 full days and 2 half days of PGCE lectures. In addition there are 2 1-1 tutorials which apprentices can book with the PGCE tutor. The PGCE tutors are very flexible and appointments can be arranged to suit.

  • PGTAs need one formal observation per week.

  • PGTAs need to complete a substantial contrast placement. This would be 4-6 weeks (full-time) and must include a joint observation by the school mentor and the subject/professional tutor. To minimise the impact of this we aim to swap PGTAs wherever possible.

  • Provision of an in-school mentor. This must be a qualified teacher. For the secondary course it must be a subject specialist in the subject that the apprentice is training in.

What is the difference between a PGTA and a unsalaried teacher training route for the apprentice?
As a PGTA you will have a higher teaching load than on an unsalaried course. The teaching load is up to 80% for a PGTA whereas on a unsalaried route your teaching load will gradually increase throughout the year to up to 70%.
On the salaried PGTA route you will not be eligible for student finance or train to teach bursaries as you will be receiving a salary.
As a PGTA you can take your own classes and you have sole responsibility for their academic achievement and pastoral care. On an unsalaried teacher training course the overall responsibility remains with the host teacher who needs to be present in every lesson to give informal feedback. As a PGTA you are observed formally once per week.

Apprentices need to be UK citizens or have settled or pre-settled status and have lived in the UK for the 3 years prior to starting their apprenticeship. Certain other individuals who have a valid and eligible residency status or immigration status may also be eligible. 
Apprentices must have GCSEs in English and Maths of grade C/4 or above and also a GCSE Science grade C/4 if they are teaching in primary school. Those who do not meet this entry requirement will need to undertake GCSE equivalency tests and functional skills exams. The GCSE equivalency tests are required to meet the entry requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and the functional skills exams are required to pass the end point assessment for the apprenticeship.
They must also have an undergraduate degree of at least lower second class honours.


What about the cost?
The cost to train an apprentice with us is £9000. The apprenticeships are fully funded so there is no cost to either the employer or the apprentice.
If your school (or local authority) contributes to the apprenticeship levy fund you can access your fund contributions through your Apprenticeship Service Account. You can use this service to manage the funds you have available for apprenticeship training in England.
If your school does not contribute to the apprenticeship levy fund you will pay 5% towards the cost of the training for your apprentice. The remaining 95% will be paid by the government.
There are salary grants available for certain subjects. For more information please visit this website


What qualification does the PGTA lead to?
The PGTA leads to QTS—qualified teacher status. We also offer the option to complete a PGCE alongside the apprenticeship. This is not included in the cost of training and the additional cost of about £1000 must be met separately either by the apprentice or the school. For more information on the PGCE part of the course please visit this website and for more information on why a PGCE is beneficial please visit this website.


For more information or to discuss your options please contact Nicala Moulton,, 01482 686699.


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