#NAW2021- Grow Your Own- The Future of Teacher Development


Heanorgate School have utilised apprenticeships to continue to allow career progression for their staff members. We spoke with Dawn Meakin, Senior Learning & Progress Assistant at Spencer Academies Trust and Kirsty, Teaching Assistant Apprentice to find out about their experience with CT Skills.

Heanorgate school are soon to see their first member of staff complete the Teaching Assistant apprenticeship with CT Skills during an 18-month work-based training programme. The apprenticeship was catered to the specific role held by their Learning & Progress Assistant, Kirsty, to support her in expanding on essential theoretical knowledge.

Since starting the apprenticeship, Kirsty has shown noticeable developments and is visibly more confident in her ability to positively impact the school.
Dawn comments: “If you’ve got new staff coming into a school who lack experience, this is an excellent training opportunity for them. The knowledge and one-to-one time devoted by an apprenticeship provider, ensures your new staff have the support they deserve. We’ve found that no matter what year group or teacher Kirsty was supporting, the Teaching Assistant apprenticeship really did link in well.”

Kirsty added; “It puts you in a better position than someone that doesn’t have the qualification. That’s always going to be good for you if you want to progress. It really benefits your role, the tasks that we’ve been set are always developing my skills. I’m constantly gaining more knowledge and building my confidence to do more in my role.”

Kirsty had been in her role for two years before deciding to undertake her apprenticeship as a way to progress her career forward. As a full-time mum with a busy lifestyle Kirsty felt that an apprenticeship would accommodate her lifestyle whilst allowing her to gain a recognised qualification.
Kirsty explains “I’m also a mum so I’ve got a busy lifestyle. I think that the apprenticeship has really worked for me and I’ve been able to keep my lifestyle being a working mum whilst also getting a qualification at the same time.”
Apprenticeships have proven benefits for both the apprentice and the employer as shown with Kirsty at Heanorgate Science College. Anybody can become an apprentice at any age and benefit from government funding to support their career.

With established relationships and as a trusted provider, Spencer Academy Trust are encouraging all schools they work with to consider if and how CT Skills Apprenticeships could enhance and facilitate existing staff development models, as it has with Heanorgate Science College.

Dawn Meakin reflects on her first encounter with CT Skills; “I found that everybody was really genuine, they explained everything to me in as much or as little detail as I wanted. I didn’t feel pressured into any type of delivery but there was always someone at the end of the phone. Working with CT Skills is a really stress-free experience!”

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