National School Apprenticeship Programme reaches milestone of over 2,000 schools

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week (9 to 13 March) marks the two-year anniversary of the official launch of the National School Apprenticeships Programme (NSA). The programme was originally piloted in the North West with 4 schools but due to its success, the programme was launched nationally in September 2013 and now supports over 2000 schools across England.

As part of the programme, both the school and the apprentice benefit from a funded work-based training programme that has been designed around the role of the apprentice and will lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Schools are now utilising apprentices in roles such as Teaching Assistant, IT Support, Office Administration, Sports Technicians and most recently the programme is providing training for Lab Technicians, Catering Assistants and Finance Officers.

Neil Gamewell and Lee Povah, founders of the NSA programme, have seen huge demand for their services nationwide.

Lee said: “We have been fortunate to appoint some very well qualified teachers, as well as a number of former Head Teachers and School Business Managers, who deliver the training to the apprentices on the school site. We now have over approximately 100 qualified teachers across the country which is a testament to the success of the NSA programme.”

Lilian Borrows, a School Business Manager at Lowton St Mary’s Primary School in 2013, employed 5 Teaching Assistant apprentices who have now successfully completed their Supporting Teaching and Learning apprenticeship framework and have gone onto full-time roles within the school. Shortly after starting her new role as School Business Manager at Newton West Park Primary School, she contacted the National School Apprenticeship programme team and rolled out an apprenticeship programme again, with great success.

Lilian said: “The programme has huge benefits to schools and I can see why it is now so popular with schools across the country. We have also employed one of the National School Apprenticeship graduates as a full-time Teaching Assistant in the school. ”

In the next 12 months, schools will become much more involved in how the NSA programme is delivered. NSA will adopt a school-led approach and ensure schools are involved in the planning and where possible the delivery of the NSA programme. In recent years schools have had much more control of their teacher training through programmes such as Schools Direct. More and more schools now want to offer their support staff the same opportunities to develop and provide practical, hands-on support staff training delivered on the school site.

If your school is interested in finding out more information about the programme, please email or visit

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