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Abigail Allan

Teacher Apprenticeship

Having decided she wanted to become a teacher, Abigail Allan resolved to find a course that facilitated working full time whilst training. She found exactly that with the Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship at Sunderland. Abigail is now a Teacher Apprentice Skerne Park Primary School and would encourage others to follow in her footsteps.

“The apprenticeship is ideal and it allowed my work place to fund the course, using the government levy, whilst continuing to pay my wages without self-funding.

"It’s an ideal route for someone already working in a school and looking to up-skill. It would also be a brilliant route for someone whom has limited school experience. An apprenticeship allows individuals to get a real sense of how schools work, run and progress throughout the school year. In my opinion, it is the most similar to that of being employed as a teacher in school, however with appropriate support to build up hours of teaching, opportunity for reflection and support from experienced staff to learn from mistakes, implement new strategies and observe quality first teaching.

“I feel headteachers may be more likely to employ an NQT who is familiar with the school, has received training on bespoke school policies and procedures, and has already built a relationship with families.

“One of the things I enjoy about my learning at the University of Sunderland is attending lectures that contribute to CPD, allowing me to make the link between practice and theory. Often very serious subject matters are counter-balanced with enthusiastic and motivating lecturers. It is a great way to meet and talk to other apprentices and share experiences.

“I’ve really enjoyed gaining first-hand experience whilst being supported by both the school and the University. Having the support of the University in this bespoke role has meant I can be an effective member of staff and student at the University. I have enjoyed the dual learning of in school and University learning and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience a placement in an alternative setting.

“The first assignment I completed has been my favourite as it allowed me to develop a comprehensive understanding of a vital intervention we complete with the children, and as such, I have since seen an improvement in the pupils completing the intervention, partly due to my increased understanding.

“Once I finish my apprenticeship I would love to work towards achieving a Masters degree. I would also like to complete some comprehensive training in Adverse Childhood Experiences and childhood trauma, potentially working in a role that involves working with hard to reach families of the community and promoting a positive relationship between families and school.”

Published 5 March 2021

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