UCAN is a specialist provider of Teaching Assistant Apprenticeships working with Local Authorities and Academy Groups across England.
The impact of government policy on teaching assistant apprenticeships can be significant, as policy decisions can influence the availability and accessibility of these apprenticeships, as well as the quality of training provided to apprentices.
1. Availability of apprenticeships: The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has announced a significant increase in funding of 40% so it is likely training providers may be able to offer these apprenticeships as they are more economically viable to deliver. It is a shame it has taken 5 years to recognise what must clearly have been underfunding.
2. Accessibility of apprenticeships: Schools feature prominently in the headlines at the moment through teacher strikes for better pay. They are right to challenge but the further pressure this will put on already stretched budgets will make it difficult for schools to afford vitally important teaching assistant posts. Although Government insists current pay rise proposals are funded schools disagree. In any event, I see no positive signs of growth in Teaching Assistant numbers
3. Quality of training: The improvement in funding is likely to enable providers to raise the quality of resources and teaching. However, those in the sector know that the ability of a school operating on a very tight resourcing timetable to allow the Teaching Assistant the legally required time to train and learn at work is incredibly challenging.
There are no easy answers but we at UCAN have developed a delivery platform UCANlearn, that contributes to all three of these challenges.