All Local Authority Maintained Schools are able to use their apprenticeship (training) levy funds to pay for qualifications for both EXISTING and NEW staff.
The funds can be used to pay for qualifications up to postgraduate level and there are no longer any limits on the age of learner or number of hours worked. To date, only a small number of schools have chosen to use their levy and there are still significant funds to spend across the schools’ workforce. Schools are encouraged to actively consider how they can support CPD opportunities and/or offer new entry route posts and work towards increasing the number of apprentices across the workforce. In response to a question raised recently, please note that the levy can fund qualifications for temporary staff. We just have to ensure that the member of staff is employed for the duration of the qualification.
Further guidance is available from the DfE at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-reforms-guide-for-schools
How can we help?
The Council’s Organisational Development Team can assist you in maximising use of these funds to address recruitment and retention challenges, upskill staff and support succession planning. If you are considering any training or new post opportunities, please contact us! If you do not think you have contributed sufficient funds to the levy, please do still contact us too. On a discretionary basis, we can look at requests on a case-by-case basis and see if the levy can support these.
Addressing recruitment & retention challenges
There are a number of entry level qualifications available which can support new entrants into roles within administration, the classroom and the school premises. 2 schools have recently taken on new staff within the school office to undertake L2 Business Administration and 5 schools have new Apprentice Teaching Assistants from September 2018. Across the country, there are successful case studies on use of the levy for Apprentice Teaching Assistants specialising in Physical Education (covering PPA sessions), SEND and after-school clubs.
Please don’t forget that the levy can be used to support your existing staff. 3 schools are currently supporting their School Business Managers through a L5 HR Consultant qualification; another has offered a nursery nurse the opportunity to undertake the Early Years Educator qualification and another has used the levy to help staff within the kitchen develop their food production and cooking skills. 3 schools are also aiming to further develop their Teaching Assistants, providing the opportunity to undertake the L3 Teaching Assistant qualification. Hot off the press is the approval of the new L4 School Business Professional Standard and again, there are successful case studies from across the country.
Supporting succession planning
Existing staff are encouraged to talk to their manager/supervisor about training opportunities in line with School Development Plans. If schools are seeking to advertise a vacancy, all are encouraged to consider if there is an opportunity to offer training and a qualification with the new role which may be funded by the levy.
For any qualification requests that are supported by the school, the Headteacher can formally request use of levy funds by emailing details of the staff member and the qualification to email@example.com.
Qualification frameworks and standards
We have attached the latest information on the qualification frameworks and standards that can be funded via the levy. The costs illustrated are per person but we will negotiate these costs with relevant training providers.
You may be contacted directly by training providers who will offer support in accessing and using your Apprenticeship (Training) Levy.
For all enquiries though, please contact the council’s Apprenticeship Service Coordinator at the address at the foot.
Anna Bennett, Senior Organisational Development Officer
Tel: (01482) 391167/66