Information for Heads, CPD Leads and Line Managers


We know there’s a lot to consider, so we’ve rounded up the benefits of apprenticeships, how they work, costs and funding, and the support expected from employers. 





#howitworks (col-12)

How it Works

#howitworks-text (col-12 col-lg-6)

Just 20% of your employee’s time will be allocated to their apprenticeship!

  • Our programmes consist of two main periods: a practical period requiring 6 hours per week of "off the job" study time and a gateway/end-point assessment period.
  • Study time arrangements, could be one day from home per week, in-school sessions, or split sessions, are to be determined between the apprentice and their line manager.
  • Employees working 30+ hours weekly must fulfill this requirement throughout the apprenticeship during their regular working hours. For those working less than 30 hours, 20% of their weekly hours are dedicated to "off the job" study, with the programne duration extended accordingly.
  • During the gateway period, the apprentice no longer requires 6 hours of study time per week. 
  • The agreed-upon time commitments for your apprentice will be outlined in their Training Plan before their programme commencement date, which we can support with.

#howitworks-text (col-12 col-lg-6)

The important stuff:

  • The apprentice should be given flexibility to self-guide their learning as part of some fixed face to face and online taught sessions. To help you plan, we will let you know of any fixed teaching sessions before your apprentice starts their programme. We understand the working patterns of school-based apprentices, so all live sessions will take place during the school day when they will already be at work, and nothing is planned to be completed outside of school hours or during school holidays.
  • Your apprentice will need to be employed to work at least 22 hours per week to be eligible for enrolment.
  • Apprentices must evidence their hours of learning away from their day-to-day responsibilities for the duration of the practical period of their programme. Some of this will be at fixed times during the school working day.
    • For example, live sessions on our Teaching Assistant programme take place online from 9.00 -11.00am on a Wednesday, approximately every 3-4 weeks. Apprentices are expected to arrive 15 minutes before the session starts to prepare and remind themselves of their notes from the previous week’s session, and then log their reflections after their session.

      This would result in a minimum of three hours needing to be allocated between 08:30-11:30 or 09:00-12:00 every Wednesday, depending on the apprentice’s working hours. The remaining 3.5 hours of 'off the job’ time will be arranged to suit the school.

#howitworks-outro (col-12)

We are experts in helping schools make apprenticeships work for them, and we are with you every step of the way. Goodbye knowledge gaps, hello employee development!


#costs (col-12)

Costs / Funding

Developing staff doesn’t have to be expensive.
With apprenticeships, we don’t just cover the cost of training, you can save on salary costs too.

Reduce cost, not staffing

#costs-intro (col-12 col-lg-6)

For staff working in a United Learning school, the programmes are fully funded by United Learning’s contribution to the government’s apprenticeship levy. This means that the training cost is completely free to apprentices and their schools. Training refers to the curriculum and delivery of the programme and of the end point assessment. The same applies to external employers who contribute to the levy.

Even if your organisation doesn't contribute to the apprenticeship levy, you can still reap the benefits. You'll only need to cover 5% of the apprenticeship costs, with the government co-investing the remaining amount through the Apprenticeship Service. The outstanding 5% can be invoiced according to a schedule that suits your needs, aiding in effective budget management.

Here's the current funding breakdown through the apprenticeship levy:

  • Teaching Assistant       [Maximum funding: £7000]
  • Early Years Educator     [Maximum funding £6,000]
  • HR Support                     [Maximum funding £4,500]

#Costs and funding (col-12 col-lg-6)

You either save 100% on staff training costs as a levy payer or save 95% on training costs as a non-levy payer. For staff that you put forward for an apprenticeship, whether as new recruits or existing staff, their salary and employment costs remain your responsibility as their employer.


The maximum cost of training for a Teaching Assistant is £5,000. A levy payer/small employer would pay £0, and a non-levy payer would pay £250, meaning a saving of £4,750 from your school budget.

Find out more about how apprenticeships funding works for employers.


#support (col-12)


#supportintro (col-12 col-lg-6)

All apprentices will:

  • Be allocated a buddy on the programme
  • Be part of a learning community
  • Have access to a supportive network 
  • Have regular 1:1s with their programme lead
  • Be allocated a workplace mentor who is an expert in their field
  • Have access to an online forum for their cohort
  • Have a dedicated mailbox to our provider management team
  • Have regular opportunities to share their feedback on their programme
  • Have reasonable adjustments if required

#supportmore (col-12 col-lg-6)

As the employer, you will:

  • Receive regular briefings 
  • Have easy access to induction and training for your apprentice’s workplace mentor
  • Attend regular learner progress review meetings with the programme lead, and the apprentice
  • Have access to the apprentice’s online portfolio so you can monitor and review their learning
  • Have direct email access to our provider management team, whenever you need it
  • Have your apprentice trained by an expert (saving you time)




Contact Us

Spring 2024 applications are open now.

If you’re ready to recruit an apprentice into a support staff role or develop existing staff, submit an enquiry and we’ll be in touch to discuss how we can support you.

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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