Information for Heads, CPD leads and Line Managers

Our next intake for all three programmes is October 2022. Application deadline is 9th September 2022. If you are looking to recruit an apprentice into a support staff role or upskill existing staff, please get in touch to discuss how we can support you: courses@unitedlearning.org.uk 

Benefits for schools

Completing an apprenticeship with United Learning will enable support staff to advance their knowledge and further develop their skills. Due to the crucial role that support staff play within your setting, we consider it a priority to give them high quality training opportunities and widen their accessibility to career progression. Apprenticeships can also help support recruitment and retention.

High quality curriculum design & delivery

Our programme leads have extensive experience and are skilled practitioners and experts in their field. Due to the size of United Learning and its national reach, we draw on a wide range of guest speakers from across the education sector who specialise in various areas relevant to the curriculum.

All of our curriculum content is quality assured by experienced educators across United Learning to ensure it is fit-for-purpose. We are focussed on continuously improving our provision and regularly seek feedback from employers and apprentices to identify where to make improvements. We gather a variety of evidence to inform our quality assurance process, including surveying apprentices and employers, observing teaching, and sampling assignments and assessments.  

We have gathered feedback from apprentices on what has worked for them and used this to shape the design of our programmes.

Support Staff Studying time

The apprenticeship programme allocates 20% of an employee's working hours towards a compulsory ‘Off the job’ learning entitlement. The number of hours needed will be agreed with employers in the apprentice's individual learning plan before enrolment.

For example, an employee working 37.5 hrs/week will spend 7.5hrs/1 full day on their apprenticeship learning each week. This could be arranged as 1 day from home a week, in school, split across mornings and afternoons.

The apprentice will need to arrange with their in-school manager when they will carry out the allocated time for their learning requirement. This will be partially self-guided and partially arranged at set times – therefore enabling the apprentice flexibility alongside scheduled face-to-face or online work. We aim to arrange any live online sessions at convenient times for all relevant colleagues, providing plenty of notice. 

We offer support and guidance to help employers and apprentices arrange their Off the Job time in the most impactful way.


For staff working in a United Learning school, the programmes are fully funded by United Learning’s contribution to the government’s apprenticeship levy, meaning they are completely free to apprentices and their schools.

For external levy paying employers, the programmes will also be funded through their levy contributions at no cost to the apprentice or school.

For non levy paying employers, your school budget will contribute 5% towards the cost of training and assessment. The government will pay the remaining balance. We will agree a payment schedule and you will pay us directly and then claim back through the Apprenticeship Service.

Support Available

We know learning is more effective when it happens as part of a learning community – it helps to motivate and keep apprentices on track as they strive to achieve their goals.

This is why we have put in place measures to make sure all of our apprentices can access the central support they need throughout the programme. Apprentices will:

  • Be allocated a buddy on the programme;
  • Have regular 1:1s with their programme lead;
  • Be allocated a 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 in place if required.

As the employer you will:

  • Receive regular briefings via email and webinars;
  • Attend regular review meetings with the programme lead and apprentice;
  • Have access to the apprentice’s online portfolio so you can monitor and review their learning;
  • Have a dedicated mailbox direct to our provider management team.

We know what school life is like, so we aim to be as flexible as possible and be there to support you and the apprentice when needed. We are always just an email or phone call away: courses@unitedlearning.org.uk