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Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more?

Below are some questions we often get asked, but if you can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch: courses@unitedlearning.org.uk

  • What support is available for employers?

    We know learning is more effective when it is done 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 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 platform so you can monitor and review their learning;
    • Have a dedicated mailbox 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 if needed. We are always just an email or phone call away.

  • What funding is available?

    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 external non levy paying employers, the employers are required to pay 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. Employers will be required to pay for any travel expenses in line with their current expenses policy, but we endeavour to makes these as minimal as possible.

  • What training/assessment will be used?

    Once all parties (the apprentice, employer and programme lead) agree that the apprentice is demonstrating the knowledge, skills and behaviours, the apprentice will go through ‘gateway’ to do the end point assessment. End point assessment is carried out by an external organisation. We will work with you as the employer to choose an appropriate end point assessment organisation.


    Teaching Assistant


    End-Point assessment will include two components: a practical observation with Q&As that takes place at the apprentice’s usual workplace and a professional discussion based on a portfolio of evidence collated during the programme. Overall, apprentices will be able to earn either a pass or distinction grade, providing they earn at least a pass for each assessment.


    Early Years Educator


    To complete the final assessment for this programme, apprentices must already hold, or achieve as part of the course, a Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF) or a Level 3 Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid and the Early Year Educator Level 3 Diploma. These will be covered during the apprenticeship. End-Point assessment will include two components: a multiplechoice knowledge test and a professional discussion based on the portfolio of evidence collated during the programme. Apprentices will be able to earn either a pass or distinction grade, providing they earn at least a pass for each assessment.


    HR Support


    End-Point assessment will include two components: a consultative project, where apprentices will have 10 weeks to complete a real project in the workplace relevant to their role, followed by a professional discussion. Apprentices will be able to earn either a pass or distinction grade, providing they earn at least a pass for each assessment.

  • How will the apprenticeships work?

    Our apprenticeships are specifically designed for schools and for support staff in schools. We place high importance on making sure our programmes are engaging and enjoyable. Each apprenticeship programme is split into several units and each unit is made up of bitesize sections, delivered via various formats. The programmes are made up of three parts: learning, on programme assessment and end point assessment. Teaching and learning is delivered via a blended curriculum. There is a mix of self-guided online modules, activities, project work, live webinars, group work, face-to-face days and 1:1s with your programme lead. Each participant will have their knowledge, skills and behaviours reviewed throughout the apprenticeship. On programme assessment is delivered through observations,
    assignments, scenario-based questions and 1:1s with your programme lead. End point assessment is carried out by an external organisation (EPAO). For each apprenticeship, there is a different approach to end point assessment, but the apprentice will be fully prepared for what is expected of them. For the Teaching
    Assistant and Early Years Educator programmes, apprentices are required to maintain a portfolio of evidence – support and guidance will be given for this. For the HR Support Level 3, there is no portfolio required but they will complete a project at the end of the course.

  • Who will pay for the programme?

    If you are employed in a United Learning school, the programmes are fully funded by United Learning’s contributions to the apprenticeship levy, so are completely free to apprentices and their schools.

    For external applicants whose employer is a levy payer, the programmes will also be funded through their levy contributions at no cost to the apprentice or school.

    For external applicants whose employer is a non levy-paying organisation, the programme will still come at no cost to the apprentice, however your employer will pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessment and the government will pay back the rest. You can find more information on funding here: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/employers/funding-an-apprenticeship 

  • When do programmes start?

    We start new cohorts in spring and autumn of each academic year, with recruitment normally opening the term before.

  • How long do the apprenticeships last?

    Apprentices will usually complete their study within 18 months of the start date alongside their current employment, based on working a minimum of 30 hrs/wk. There will be flexibility on apprenticeship duration depending on individual circumstances and working patterns, with part-time workers given longer to complete their apprenticeship to accommodate the 20% Off the Job entitlement.

  • Are there any entry requirements?

    You must have an employment contract in place by your apprenticeship start date and have the right to work in the UK. You will not be eligible for this programme if you already hold a Level 3 or higher qualification in a similar subject area. Apprentices on all programmess will need to have achieved Level 2 in English and maths (equivalent to a pass in both at GCSE level) prior to completion of their apprenticeship. This is not a prerequisite, so study towards achieving Level 2 in English and maths (Functional Skills) can be completed at the same time as undertaking your programme of study and tuition is provided by United Learning. Study time for this is in addition to the 20% Off the Job entitlement.

  • What is the application process?

    You should discuss your intention to apply with your line manager and will then be asked to complete an application form. If you are eligible, you will then take part in a professional discussion and a skills assessment with the programme lead to ensure the programme is appropriate for you. If you are successful, you and your employer will then agree your learning plan and complete the necessary enrolment paperwork. 

  • How will learning take place?

    You will complete your apprenticeship learning alongside your current job role, through a blended learning approach; a combination of live online training, occasional face to face training days (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) and self-directed study. The blended learning approach allows us to offer you a high-impact programme with greater flexibility to suit different circumstances and gives all apprentices the opportunity to engage directly with the programme lead and their peers.  

  • Will my usual working week be increased?

    No – the beauty of an apprenticeship is that it is designed to be completed alongside your current job responsibilities, with a 20% Off the Job dedicated learning entitlement included across the duration of the apprenticeship to enable you to learn whilst you earn. Apprentices must have evidence of learning away from their day-to-day responsibilities for 20% of the duration of their programme. This can be spread out in a flexible way to suit you and your school. United Learning Apprenticeships will work with your employer to agree how best to allocate the off-timetable study time in a way that suits you and the needs of the school. Please access the gov.uk website for more information about the 20% off the job entitlement.