Apprenticeships - guidance for schools

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The way apprenticeships are funded has changed as part of a series of wider reforms to the apprenticeship system in England. 

As an employer with a pay bill of more than £3m, we are required to pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5%. This is a mandatory government tax. The Council is responsible for paying the levy in community maintained schools where we employ the staff and pay NI contributions. The cost of this levy is passed on to schools.

Where the Council is the employer, schools can access funding for apprenticeship training and assessment via the new Digital Apprenticeship Service. Our Guide to apprenticeships for schools Nov2019 provides wider information about using the levy. 


What is the Levy used for? 

Available funding can be used to meet the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment against an approved apprenticeship. This can be used to enhance the skills of existing employees as well as new starters. 

Here is the link to the Standards and a link to Frameworks and Standards. If you open the link, you can search for qualifications you are interested in by using keywords – for example ‘management’, ‘teaching’, ‘admin'. 

Frameworks are gradually being phased out and replaced with standards as they become available.

For individuals to be eligible for using the levy funding, the apprenticeship must be substantially different from any previous apprenticeship undertaken and the content of the training must be materially different from any prior training, or a previous apprenticeship. 

Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets 

Public sector bodies in England with 250 or more employees have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their headcount as new apprentices over the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021. The target is for new ‘apprenticeship starts’, which includes both existing employees who start on an apprenticeship, and newly employed apprentices.  

Apprenticeship Training 

The training provider must be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. We negotiate training and assessment costs with training providers and use a digital voucher system. Unused funds expire after 24 months. Off the job training must be for a minimum of 20% during work time over the course of the training. Off-the-job training: Myths vs Facts

New Apprenticeships 

The Council is developing an Apprenticeship Strategy to support the Council Plan with the aim of raising achievement and skills. 

Derby Adult Learning Service are our main provider of apprenticeships. We also use other providers who are on the Directory of Approved Apprenticeship providers or have been through our procurement process. A business needs analysis carried out to look at any skills gaps within the council. We will then source suitable training providers who offer apprenticeships. 

If you have an employee who is interested in apprenticeship training as part of their continuous professional development (CPD), we can source suitable training or keep their details until ready to go ahead. If you are looking to recruit a new apprentice, we can discuss your requirements. Please contact us before engaging with a training provider.

Apprenticeship Job Roles

Apprenticeships are available in many job roles within schools, including teaching assistants, teachers, business administration, finance, catering, team leading and management, caretaking, science and ICT technicians. The ‌LGA apprenticeships in schools toolkit Dec 2019‌ gives information about planning new apprenticeships, school roles and the standards and frameworks that are aligned to them. 

End Point Assessments

The manager will support the apprentice through their training and when the apprentice has achieved the required level of capability, they will be independently assessed at an End Point Assessment. The apprentice must demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours to do their job and are given a final grading on their performance.


For further information on school apprenticeships or to discuss a possible vacancy, please email or telephone 01332 640752.