National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning?

Teaching assistants provide invaluable support in the classroom to both the children they work with and the class teacher. You will support children as they learn the important skills to see them into their future, including literacy and numeracy.

Supporting children to learn in the classroom is a rewarding role, and is of course a lot of work! You will support the class teacher with learning and work closely with the children to ensure their learning needs are met. You may also work with children who have Special Educational Needs (SEN) to ensure they have the support they need to achieve.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in supporting teaching and learning if you enjoy working with children and are passionate about education. This is also an ideal pathway for anyone who wants to work with children with SEN and develop the skills to provide the best possible support and care in the classroom environment.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively communicate in the work environment, complete business and administration tasks such as collating data and creating reports, as well as helping you to effectively manage information, and build relationships with your colleagues.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produce a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example a Think and Challenge created specifically for this qualification as part of our Laser Lessons resources.


A child in your care is four years old but is not yet distinguishing one sound from another and you cannot hear them say sounds in words in the order in which they occur. For example, his name is Ben but he cannot tell you what letter his name begins with.

  • What developmental stage would you judge this child to be at?
  • Should you be concerned? Who might you consult?
  • What other areas of development could be affected by his level of development in linking sounds and letters?

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work as a teaching assistant, learning assistant, or special educational needs assistant, depending on where you would like to focus and develop your knowledge and skills.

There are further qualifications up to level 4 which allow you to take a leadership role and take on more responsibility. In many cases apprentices go on to specialise in supporting children with special educational needs and can work in schools which specifically support these children.

Please be aware, the supporting teaching and learning qualifications are not a first step to becoming a qualified teacher and do not lead to qualified teacher status.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to contact us.