Milestone School gains skilled, motivated staff with apprenticeships
The Milestone School, part of SAND Academies Trust has been recruiting apprentices for over five years, ranging from school leavers to more mature apprentices, to meet the needs of the school and its pupils. Taking on apprentices has enabled the school to benefit from staff of a range of ages, life skills, experience and expertise, which has added depth and breadth to the whole school staff team.
Sara Watters, Senior Learning Support Worker and Lead Practitioner at Milestone School is pleased with the impact that apprentices make to the school. “We believe in training and upskilling staff from the outset of their career in a special school. Staff benefit from high quality specialist training and the school gains skilled motivated staff. The apprenticeship scheme enables the school to recruit motivated staff who are keen to develop their skills, and existing staff members are able to enhance their mentoring skills.”
“The apprenticeship scheme enables our school to recruit motivated staff who are keen to develop their skills. By supporting apprentices, existing staff have also been able to develop their mentoring skills. There is currently a limited amount of specialist Special Education training, and the apprenticeship scheme enables us to train the STLS apprentices in a wide variety of SEND approaches.”
Milestone School is benefitting from having apprentices across a variety of roles within the school. The Gloucester school for pupils with special needs aged 3 – 16 was rated ‘Outstanding’ in its latest OFSTED inspection, and currently employs seven Gloucestershire College apprentices including: four Supporting Teaching and Learnings in Schools apprentices, one Business Administration apprentice, one IT apprentice and one Property Maintenance apprentice.
“All our apprentices carry out the same roles as a regular member of their team; we pride ourselves in ensuring they have equal status. Our Business Administration apprentices work in a variety of administrative roles within different departments such as Finance, Data Collection and Reception. Our Property Maintenance apprentice is provided with relevant COSHH courses to support his work, and has been given ownership of various roles across the school site. Our IT apprentice carries out the full role of an IT Technician, and is the first port of call for class-based staff who encounter IT issues. Finally, our STLS apprentices support pupils to access their education, be it through individual or small group work. All of our apprentices are encouraged and enabled to take on responsibilities as they progress through their apprenticeship”.
Taking on apprentices has also enabled Milestone School to effectively manage its talent pipeline, as several apprentices have taken up permanent positions at the school after completing their course.