National School Sport Apprenticeship

The School Sport Apprenticeship programme encourages schools to employ an Apprentice to increase their capacity to deliver PE and school sport.

The Programme

The School Sport Apprenticeship programme was developed by National School Apprenticeships, formally Active Synergy, a training provider based in Leigh in Greater Manchester but working across the North West. It encourages educational establishments, such as primary and secondary schools, as well as organisations that work within schools, to employ an Apprentice so they can work towards increasing their capacity for the delivery of PE and school sport.

Four schools in the Leigh area worked with NSA, along with Trevor Barton MBE from the Leigh Sports Trust and MP Andy Burnham, to pilot the School Sport Apprenticeship programme. The success of the programme far exceeded expectations, and the appointed Apprentices are now an integral part of their school workforce.

School Sport Apprentices follow a work-based learning model, which allows an individual to earn while they learn on the job and achieve vocational qualifications. All Apprenticeships are made up of four major components:

  • a competence element achieved on the job that leads to a National Vocational Qualification at Level 2 or 3
  • a knowledge-based ‘off the job’ learning element known as a technical certificate
  • employment rights and responsibilities
  • Functional Skills.

At the end of the Apprenticeship, learners will have the appropriate qualifications and experience to progress into further education or employment. Active Synergy has been working closely with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) to embed the School Sport Apprenticeship within the teacher training pathway. Beyond the Apprenticeship, learners will have the option to pursue a career as a teaching assistant or progress into a position within the sports and leisure industry.

The Apprentice

Due to the success of the programme, it has already started to expand, with pilot schools across the North West. Fred Longworth High School recently appointed Jack Weaver as a School Sport Apprentice. Jack is a PE and School Sport Apprentice who has been working at the school for about 2–3 months.

His Apprenticeship includes a number of 1st4sport qualifications, including:

He is organising a badminton tournament for Year 9 boys on 7 February 2012. He will assess the tournament and then try it with girls. The tournament will involve four local schools.

Jack said his duties consist of:

‘Helping teachers with their lessons and just making their jobs a lot easier. I am looking to take on a more active leadership role as I want to progress to feeling confident enough to lead a full lesson.’

National School Apprenitceships now receives enquiries from potential Apprentices like Jack every day, although demand currently exceeds supply.

Neil Gamewell from National School Apprenticeships said:

‘We would like to work with more schools and organisations to provide these Apprenticeship opportunities. This programme provides an innovative and cost-effective way for schools and organisations to reach their full potential, at the same time increasing the number of employment opportunities for young people in the local community.’

When and Where

National Apprenticeship Week takes place between 6 and 10 February 2012. National School Apprenticeships would like this week to be a call to action for schools and organisations in the North West to employ a School Sport Apprentice. Any schools or organisations interested should contact National School Apprenticeships on 01942-265 849, email [email protected] or book on to one of the employer webinars.

For more information about Active Synergy’s Apprenticeships, visit: