Case Study – Wandsworth Council and Oak Lodge School

The DfE has updated the guide to apprenticeships for the school workforce and have included a Case Study on the effective working relationship between Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning and Oak Lodge School. This is a great example of Lifelong Learning being recognised for effectively utilising the Apprenticeship Levy and offering a fantastic service.

This guidance explains the benefits of apprenticeships for the school workforce, and how the levy and public sector target apply to schools.

It now includes case studies showcasing best practice, myth-busting FAQs, and an up-to-date list of apprenticeship standards that schools can use.

If you are interested in an Apprenticeship, either as an Employer or an Apprentice then please contact us on 020 8871 5473  or email

Case Study

Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, schools have been the most responsive group across the range of staff employed by the local authority, with most interest shown in the Supporting Teaching and Learning and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) management apprenticeships. Wandsworth Council is providing all of the apprenticeship training and support to maintained schools through its education service (Lifelong Learning), but the council’s processes also allow for another provider to deliver training if the provision requested is not currently available.

Santino Fragola, Head of the Lifelong Learning Service said: “The Service is continuing to work collaboratively with schools and adding new apprenticeship options as they become available. It’s great to be able to offer this service to local schools and it has strengthened our partnership working.”

Oak Lodge School is a maintained residential Special Education Needs school for pupils aged 10 to 19 who are D/deaf and for hearing pupils with speech, language and communication needs. Bunty Dames, assistant headteacher, said:

“Currently we have four Teaching Assistants (TAs) who are undertaking the level 3 Support Teaching and Learning apprenticeship, and they have fortnightly sessions with their apprenticeship tutor.

The apprenticeship tutor has worked very patiently to engage and communicate with the TAs, many of whom are Deaf, and this has made a big impact on the staff adjusting to the programme and making time for learning. The TAs have improved their literacy skills. For example, previously they would have lacked the confidence to approach certain writing tasks, which then would have been carried out by teachers. Now, we are increasingly seeing the TAs take on these tasks. All TAs are progressing well and are expected to achieve the qualification”.

The apprentices at Oak Lodge include Hannah, a Deaf Teaching Assistant. British Sign Language is Hannah’s first language, and she is keen to improve her own English grammar to better support pupils with their literacy. She is currently on a level 3 Support Teaching and Learning apprenticeship, and aims to eventually progress to qualified teacher status.

Derek Kitchin, Executive Head of Oak Lodge School said, “I am committed to ensuring we provide our staff with CPD that is tailored to meet the employer’s and employee’s needs. With the wide range of apprenticeship courses available, and the flexibility of the delivery model, we are able to provide valuable training that has an impact on both the apprentice and the school community they serve.”

Worth sharing.

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