Cambridgeshire Paid Teacher Internship

The Cambridgeshire Paid Teacher Internship is a two-year programme which offers an employment based route to obtaining Qualified Teacher Status. It was created by Teach in Cambs, a county council sponsored collaborative recruitment group in 2017.

Who is it for?

It was designed to run alongside other initial teacher training (ITT) routes to provide your school with a career path for people with the potential to be a great teacher. It’s for people who would benefit from a more gradual approach and a paid route.

Experience has shown that this works particularly well for schools who want to develop their Teaching Assistants (TAs).

Programme Structure:

Year One

This is a Pre-Iinitial Teacher Training (pre-ITT) year. Interns will work as a Teaching Assistant, gradually increasing their experience of whole class and small group teaching as the year progresses. Interns attend a training session every fortnight delivered by Advisers at the County Council and other experts. The training sessions focus on introducing interns to key themes such as reflective practice, behaviour management, phonics, curriculum areas such as English/literacy, Maths, PSHE, planning and assessment. Each intern has a mentor within their own school, with whom they will meet on a regular basis.

Costs - £600 for training delivery, programme management. Salary – at least national living wage (approx. £10,000).

Year Two

Teacher Interns will complete their ITT through the Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship and gain their QTS at the end of this year. This part of the programme is delivered by a local ITT provider and will involve working as an Unqualified Teacher with some timetabled teaching, supervision from a mentor in school, as well as one day of training per week.

Costs: £9250 for training, paid for by the apprenticeship levy. Salary: Unqualified Teacher rate 1.

See FAQs in the section below; we know you will have many questions about how this works!

Next Steps

If you have a member of staff that would be suitable for the Cambridgeshire Paid Teacher Internship, they can apply at The window is open November to February. 

If you have a TA interested that falls outside of the application window, please do get in touch as we can often accommodate a late entrant.

Alternatively, as a school you can register your interest for a teacher intern from our direct applications. Please email us at  We will then contact you with details of those candidates that were successful at interview. This is normally from April onwards.

Example of the training programme Year 1:



7th Sep


Welcome and introduction for interns

Setting out expectations/guidance for the programme including portfolio.

Opportunity to ask questions.

8th Sep


Welcome and introduction for mentors

Setting out expectations/guidance for the programme, opportunity to ask questions.

16th Sep

13.30 – 16.00

Reflective Practice and Feedback

(Teachers’ Standard 8)

Working as a TA – evidenced based best practice.

Introduction to action research project 1.

30th Sep

13.30 – 16.00

Setting high expectations and behaviour for learning

(Teachers’ Standards 1 and 8)

14th Oct

13.30 – 16.00

How pupils learn

(Teachers’ Standard 2)


4th Nov

13.30 – 16.00

Phonics and reading

(Teachers’ Standard 3)

18th Nov

13.30 – 16.00

Developing pupils’ literacy skills including writing and spoken language

(Teachers’ Standard 3)

2nd Dec

13.30 – 16.00

Understanding the curriculum

(Teachers’ Standards 3 and 4)

16th Dec

13.30- 16.00

Keeping in touch

Review of term 1 including the portfolio and action research project 1.

Intern presentations on action research project 1.

Example timetable of the programme:

  • Application window for prospective interns November 2020 to February 2021.
  • Interviews – January –March 2021
  • Placing interns in schools – April to July 2021.
  • Interns start year 1 in September 2021
  • Apply for year 2 Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship in April 2022, via UCAS.
  • Year 2 Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship starts July 2022
  • QTS granted June 2023
  • End point assessment June 2023

 Main benefits for schools:

  • An additional way to acquire qualified teachers alongside your usual routes.
  • A chance to grow your own staff.
  • The chance to future-proof staffing issues, in a difficult recruitment climate.
  • CPD and mentoring opportunities for your existing staff, which could help retain them.
  • Utilise your apprenticeship levy money (£9000 per apprentice).

Main benefits for interns:

  • A chance to build up your skills and experience gradually; getting you ready for teacher training.
  • Get a salary during both training years. 
  • Build a solid relationship with your school.
  • Training costs are covered by the apprenticeship levy for year 2.
  • Can join the Chartered College of Teaching as a trainee.

Find out more, including how to apply for the Cambridgeshire Teacher Internship Programme on the Teach in Cambs website.

  1. I have a member of staff that would be suitable for the programme how can they apply?

Direct them to the Teachincambs website to apply. They will find all the information they need there.

  1. Is the intern paid?

Yes the intern should be paid as a TA in year 1 at least at the national living wage rate by the employing school. In year 2 they are paid as an Unqualified Teacher level 1. Once qualified they are paid at the MPS rate.

  1. What rate should they be paid if they are a current member of staff?
    You should pay them at their current rate of pay.
  2. What sort of contract should they be employed under?

If you have a current member of staff who is already a TA you do not need to change their contract for year 1 unless they need more hours.

If they are a new member of staff then we would suggest that you employ them on a fixed term one year contract.

In year 2 (NB. This starts in July – see schedule on page 3), we suggest you employ them on a one year fixed term contract as an UQT/apprentice. Please seek advice from your HR team for school/Trust policies and approaches.

  1. How many hours does the intern need to be working in Year 1?

They need to work 30 hours. Term time only.

  1. How frequent is the training in year one?

Training takes place one every fortnight in term time and enables the intern to develop a range of skills and knowledge in preparation for the ITT in year 2. It is for half a day at a school or online. Interns are expected to complete a portfolio where they reflect on training sessions, their work in school, strengths and areas for development. They also complete two action research projects during the year.

  1. Are interns paid during training sessions?

Yes – interns should be for the periods that they are undertaking training.

  1. How are the interns monitored and supported during year 1?

Interns will be monitored by the school who employs them and the school will also need to provide them with a mentor who will meet with them regularly to discuss progress and review their portfolio. The county council also visit the school at least once a term to review progress and provide formative feedback.

  1. Does the school have to commit to both years?

This is a long term investment, so ideally the school should commit to both years as the intern will need a job to complete their apprenticeship year in year 2. It cannot be completed without one.

  1. Does the intern automatically transfer into the second year?

No. In the spring term of year 1, interns apply to become apprentice teachers in year 2. They will have to apply through UCAS to get a place on a postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship ITT programme. This will be provided by an external provider and the course starts in July. Interns who complete the first year of the internship successfully are in a very good position to gain a place on the Teacher Apprenticeship course.

  1. Do you need the same qualifications as other ITT programmes to get a place on the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship?

Yes -Applicants must have:

  • The equivalent of a grade 4 (or C) in GCSE English and Mathematics. Primary candidates also require a grade 4 (or C) Science GCSE or equivalent.
  • A first degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification
  1. If a candidate does not have one of the GCSE requirements outlined above, they could complete it during year 1.
  2. Does a Teacher Apprentice (year 2) need their own class (es)?

Not necessarily, they will be teaching for about 3 days a week. It would be of benefit to be teaching the same class(es) regularly.

  1. Will apprentices need to do an alternative placement like other ITT routes?

Yes – they will have a placement in a contrasting school like other routes.

  1. How does the apprenticeship differ from other employment led routes to QTS such as School Direct salaried?

All routes to QTS, including the Post Graduate Apprenticeship, will have to adhere to the Secretary of State’s criteria for Initial Teacher Training, be subject to OFSTED inspection and be delivered by accredited ITT providers. The apprenticeship will differ in respect of the post-QTS end point assessment process and the funding mechanism. In practice, it is likely that the first three terms of the apprenticeship will be similar to salaried programmes.

  1. How much off the job training will apprentices do?

Apprentices will be entitled to receive at least 20% of their time for off-the-job training. While this can take place in school settings, the training must be distinct from normal working duties.

This is often completed as a training day with other trainee teachers, much like other ITT routes.

  1. Is there any funding towards salaries for the Year 2 Teacher Apprenticeship?

Based on current information (November 2020), there are no bursaries for primary apprentices starting in 2021. There are bursaries for some apprentices teaching secondary subjects (check with the ITT provider) Bursary payments come from the ITT provider lead school (not via the county council).

  1. Is there a UCAS course code for prospective Year 2 apprentices to apply through?

Yes – each school will receive a code for their prospective apprentice to apply against in the Spring term of year 1.This comes directly from the ITT provider once you have confirmed with the ITT provider you will be employing the individual as a Teacher Apprentice.

  1. Are interns guaranteed an interview for the Teacher Apprenticeship?

No – each application is judged on merit like any other ITT application through UCAS.

  1. How many interns have been trained to date?

Since 2017, we have recruited 37 interns. The majority of which have completed teacher training and have continued to work in the county.

From our Headteachers

  • "It is a way of investing in our team for the future and additional capacity so we can continue to provide quality first teaching regardless.”
  • “We wanted to be able to “grow our own” personnel and have the opportunity to develop someone who is clearly interested in teaching for the long term."
  • “By the end of the course they will have a greater experience than a PGCE and greater depth of experience of the profession due to being a colleague in one school over two years."

From our interns

  •  “I would recommend this approach to teacher training, especially for someone who is coming to teaching from another profession.”
  • “My school is as invested in my training as I am.”
  • It's paid! I simply could not have afforded to pay £9k for a PGCE and not be earning.”

Guidance for schools