Why KNSTE chose to engage with apprenticeships.

KNSTE WebsiteAt  Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education (KNSTE) our vision statement is ‘rooted in evidence, reaching for excellence’ (www.knste-shaw.org.uk) With this mind we are continually looking to develop our capabilities in a way that enables us to engage with the evidence base so that we can make informed choices and decisions. We are in the business of ‘educating educators’ as an Initial Teacher Training provider and we very much view ourselves as life-long learners. Therefore when the opportunity to engage with apprenticeships came along we were keen to be involved. Currently, two members of the team, Ruth Argyle (Interim Director) and Shayanne Deans (Administrator) are enrolled on an apprenticeship course and this blog will share some of their experiences as well as the impact on the organisation that their apprenticeship courses have had..


Shayanne Deans’ experience:

I am currently completing a Level 3 Business Administrator apprenticeship with KNSTE. Over the course of 12 months, I have undertaken different tasks in
Success at KNSTEorder to complete my apprenticeship. Each task relates to a different topic that benefits my development and understanding of the organisation.  Completing these tasks involves me in completing written tasks and recorded discussions. During my time on the apprenticeship I feel that I have been fully supported, virtually, by my assessor and face-to-face by the KNSTE staff. I have been given opportunities to coach other members of staff, enhancing my knowledge and developing my communication skills.. I have  recognised that my confidence has grown during my time at KNSTE. I am particularly aware of this when communicating with staff members, the trainees on course and external stakeholders. Taking part in this apprenticeship has helped me to  flourish as a person whilst learning the necessary  skills to complete my job role to the highest of standards.


Ruth Argyle’s experience:

I am currently completing a Senior Leader Apprenticeship with MSc Education Leadership and Management. During the course I have completed four assignments and am currently working on my final, 12,000-word research project. The four assignments have felt really practical and have linked directly to the sort of tasks I would be doing anyway in my role as Interim Director at KNSTE but have elevated my understanding on issues such as finance, governance, brand reputation, people and culture. The research project, although initially daunting, has enabled me to dedicate quality time to researching an area that has directly impacted on me as a leader and is informing the organisation’s strategic direction. I am incredibly fortunate to have a supportive, and enabling leadership who have provided the opportunities to experience a variety of leadership skills.  When undertaking an apprenticeship you are required to complete 20% ‘Off the Job’ training during your working week and I have enjoyed varied opportunities through this. A lot of this time has been spent work shadowing so as to learn aspects of the leadership role that were new to me.  I have been pushed out of my comfort zone to try new leadership skills such as presenting reports to our Strategic Board, speaking at national conferences and budget monitoring.


Impact on KNSTE

Leadership at KNSTEAt KNSTE we have benefited from the improved understanding of practical, work-based skills. The administration team  has been strengthened by Shay’s wider understanding  of what the role entails. Shay has also developed a confidence to communicate with a variety of stakeholders such as NASBTT, the DfE, our Strategic Board and beyond, developing the status and reputation of the organisation. Ruth has  benefitted from the apprenticeship, such that she now feels confident to horizon scan more effectively. This capability has enabled Ruth to  look out beyond KNSTE  to the wider ITT sector to inform the future of the organisation.