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30 January 2016



30 January 2016

Find out more about our Apprenticeship programme at the Gills.

The apprenticeship programme is in its first year and has grown from strength to strength. With 35 placements as of January 2016 in 25 different schools throughout Kent this has shown to be incredibly popular with schools around the south east.

Wayne “Freddie” Wilson co-ordinates the programme and delivers the academic aspects of the course alongside liaising with schools to maintain the placements and searches throughout the south east for any schools who would benefit from this programme.
The apprentices are employees of Gillingham FC, Community Trust and complete the academic elements of their study programme as students of Canterbury College (our training provider). GFCCT deliver the NVQ diploma in supporting the delivery of PE and School Sport alongside any relevant GCSE or functional skills required by the learners.

Prior to placement, the apprentices have received multi-sport training by GFCCT staff and are supported in the early phases of delivery. The apprentices will receive on-going training throughout the programme during school holiday periods so this does not implicate on their school timetables.

The schools have utilised the apprentices in many different aspects of the curriculum where there is identified need, all apprentices are involved with the planning and delivery of P.E. and all have been able to develop teaching and delivery skills. One of our apprentice’s works on a one to one basis with an autistic child helping the child to swim and remain engaged within the classroom.

With apprentices at different academic levels on entry, the baseline programme is for three years: Year One the apprentice will undertake an intermediate qualification and in Year Two will undertake an advanced qualification. In Year Three the school offer employment to the apprentice in any capacity where the school can see the attributes of the apprentice can have the most impact.

“The project represents a significant opportunity for schools to be actively involved in Teaching Assistant training in a very cost effective way, combining in-class support with quality PE coaching. Equally valuable is the capacity for increasing male role models in primary school classrooms. Schools could really benefit from this new venture.”  Joy Gundry - School Improvement Adviser and director of 3J School Improvement Specialists Ltd

 “As an assistant head teacher in a large Junior School I feel the Apprentice Teaching Assistant programme will be of huge benefit to schools. A male role model with the support of Gillingham Football club will be a massive boost in the educating of all children but perhaps in particular to some of the boys who can find schooling difficult.”  David Brenton - Assistant Head Teacher at a Medway Primary School

"We have appointed 2 sports coaches, who are on the  apprenticeship programme with Gillingham Football Club . They have both been a real asset to the school, helping to run sports clubs after school, supporting and leading PE lessons as well as leading playtime sporting activities. In addition to this the sports apprentices have supported children with physio sessions and have taken a leading role in developing the school football team. It has been great to see the positive impact of their work and they are positive role models for the children across the school." Mr Broughton - Deputy Headteacher at a Swale Primary School

When the apprenticeship has finished the apprentice will gain teaching assistant and sporting qualifications and develop their ‘classroom presence’. The school will gain a male member of staff who can support existing teachers, deliver sports and activities and become a role model linked to a professional football club. Young people will be given an education in healthy eating and lifestyles thus reducing levels of childhood obesity and associated health problems. On completion of the apprenticeship the young person can choose to stay at the school as a teaching assistant and expect the support to progress towards teacher status, seek alternative teaching assistant employment and opt for a career in sports coaching with prior teaching and planning experience.

To find out more about the course and about how you can join the squad please contact Wayne “Freddie” Wilson: or 01634 350125.

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