A teacher who brings something extra special to the classroom has been crowned Apprentice of the Year in the Sussex Business Awards.
Michael Lowe, who successfully completed his Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship at the University of Brighton, completed the programme while at Goldstone Primary School and he is now a fully qualified teacher at the school.
His University tutor said: “Michael’s amazing – a little bit of magic happens in his classroom.”
Lis Bundock, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, added: “When you see Michael teach, you get to witness something very special. His understanding of his pupils and his deep knowledge of curriculum come together to ensure that each child feels valued and believed in.
“We are truly delighted that Michael’s well-earned success has been recognised with this prestigious award. Michael is a highly valued member of his school community, who have supported him to undertake this employment-based route into teaching. The teacher apprenticeship is a growing, exciting, new route into teaching that offers school employees the chance to retrain and become outstanding practitioners like Michael.”
Goldstone’s Head Teacher, Chris Pearson, said: “Michael is a great example of what degree apprenticeships are all about. They are a great way of bringing on the talent that you can see standing in front of you.”
Michael was one of the University’s first teacher apprentices and achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating in his final assessment. Sponsored by Brighton and Hove City Council, he achieved Qualified Teacher Status and was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University.
Michael said: “The apprenticeship really has given me the opportunity to realise a dream I have had for a long time. Knowing I could still fulfil my responsibilities as a dad and qualify as a teacher was life changing. And achieving ‘Outstanding’ in my end-point assessment was the icing on the cake.”
Michael added: “Winning the Apprentice of the Year award was a genuine surprise but the reaction I have had from colleagues and friends has been lovely. I have worked for Goldstone Primary for ten years now, firstly as an INA, then as a TA and having completed my ITT at the school I am now a teacher.
“The apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to advance my career in education – an opportunity that was unavailable to me through other routes. The course was definitely challenging, but I was surrounded by a wonderful group of people who supported me and it was a very worthwhile experience.”
Michael’s award, sponsored by the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, was presented by Elizabeth Flegg, West Sussex County Council Apprentices in Schools Consultant.
Carla Butler, Apprenticeship Programme Manager from Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The South East are very lucky to have such a forward-thinking University.”