Bradford College is a further and higher education college in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, with approximately 25,000 students. BeReady is a learning and development organisation that specialises in delivering funded online training to schools and colleges across the UK.
A third of UK teachers leave the profession within 5 years. Due to the impact of Covid, the UK education sector, had experienced a reduction of newly qualified teachers entering the profession. Barriers for gaining this qualification are namely finances, time and course location. Covid presented new challenges, with schools shutting, many training providers unable to deliver classes and much of the population unwilling or unable to interact outside of their Covid bubbles.
BeReady partnered with Bradford College, a leading teacher training provider, to create a solution that would help their school partners across the country to be able to continue to bring new teachers (that they could not access otherwise) in and to help reduce the impact of people leaving the profession.
Bradford College already delivered apprenticeships, but this was only face-to-face which meant they could only deliver to local students at significant cost and using outdated systems.
In partnership with Accipio – a Totara Platinum Alliance Partner – BeReady and Bradford worked together to rapidly deploy a new Totara learning platform. This leveraged BeReady’s and Accipio’s existing platform expertise, thus negating the need to go through a risky and arduous procurement and implementation exercise.
The platform has both digital learning and an integrated ePorfolio system to manage apprenticeship delivery which removes the need for two separate platforms that don’t talk to each other. The partnership called upon BeReady’s digital production expertise, taking traditional classroom learning assets and enriching them through animation and design ensuring that they were able to be delivered in a digital format.
Apprenticeship delivery is complex and heavily regulated with oversight from Ofsted and the ESFA. The platform allows the programme to be fully compliant with the rigorous requirements of both the funding agency and the schools inspectorate. Enabling learners and mentors to access content, post results, interact with lecturers and peers and log all activities and course work.
The platform provides a bespoke journey for the different types of users. Totara’s flexibility provides s learners, mentors, tutors and lecturers with different access and user experience whilst ensuring that interaction between them is smooth and seamless. The relative small amount of required user support enables the team to spend the time building content and delivering additional value to the learners.
This project has been exceptionally successful, and it is expected to scale dramatically in the coming year. It delivered a sustainable career pathway for teaching assistants to become teachers. Funded by the Apprenticeship Levy, it reduced financial pressure upon schools when budgets are significantly overstretched.
Key results included:
• Rapid deployment. This fully digital solution was created using Totara in less than 6 weeks. This includes everything to deliver an apprenticeship standard including content, learning journeys and Ofsted/ESFA compliance aspects which is a wonderful achievement.
• Overhauled their approach to delivering apprenticeships. Together we have overhauled Bradford College’s approach to delivering apprenticeships and created a single platform which delivers both the online learning and the ePortfolio requirements to manage the end-to-end process. This replaced the previous clunky file-based systems with a single Totara platform (and no need for multiple systems).
• Cost savings. Compared with delivering face-to-face training, the platform provides significant savings. We estimate this is over £100,000 per annum (including travel costs, consolidating platforms and delivery methods, automation for compliance tracking and administration etc). These numbers will rise year on year.
• Access to a new market and income generation. Without the platform, Bradford College could only deliver to local students. The platform enabled them to recruit nationally and deliver to a very high standard.
• Completion rates. 100s of aspiring teachers from across the UK are enrolled onto a programme and completion rates are on track to be over 95%. The first graduates are emerging to take positions as fully qualified teachers shortly.
• Achieving career goals during Covid. This fully digital solution can now ensure that those amazing teaching assistants who previously were unable to achieve their career goals are now able to inspire the next generation as fully qualified teachers. The flexibility that the Totora platform provided delivered a solution not only to the unprecedented Covid challenge but also the one that aspiring teachers with childcare commitments were previously unable to overcome, how to achieve their career goal without the requirement to travel.