A TEENAGER is on track for a sunny career in a city special needs school.
Charlotte Twinn, a Sunderland College student, became the first Support Teaching and Learning Apprentice in the city after joining Sunningdale School.
The 16-year-old said she is already loving her work at the school, which caters for children with profound, multiple and severe learning needs and is set to become a classroom assistant at the end of her apprenticeship next year.
Charlotte, who beat dozens of candidates for the place, was taken on after Sunningdale’s headteacher, Celia Wright, decided the time was right for the school to train a member of staff.
She said: “I had heard about the Apprenticeship Scheme and wanted to support a local young person into work.
“As an educational establishment, we were looking for someone with the ability to be able to develop their knowledge and skills base and become a future member of school staff.”
Ms Wright linked up with Sunderland College in search of an apprentice and the project has proved so successful the school is looking to take on a second one in September. Charlotte, who has been studying at the college’s Washington campus for the past year, said: “The apprenticeship has given me first-hand experience of learning the role in the workplace and it’s been a great opportunity for me.
“I’ve been made to feel so welcome within my class team, they’ve been so supportive throughout my apprenticeship and I’m really grateful to Sunderland College and Sunningdale School.”
Peter Robertson, employer relationship manager at Sunderland College, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to begin a career in teaching and we’re hopeful that more schools in the region will follow Sunningdale’s example by offering placements.
“The most impressive aspect of this is how Charlotte has progressed during her apprenticeship – it’s a great example for other young people hoping to work in schools and it’s fantastic to be able to work with schools such as Sunningdale to together help our apprenticeships flourish.”