Brookside Academy celebrate national recognition as top apprentice employer

Brookside Academy in Street, is celebrating the new term with the news that they have been judged as highly commended at the South West National Apprenticeship Awards 2016.

The Academy was the only primary school in the country to feature in the awards and gained ‘highly commended’ in the category of ‘medium employer of the year’. Brookside Academy employs 13 apprentices across the school in partnership with Strode College, specialising in skills such as sports tuition, business administration, finance, nursery education and specialist education.


The Awards, now in their thirteenth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

Headteacher Brian Walton said:

“As a large primary school we can provide a diverse range of experiences for young people who want to get a meaningful and supported start to their career. We benefit greatly from the positive attitude, skills and willingness to learn they bring to the school and we’ve been able to offer more services for families.  I firmly believe that schools are a great place to start a career through an apprenticeship.”

Currently apprentices make up 27% of all the support staff at the school.

Jasmine Dalgarno, aged 20, began her apprenticeship journey with Brookside Academy in 2012. After successfully completing her Intermediate Apprenticeship in Children and Young People she progressed to the Advanced level. The school has found that she has blossomed in her confidence and self-belief during the apprenticeship and learnt vital skills to enable her to work effectively within the academy. In 2014 Jasmine qualified through the apprenticeship scheme as a level 3 childcare practitioner and has continued with full time employment at Brookside Academy where she plays a vital role in the nursery. She said:

“I completed my level 2 and my level 3 childcare apprenticeship at Brookside Academy and I really enjoyed it. I was able to work with the children as well as learning all the things I needed to know. The support from all the staff was a great help and I couldn’t have completed it without all their support.

“The apprenticeship has led to me becoming a keyworker, which is very rewarding and I enjoy it everyday.  I’m now looking into completing my level 4 apprenticeship here as well.”

Susan Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:

“The National Apprenticeship Awards enable exceptional apprentices and dedicated employers to receive the recognition they richly deserve. Apprenticeships enable people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed – in some cases up to degree level; and for business to grow the talent they need.

“Brookside Academy has been highly commended as a medium employer in the South West and I would like to congratulate them on their achievement. The recognition of being highly commended is greatly deserved.  There has never been a better time to become an apprentice or employ one.”

To find out more about the National Apprenticeship Awards, please visit