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Kickstart FAQs


Q: I am a small school/large school/trust. Am I eligible for funding?

A: Yes! Any school is eligible for funding, we just have to send an application to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on your behalf.


Q: Is the funding only available for teaching assistants?

A: Funding is available for any roles you decide would benefit the school. We have received funding for a variety of roles, including but not limited to: School Office Administration Assistant, Site Assistant, Learning Support Assistant, School Radio Manager, Librarian Assistant, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Teaching Assistant, and Pastoral Support Assistant.


Q: Is there any cost to us?

A: No, their wages are fully funded at 25 hours per week at national minimum wage for  6 months. As the employer, the placement must be set up on your payroll and you will pay their first month’s wage. The DWP will then reimburse you each month in arrears (months 2-7)


Q: I am an accredited London Living Wage employer, does the funding cover this?

A: No, the funding is for the National Minimum Wage and you would need to make up the difference to meet the London Living Wage.


Q: Does TT Education charge a fee?

A: We do not charge a fee. However, as part of the scheme there is a £1,500 grant per placement. As your gateway, we retain £1000 of this to contribute towards the employability training we provide throughout the scheme. All young people employed through the scheme, with us as their gateway, receive cutting-edge employability and skills training, as well as access to our CPD tracker software to allow them to track their progress and development. As School Improvement Provider of the Year, we also provide these young people with school specific training to help them succeed within their role in the school. Retaining part of the grant enables us to provide this high quality training. However, this also means that you receive £500 for your school for each young person you employ.


Q: Do I need to include my employee on the company pension scheme?

A: As per the Kickstart terms and conditions: “monthly wage cost payments will cover for each Participant in the relevant time period 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the Participant) for 25 hours a week plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions”. The government website states that the minimum automatic enrolment contribution is 8%, the minimum an employer should pay is 3%, and the employee pays 5%. Your pension scheme contributions may differ from this. 


Q: When is the grant paid?

A: The initial £1500 grant is paid to us roughly 10-14 days after we have confirmed the young person has started in your school. We will then pass on the agreed £500 to you within 5 working days. The remaining funding payments are made in arrears in months 2-7 of the placement. This comes to TT Education as your gateway, and is passed directly on to you within 5 working days.


Q: What does the funding cover?

A: The funding covers: 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months, associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.


Recruitment Process

Q: Are these young people automatically allocated to the roles or can we interview and have a say in the appointment?

A:  You are in complete control over who you shortlist, interview and appoint for each role. 


Q: Are the people we take on apprentices?

A: No. The Kickstart Scheme is a 6 month placement for young people aged 16-24. The employees are therefore paid national minimum wage and are employed by yourself for 6 months.


Q: What is a work coach?

A: The work coach is a representative of the Job Centre Plus who will be responsible for finding suitable candidates who meet your role requirements. When the work coach finds eligible candidates, they will let them know how to apply for your positions.


Q: Can I, the Employer, find my own candidate for the Kickstart Scheme?

A: The work coach is responsible for sourcing candidates for you. If you take on a candidate who has not been put forward by your work coach, you won’t receive any funding.


Role Creation

Q: How do we create and advertise roles? 

A: We, as a gateway, work with you to create job adverts to send to the DWP. The DWP then advertise the roles through the Job Centre and refer eligible young people to apply directly to yourselves for the roles.


Q: Am I limited to 1 or 2 placements?

A: You are allowed as many roles as you feel you have the capacity to undertake. When thinking of the number of people you would like to apply for, please be mindful that you need to be able to support them and pay their wages each month before receiving the reimbursement.



Q: If I want to employ them for more hours, how does this work?

A: If you want to employ staff for more than 25 hours per week, that is absolutely fine. However, funding from the DWP does only cover a 25 hour week. Therefore, wages for any more hours than this will need to be covered by the school.


Q: What does it mean by employability skills training?

A: TT Education, as your gateway, will provide this employability training in the form of online, on-demand videos and workshops on topics such as CV writing, interview skills etc. 


Q: Who are the young people on these placements employed by?

A: They are all employed by you. You will have a normal contract of employment with them and follow all your standard HR processes.


Q: Do employers have to sign an agreement with TT Education, and if so, what will this include? 

A: Yes, but this is a very simple process. Once funding has been approved, we will issue and send over an employer contract for you to read and sign. This is to ensure you understand the scheme, so we know you have the capacity to support your role(s) and are able to act in accordance with the Kickstart eligibility rules from the government.



Q: How long does the process take?

A: Once we have received confirmation that you would like to go ahead, we submit an application to the DWP once a month. Once this application has been sent off, there is typically a four week waiting period. During the wait for approval, we will work with you to build the job adverts and, once we have received approval, we will get these sent off for the DWP to advertise (this can take a couple of weeks). Once the roles are live, you should start to receive referrals and applications, which you can then shortlist and interview at your own pace. It is worth noting that most applicants will not be in a current role, so they will be available to start almost immediately (subject to a DBS check). 


Q: What happens if the placement runs over school holidays? 

A: There are a couple of different options. Each placement is entitled to statutory annual leave, which could be taken during this time. The holidays may also be a good time for them to undertake their employability training. Another option could be asking them to work on a project for you over the holidays, such as creating school resources or classroom displays.


Q: How long will the scheme be available ?

A: The current guidance is that the placements must start before the end of December 2021. This means that you will have your Kickstarter with you until summer 2022.


Q: What’s different about applying through a gateway?

A: With TT Education acting as your gateway, we manage the application process for you, support you, as the employer, through the scheme and also provide employability training for your Kickstarter.


Q: What training, as the employer, do we need to provide?

A: There are no set requirements for training that you, as the employer, are expected to meet. As it is likely that any Kickstarters you take on will not have worked in a school environment before, they will need to be supported in their roles by qualified members of staff. They are, of course, able to attend courses such as INSET days, but there is no obligation to give young people on these placements any formal training throughout the scheme. Be aware, however, that the young people do have to complete the mandatory employability training that will be provided by us and is a key requirement of the scheme.