Postponing winter 2020 cohort

Hello everyone,

After some long reflections, conversations and deliberations, we’ve made the difficult decision to not run a winter cohort this year. We know you must have questions, so please read on.

But first, some exciting news. We have recently been accepted onto the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, which will open opportunities for some of our students to earn an apprentice wage while they study with us.

As we sit with this excitement, we also wanted to take this time to reflect back on the last six years…

Founders and Coders has been running our tuition-free coding school since 2014 without a break. With the generous support and volunteer efforts of our alumni community, we have been able to make incremental changes to our curriculum and our organisation with each iteration, but we haven’t had the space and energy to make truly effective structural change.

The transition to providing apprenticeships is going to take much of our attention over the next few months, and is an invaluable opportunity for us to reshape our organisation in ways we haven’t been able to before.

We want to be part of the transformation of the tech industry into a more inclusive, equitable and diverse environment. This pause in our programme is an opportunity for us to reflect on our role in this and how we can continue to make it happen.

While we have made decent progress over the years balancing representation on our cohorts, there is more work to do. Given the nature of our peer-led programme, where we encourage our students to learn from each other, we can only achieve change if we continue to nurture an environment that includes a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

We’d thought we’d include a non-exhaustive list of things we’re looking forward to sharing with you come spring:

We understand you might be reasonably disappointed if you have been making good progress on our course prerequisites in preparation for the winter cohort, but we know that the time you have already put in is not time wasted at all. We will continue to support your learning journey through our Slack channels, and we look forward to seeing you very soon at our remote meetups!

Lastly, to our alumni, thank you for all of your contribution over the years, and we look forward to creating this next chapter with your support.

We anticipate some questions might be asked regarding the apprenticeship, so here’s a short FAQ.

Am I eligible for an apprenticeship?

If you have been ordinarily resident in the UK (or the EU or EEA, at least until 31 July 2021) for at least the previous three years and have the right to work in the UK, or have refugee status, you are eligible. See the Apprenticeship funding rules for more details.

Does this change the application process?

Yes and no. Applicants for apprenticeships will need to be interviewed by an employer and accepted onto an apprenticeship before attending our training programme. Applicants will still be expected to complete the prerequisites and attend a screening interview by us before being put forward to interview with an employer.

How will the selection criteria change?

Our selection criteria will not change. Our employers may also be looking for other qualities.

What if I don’t want to do an apprenticeship?

We are still planning to have places for non-apprentices.

How many apprenticeship and non-apprentices places will there be?

In spring 2021, we are aiming to have places for at least 8 apprentices and up to 8 non-apprentices.

How will the new programme differ from the existing programme?

There are always some changes with each new Founders and Coders cohort, but the overall structure and content of the programme is not expected to change significantly.

Will apprentices and non-apprentice study together?

Yes.

What’s the exact start date of the next programme?

We are still aiming for the spring start date of March 8, 2021.

How long will the apprenticeship last?

The apprenticeship is likely to last between 12 and 18 months with most of the training being completed in the first 4 months.

What will apprentices be paid?

This is still to be decided and may vary, but is likely to be in the range of £20-24,000, starting when the programme begins.