25th June 2021 – Tags: Early Career Framework
The introduction of the Early Career Framework (ECF) is the most significant reform to teaching in a generation and forms part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy. From September 2021 it will be a statutory requirement that all early career teachers (formerly known as newly qualified teachers) in a state funded school in England complete a two-year induction based on the Early Career Framework.
Funding will be provided for a structured 2-year package of high-quality professional development that will supplement your school’s existing programme of staff support and development. The framework is an evidence-based approach and is designed to make sure early career teachers focus on learning the things that make the most difference in the classroom and their professional practice.
The Early Career Framework (ECF) builds on initial teaching training and sets out what ECTs should learn about and learn how to do. It's designed to support development in 5 core areas:
The framework is presented in 8 sections, to align with the Teachers’ Standards, which remain the standards against which ECTs are formally assessed – the ECF is not an assessment tool. Within each section, there are:
The Teacher Standards are:
NB. In addition to the ECF, schools will also need to register with an Appropriate Body Service (as they do currently) for which there will only be 2 formal assessment points - one at the end of each year (current arrangements require 3 formal assessments, usually one per term).
Under the new statutory guidance, headteachers are expected to make sure that ECTs receive a programme of training that helps them understand and apply the Early Career Framework (ECF)’s evidence and practice statements (there's more on this in the final section below).
ECF-based training should be a central aspect of induction and not an additional training programme. Your school leaders will need to update your school's induction policy to reflect the new requirements.
There are 3 approaches your school leaders can choose from to deliver ECF-based training:
As part of the new induction programme, your headteacher should identify 2 separate staff members to act as the ECT’s tutor and mentor (the roles have distinct functions so should only be held by a single individual in exceptional circumstances). Both induction tutor and mentor should hold qualified teacher status (QTS).
The induction tutor’s responsibilities include assessing the ECT’s progress against the Teachers' Standards through regular progress reviews, undertaking formal assessments, and providing or coordinating guidance for the ECT’s professional development. It’s possible for the headteacher to take on the role of induction tutor themselves.
The mentor (the new role introduced by the guidance) is expected to:
Right now, your school leaders will be busy figuring out which option will work best for your school. Sign up for your selected provider is via the DfE portal. Over the coming term governors will be involved in:
DfE requires your school to nominate an induction tutor to manage the statutory inductions at your school. Your school must complete these steps before your early career teachers (ECTs) start their statutory induction programme. For example, if your ECTs are starting in September, you need to complete these steps before then.