ECT induction is a statutory process enshrined in the education act and there are a number of key requirements which must be adhered to throughout the process…
Successful completion of an induction programme remains a statutory requirement for a teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to continue teaching in a maintained school or nursery, a non-maintained nursery or special school or pupil referral unit and local authority maintained children’s centres subject to certain exceptions as set out in government statutory guidance.
As of September 2021, statutory induction is now a 2-year process for all new ECTs, new to starting induction. For those ECTs (formerly NQTs) who had already started/partially completed induction prior to September 2021, induction remains at 1-year and previous induction arrangements still apply and should continue to be referred to. However, the DfE has set a transition deadline of September 2023 to fully complete under the previous arrangements.
Those ECTs (NQTs) who have not fully completed induction by the above deadline date will be required to undergo a 2-year ECF-based induction minus time already served e.g, if completed 2 terms, it will be 2-years minus 2 terms.
New induction arrangements...
Under the new arrangements, during the 1st year of induction, each ECT must receive a reduced timetable (10% ECT time), in addition to statutory 10% planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA), both must, by law, be protected.
In year 2, ECT time will be reduced to 5% in addition to 10% PPA, which again must be protected.
Each ECT must also receive targeted support throughout induction inc entitled access to the Early Career Framework
As of Sept 2021 new DfE statutory induction guidance states it's expected all new ECTs receive:
- An induction that is underpinned by the Early Career Framework (ECF) including a personalised and structured programme of support and professional development activities that takes into account their previous training and experience
- A designated induction tutor (who must be experienced and expected to hold QTS) and;
- A designated mentor (who must be experienced and expected to hold QTS)
- Regular formal observations with prompt feedback (suggested 1 every 4-6 weeks)
- Regular meetings (this may include a half-term review to discuss progress/objectives/targets)
- A formal assessment at the end of each induction year which for full time ECTs would mean a first assessment at the end of year 1, then a final assessment at the end of year 2 (FTE for part-time)
- Each term where a formal assessment is not due, a progress review must be completed and discussed with each ECT - if leaving partway through induction a formal interim assessment is required
- The opportunity to discuss, read, sign & add comments to assessments and progress reviews that report on their progress towards fully embedding the government teacher standards
- A named contact outside school or college with whom they can discuss concerns that go beyond the school/college, or are not addressed internally (e.g the appropriate body for induction)
Please note - The minimum period that can be counted towards completion of the induction period (for both full-time and part-time ECTs) is continuous employment equivalent to one term. This also applies to both permanent and long-term supply teaching posts (see 2.32 of statutory guidance)
Regulations also make it clear that an ECT's duties, supervision, and the conditions under which they work must enable there to be a fair and effective assessment of their conduct and efficiency as a teacher. An important element of this is ensuring that their post is suitable for induction. A suitable post is one which provides ECTs with the tasks, experience and support to enable them to meet all of the teacher standards and which does not make unreasonable demands. e.g. teaching outside an age range or subject they are not trained in or that they have not been employed to teach or present the ECT with day-to-day issues that are unreasonably demanding for the setting.
Additionally, support staff (e.g. TA's/HLTA's, Technicians etc) cannot undergo statutory induction, no exceptions ! Only teaching contracts/posts that meet the minimum statutory requirements are eligible for induction to take place. Statutory induction is a one-time only process that cannot be retaken and it is therefore essential that these statutory requirements are fully adhered to. For further details, please see section 2.17 and 2.18 on page 14 and 15 of statutory guidance.
Key steps for induction…
The illustration below is a brief overview of the key steps to take in laying the foundation for induction. These steps are covered in further detail in the following sections and in the supporting links on each page. If early engagement with your ECT will be possible before they start in post, there are some additional activities you may find useful in order to get a head start - facilitating early engagement
For those schools/colleges who have not yet employed ECTs under the new arrangements and may need further guidance, we have provided a quick reference relating to the Early Career Framework (ECF) options and some initial key steps to take to help get started.
Teacher status, statutory checks and induction registration…
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) remains a legal requirement for induction. If a teacher does not have QTS they are not an ECT and therefore cannot undergo ECT induction. Statutory induction cannot start before the award of QTS - no exceptions !
Schools and colleges must by law check teacher status via the government TRA employer access portal. The system will also display records of those teachers who have sanctions or restrictions. For further guidance relating to statutory employment checks, please see the TRA website
Those teachers who hold Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) are not considered to be ECTs and are therefore unable to complete a statutory induction period if holding either of these statuses.
NB: Supply teachers who hold QTS can undergo induction so long as their contract length is for a minimum of 1 full induction term. For full time ECTs this would be 1 school term (FTE for part time ECTs). Induction must be planned and structured in advance and take place in a stable environment to allow for fair and accurate assessment which cannot happen in a short-term supply role i.e. day-to-day supply or placements of less than one term, or equivalent.