As part of the government teacher recruitment and retention strategy, the DfE announced the launch of the Early Career Framework (ECF) which has now been rolled out nationally as of 1st September 2021 and will underpin a new entitlement to a funded 2-year support package for new teachers. These DfE reforms, the Early Career Framework (ECF) and revised statutory guidance for induction are now in force as of 1st September 2021.
What’s new from September 2021 ?
The information below relates to all new ECTs, new to starting induction from September 2021 onwards. Those who had already started/partially completed induction prior to September 2021, induction remains at 1-year. For ECTs (NQTs) in this category, please continue to refer to the previous induction guidance as the DfE has set a transition deadline of September 2023 for induction to be fully completed under the previous 1-year arrangements. Those who have not fully completed by this deadline will be required to undergo a 2-year ECF based induction minus induction time already served.
A brief summary of the key statutory changes now in force as of 1st September 2021 is:
- Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) will now be referred to as 'Early Career Teachers' (ECTs)
- Statutory induction becomes a 2-year process, replacing the 1-year format
- It's now statutory for schools/colleges to offer and ECTs to undertake an ECF based programme of support (see information below). Please Note - The Early Career Framework is professional development that underpins and does not replace statutory induction i.e. it must not be used as an assessment framework, ECTs are still to be assessed against the government teacher standards only.
- There will now be 2 formal assessments required over a 2-year induction e.g. for full-time ECTs this will be one assessment at the end of year one and a final assessment at the end of year two (FTE for part-time ECTs)
- Each term where a formal assessment is not due, a progress review will be required for each ECT. If an ECT leaves post partway through induction, an interim assessment will be required.
- An induction tutor and a mentor will need to be assigned to each ECT (they are expected to be different individuals, experienced, hold QTS and must be allowed sufficient time to carry out the role)
- All ECTs and their mentors (not tutors) must be given access to the Early Career Framework and in the 1st-year, ECTs continue to be entitled to a 10% reduced timetable, this will then reduce to 5% in the 2nd-year of induction and must be protected by law. (10% PPA must also remain protected throughout statutory induction)
- State-funded schools offering statutory induction will receive funding to deliver the ECF reforms. On 21/6/21 (updated on 20/04/22), the DfE also published details regarding further funding for an additional 5% off timetable due to COVID disruption which some may have seen referred to as 'NQT+1 funding'. Further details regarding this funding can be found on the DfE website
What is the Early Career Framework (ECF) ?
The ECF is a framework of standards introduced by the government as part of their reforms to help early career teachers (ECTs - formerly NQTs) succeed at the start of their careers.
It sets out what early career teachers (ECTs) are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers and underpins a new entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to help ECTs develop their practice, knowledge and working habits.
The ECF does not replace statutory induction, nor is it to be used as an assessment framework, it is professional development that underpins induction and focuses on 5 core elements the government believe all ECTs should learn about and learn how to do at the beginning of their career
- Behaviour management
- Professional behaviours
As of September 2021, it becomes statutory that during this two-year period, schools/colleges offer and new ECT’s undertake, an ECF-based programme with mentors (not tutors) also entitled to access ECF-based training. This training is expected to be embedded as a central aspect of induction and prior to induction starting, schools/colleges must research and choose a preferred ECF route and ECF provider to deliver this training.
For those schools/colleges who have not yet employed ECTs under the new arrangements - we have provided a quick reference guide outlining some initial key steps to take to help get started.
Additional note: those schools/colleges who opted-in to early rollout of the ECF during academic year 2020-21, statutory induction remains at 1-year and access to ECF support/materials (not induction) should continue into their 2nd-year with the ECF provider you chose to work with during the early rollout period. Please contact the ECF provider directly for further details.