The new Early Careers Framework takes effect from 1 September 2021, providing for a more comprehensive development and support programme for new teachers and extending the Statutory Induction period from one to two years. It also introduces us to yet another education acronym to get used to: ECT – Early Careers Teacher which replaces NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher).
All ECTs in Maintained Schools must complete a statutory induction period. In academies, it is not a requirement but given that a teacher cannot move to a Maintained School without then completing their Statutory Induction most academies do support their teachers to complete Induction.
A 2-year Statutory Induction Period
New ECTs from 1 September 2021 will have to complete a two-year Statutory Induction Period, rather than current one year. The two-year period is full time equivalent so part-time staff will have to serve a longer period.
Any teacher who began their Statutory Induction before 1 September 2021 under current arrangements will have to complete their 3 terms by 1 September 2023 or undertake the new 2-year Induction (deducting any period of time already completed).
The induction period is automatically extended when an ECT’s absences per year of induction (or equivalent for part-time teachers) total 30 days or more with the exception of statutory maternity leave, statutory paternity leave, shared parental leave, statutory adoption leave, or parental bereavement leave. In these circumstances the ECT may decide whether their induction should be extended (or further extended) to reflect the number of days absent for this purpose.
Assessment will continue to be solely against the Teaching Standards with the Early Careers Framework providing a structured programme of development, support and professional dialogue to ensure that the ECT can meet those standards. The Framework itself is not an assessment tool.
Formal assessments will take place annually rather than termly, although interim reviews should take place each term.
As now, an Appropriate Body must be appointed to provide support and independent quality assurance.
In the first year (terms 1-3) of induction an ECT must receive 10% off timetable time, and in the second year (terms 4-6), they must receive 5% off timetable time. This time off timetable should be used to specifically enable ECTs to undertake activities in their induction programme. This time is in addition to the entitlement to PPA time.
Schools must identify a person to act as the ECT’s mentor. The mentor is expected to hold QTS and have the necessary skills and knowledge and released time to work successfully in this role. The role of the mentor is described at 5.7 of the Statutory Induction Guidance. The role of mentor is distinct from the role of the Induction Tutor whose role it is to assess the ECT against the Teachers’ Standards.
The DfE is providing funding for additional off timetable time and mentor release.