The Early Career Framework is a two-year support package that aims to support new teachers to continue their professional development. For the first two years of your teaching career, you will now have the support of a mentor to reach your greatest potential.
In this post, we will look at what the ECF is, and the changes that have taken place since this framework was introduced.
Introduction to the Early Careers Framework
The new Early Careers Framework took effect on 1 September 2021, providing 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. It is not a requirement in academies, but a teacher cannot move to a Maintained School without completing their Statutory Induction. Most academies support their teachers to complete Induction.
A 2-year Statutory Induction Period
New ECTs will now have to complete a two-year Statutory Induction Period rather than the past 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.
Early Career Teacher Assessment
ECF teacher’s 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 occur annually rather than termly, although interim reviews should occur each term.
As of 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 enable ECTs to undertake activities in their induction programme specifically. 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 release time to work successfully in this role. The role of the mentor is described in 5.7 of the Statutory Induction Guidance. The role of the mentor is distinct from the role of the Induction Tutor, whose role is to assess the ECT against the Teachers’ Standards.
The DfE is providing funding for additional off-timetable time and mentor release.