Early Career Teachers FAQs
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
I just achieved QTS: do I have to complete an induction period?
Congratulations! And welcome to this most rewarding profession. If you intend to work solely in the independent sector, an academy, a free school, a British School Overseas (BSO), an independent nursery school, or a further education institution, then there is no legal requirement to complete an induction period. However, many of these categories of schools will choose to offer you an Early Career Framework (ECF)-based induction regardless. If you wish to work in school outside of these settings then you must complete an induction period.
Is there a time limit for me to complete my induction?
While an early career teacher (ECT) has only one chance to complete induction, there is no set time limit for starting or completing an induction period.
I'm employed part-time. Can I still start my induction?
Yes! To complete induction you must serve six complete terms (two academic years) - so if you work part-time your induction period will be extended until six terms are completed.
You can work out how long induction will take you by dividing 2 (years) by your full time equivalent (FTE) hours - for example, if you work three days a week, your FTE is 0.6:
- 2/0.6 = 3.33 - so your induction period will be three years and one term.
You should be aware that many Appropriate Bodies (ABs) specify a minimum FTE for them to consider a role to be a suitable post for induction. If your contract is less than 0.5 FTE you should make sure your school has consulted with your AB.
I'm working as a supply teacher - can this count towards my induction?
You are allowed to undertake short-term supply work of less than one term for a maximum of five years after you are awarded QTS without having completed induction.
If you are employed as a supply teacher for a full term or longer, then your school must put an induction programme in place for you.
It is not possible to backdate the start of an induction period if a short-term supply contract is extended so that it lasts for one term or longer. However, an induction programme must be put in place immediately if it becomes clear that the extended contract will continue for at least a term.
Is it possible to fail my induction?
It is, and once you fail induction you cannot be employed as a teacher in a maintained school, a maintained nursery school, a non-maintained special school or a pupil referral unit. You are allowed to teach in other settings where induction is not mandatory.
What happens if my school isn't happy with my progress?
Your school reports to your Appropriate Body (AB) on your progress against the Teachers' Standards once every term. Nothing in these reports should come as a surprise to you, and you have the opportunity to add your own comments to them. If your school isn't happy with your progress they should talk to you about their concerns, and let your AB know before they write your termly report. The AB will work with you and the school to make a support plan to enable you to access extra support and get back on track.
What if my school thinks I'm not on track to pass induction, but I don't agree with them?
It may be that you feel your school hasn't given you the support you're entitled to, or haven't treated you fairly in some way. Your AB will want to hear from you and will mediate between you and your school to try and resolve the issue. You should also make sure that you are a member of a union - they can also advise you in situations like these.
What entitlements should I be getting from my school?
As an early career teacher undertaking induction, you should have the following:
- An Induction Tutor who will observe your teaching and assess you against the Teachers' Standards
- A mentor who has been given time to observe your teaching and coach you once a week (once a fortnight in year two)
- A 10% reduction in your teaching timetable compared to the school's existing teachers on the main pay scale. This is in addition to your allocated PPA time (reduced to 5% in year two)
- Time given to you to attend any live training provided as part of your induction programme
- A named contact at your Appropriate Body with whom you can raise any concerns about your induction programme that you are unable to resolve.
Isn't the ECF just the same thing as the Core Content Framework (CCF) that I already covered in my training year? Why do I have to spend two years going over things I already know?
It's true that you will have encountered a lot of the ECF content as part of your training, however the ECF isn't just a checklist to complete: research into teacher development (as well as our own experience as teachers) tells us that mastering key elements of teaching such as formative assessment, modelling and scaffolding takes time and practice as well as careful thought and reflection. By re-reviewing the content in small, manageable chunks over the two years, you will learn to address the "learn that" and "learn how to" statements with increasing skill, depth of knowledge, and with more independence.
I have a question, but I don't know who to ask - it's all very confusing!
There's certainly a lot to get used to when you start your first teaching job. You will have your school induction (school policies, procedures, and ways of working), your ECT programme induction (usually an introductory conference and a learning platform to master) and you may be using various different systems. As a general rule:
- Ask your mentor first! If they don't have the answer to your question to hand, they will be able to find out for you, or tell you who to ask.
- Keep a note of who your ECT Programme delivery partner is, e.g. the Julian Teaching School Hub (this is the organisation that sets your clinic and conference dates and delivers the live sessions. You will probably receive emails from this organisation). Generally, your delivery partner is the organisation you should contact with questions about the ECT Programme.
- Keep a note of who your ECT Programme provider is, e.g. Ambition Institute (this is the organisation who writes the study materials). You may have a handbook from this organisation: keep hold of this to refer back to over the course of your induction.
- Keep a note of who your Appropriate Body is, e.g. the Julian Teaching School Hub. This is the organisation that oversees your induction and makes the final decision as to whether you pass. Your school is obliged to give you a named contact at the Appropriate Body and their contact details: ask for this if you don't have it. You should contact your Appropriate Body if you're worried about your progress, or you aren't receiving what you're entitled to in order to complete induction.
I'm on the Ambition Institute ECT Programme with the Julian Teaching School Hub - how do I know when my conferences and clinics are?
You should have received an email from us, welcoming you to the programme. This will have contained all the dates for the school year. Your induction tutor and mentor will also have had an email like this - so if you don't think you've received yours, check in with them.
Once you're onboarded onto the MyAmbition portal, upcoming events will appear in 'My Events' once they've been assigned. You will also receive joining instructions for events via this portal.
We also send half-termly newsletters to all induction tutors and mentors that include upcoming dates, so they should be able to let you know when a clinic or conference is coming up.
And if you're still not sure, just drop us an email.
I'm on the Ambition Institute ECT Programme with the Julian Teaching School Hub - where can I find the workbooks for the training sessions?
Everything you need is on StepLab, your online learning platform - you'll get access to this once you're onboarded onto the MyAmbition portal. Log into StepLab, and navigate to the Library; in the Course Library click on "ECT 2022-24 [or the year of your cohort] Teacher Key Programme Resources". There you'll find your Handbook and the various workbooks you'll need.
I got QTS and started my induction prior to September 2021 but haven't completed it - do I have to start again and complete six terms?
No. However, as of September 2021 you do have to complete a total of six terms of induction. If you have already completed two terms under the old rules, you now need to complete four terms of an ECF-based induction programme in order to pass your induction. Your school can contact us for more information on how this will work, but they must provide you with all of the entitlements due under the new two-year process.