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The Julian Teaching School Hub: Frequently Asked Questions

Early Career Framework (ECF) and Support for Early Career Teachers (ECTs)

Do I need to factor in time requirements for in-school mentors and induction tutors, if recruiting early career teacher(s) for September?

Yes, this is a key implication of the ECF reforms, and is stated in the revised statutory induction guidance (see for example sections ‘what’s new’ (page 7) and ‘Appointment of an induction tutor and a Mentor’ (page 20). We recommend that schools read the revised statutory guidance in full. Our briefing slides also break down weekly and yearly Mentor activities - see slide 16.

I work as a head across two schools. Can the mentor be in our partner school? Or do they need to be in the same school as the ECT?

The advice here would be that, as the mentor works closely with the ECF, it would be advisable for them to be in the same school. The specific guidance in the statutory document however is around the mentor and induction tutor role, where there are instances of this needing to be the same person. It would be preferable that the early career teacher were supported by a mentor in school given the nature of the relationship and expectation in terms of training commitment.

Is there anything specific in the Early Career Framework for SEN and special schools?

The ECF is designed to be relevant to all settings. We hope that we can operate a special school-specific group for the live clinics, and have discussed the option of doing this with neighbouring teaching school hubs if required to create viable group sizes.

Does the program content recognise the support needed for an ECT choosing to work in a complex need setting?

Delivery partners will be working with ECF providers to tailor materials to reflect the needs of schools within their region. 

We have been doing this under the 'Early Rollout' for this academic year, but it has all been mainstream specific?

Part of the issue this year has been that we've been operating a one-year compressed pilot. At scale next year, the clinics and live events will offer contextualisation for a variety of settings. However we would say that regardless of which provider or option a school goes with, the mentor/ECT relationship is the key to contextualising the learning for the local school setting. This is why high quality mentor training is so important.

What if a mentor leaves after year one? If the mentor/ECT relationship is so vital, in a small department that may mean the only person left to pick up the mentor role is not suitably experienced.

If a mentor were to leave after year one or before, a new mentor would have to be identified and registered as an ECT mentor supporting that particular teacher. There is guidance should there be a need for the induction tutor to act in the capacity of mentor also (though this is not the advised set up unless absolutely necessary). Mentor training is provided for all ECT mentors. Please also see the answer to questions starting 'What if an ECT joins part way through the year?'

Are the conferences on the same day for all ECTs within one school? Just thinking about cover implications.

We are looking into offering repeats of each conference, which we hope will give schools some flexibility.

If a school doesn't have ECTs this year, will the programme for training for mentors be funded and maintained in future years?

Yes, that is our understanding.

I like the notion of instructional mentoring but are you confident that there will be sufficient mentors of quality across all phases of education. What is the process for building those numbers rapidly across the system?

The mentors are based in the same school as the ECT. The ECF Full Induction Programme (FIP) training for mentors develops their capacity to deliver on their role.

If teaching school hubs are determined by location, do we have to work with their chosen FIP provider?

You can choose either the full induction programme, core induction programme (CIP) or to deliver your own school-based induction programme. If you choose the FIP, this is designed by our partner Ambition Institute, and delivered locally by our teaching school hub. If you choose the CIP, you would train the ECTs and mentors yourself and plan out your delivery using DfE accredited online materials. This has funding implications as outlined previously.

What if an ECT joins partway through the year - e.g. start of the spring term? Won't they have missed the induction conference?

We have queried this with Ambition. Their response is that there will be any time induction’ resources to support the onboarding of late-start ECTs. Ambition will support ECTs who have moved from a school that was accessing FIP through another provider to ensure they do not lose progress.

What if an ECT joins partway through the year - e.g. start of the spring term? How will we get a new mentor up to speed?

We have queried this with Ambition. Their response is that there will be 'any time' induction' resources to support the onboarding of late start ECTs and their mentors.

How does this link with the Teach First programme (where they complete two years with one being an NQT)?

Teach First is an alternative national provider of the ECF training full induction programme. However please note that for all providers, you are looking at a two-year rather than a one-year programme.

To follow FIP do we HAVE to use Ambition as that is the provider used by our teaching school hub?

If yu are choosing the Full Induction Package, the partnership is already established with Ambition Institute as that is the provider with which both Norfolk teaching school hubs have partnered. In this model, the ECF is delivered locally by teaching school hubs and the training is fully funded.

Should schools register on the DfE portal anyway, even if they have no ECTs this coming year?

Our current understanding is that schools without ECTs in 2021-22 are not compelled to register on the DfE portal. However, there is no harm with registering on the portal, even if you are not expecting any ECTs - in fact we'd encourage this.

Does the ECF also apply to assessment only route newly qualified teachers?

ECTs who have started but not completed induction by September 2020 should continue to refer to previous induction guidance. Otherwise all previously identified newly qualified teachers will be subject to the statutory guidance from September 2021.

Are all Trusts based in Norfolk on board with the reforms?

The ECF is a statutory requirement. We would encourage you to speak to your Trust to establish what their preferred route is.

Does the funding apply to Sixth Form Colleges and FE Colleges?

The ECT and induction applies to these as well.

Appropriate Body (AB) and Induction

Can you please explain why we may need to use NQT Manager, I thought the ECT programme was replacing NQT manager?

The ECT programme does not replace the role of the Appropriate Body – this is a separate service that monitors and quality assures the induction process for Early Career Teachers. As an AB we will be using NQT Manager. NQT Manager will be rebranded to reflect the new two-year induction period in due course.

Do ECF trainees stay on the same salary point for the two years?

Current guidance says that 'Early career teachers will still be able to progress on the pay scale as current arrangements allow, both during and after induction.'

Is there any way students qualify in 1 year? What happens if they don't meet the standard at the end of the 2 years - can they extend the time?

There is no specific route to complete induction in one year, as it is a two-year programme, however in special circumstances the induction period can be reduced. Please refer to the revised Statutory Induction guidance (section 3, p27). An ECT has only one chance to complete statutory induction, and if they are judged to have failed to meet the Teacher's Standards at the end of induction, it is not permitted to repeat.

Is there any further information about the checks/reports that schools would need to do if they take the core induction route?

All of the guidance in relation to fidelity checking can be found in the statutory induction guidance. In summary: schools which opt for the Core or School-based Induction Programmes should note that they will be required to set out the implementation plan using a template produced by their chosen Appropriate Body, in advance of induction commencing. Quality assurance dialogue between the school and the AB is then also likely to follow pre-induction, followed by quality assurance of the actual implementation of the plan in the school at key points over the two-year period.

What if an ECT joins partway through the year – e.g. start of the spring term?

The AB would support the transition of that ECT across schools as they would have already started induction.

Would a multi academy trust be expected to have one induction tutor at each school, or one induction tutor for the whole Trust across multiple schools? (or is it open to the MAT to decide?)

The role of the induction tutor is outlined in the statutory guidance. The expectation is that an induction tutor is identified in each school as they play a crucial role in overseeing mentoring and reporting and assessing in relation to ECT progress.

Are AB fees charged in a similar way to previous years, and are those fees required for two years?

Fees will reflect the fact that ECTs need to be registered over two years with an AB; fees are to reflect the cost to the AB of supplying the service and may not be used to generate profit. Fees may therefore be different depending on whether a school opts for the FIP, CIP, or school-based induction programme as the latter two options involve the AB conducting fidelity checking work with the school.

Are each of the TSH at a point to name the ABs you'll be working with?

TSH will operate as ABs. Please refer to the Appropriate Body page on our website if you wish to register with us for this service.

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

Who will be delivering the training?

Facilitators from our region are recruited against a specification, which covers required experience and skills. Our aim is to have the best-qualified available facilitators delivering, regardless of for whom they work.

Where can we find out if our school qualifies for the scholarship funding?

The list of which schools are in the top 30th percentile of the country by Pupil Premium can be found here.

Where can find out more about the content of the reformed NPQs?

Our advice is to read the related NPQ frameworks as a starting point.

What are the criteria for scholarship eligibility?

All the new suite of NPQs for teachers from any school will be fully funded by DfE if the school is in the top 30th percentile of the country by Pupil Premium*.

The specialist NPQ for Leading Teacher Development is fully funded for teachers from all schools**.

The NPQH is fully funded for any head teacher in their first two years of headship***.

The NPQH scholarship for head teachers is accompanied by a fully funded Additional Support Offer (ASO). Headteachers taking the old NPQH and due to finish this qualification in 2021 or 2022 are also eligible for the ASO if they are in their first two years of headship.

There is a small handful of establishments that are ineligible for DfE funding:
* Academy 16 to 19, academy 16-19 converter, free schools 16-19, local authority nursery school.
** Academy 16-19 sponsor led, academy alternative provision sponsor led.
*** Academy 16-19 sponsor led, academy alternative provision sponsor led.  

Can a member of staff without QTS sign up for an NPQ and receive DfE funding?

Yes, DfE has confirmed that QTS is not a requirement for NPQs. This is likely relevant to many participants on the NPQLBC. There will be some academic reading (not an extensive amount) so suitability of candidates without a degree level qualification should be considered on a case by case basis. Applicants without QTS can apply for a Teacher Reference Number (TRN), which they will need in order to register through the DfE digital portal.

I have previously completed an NPQ in the old framework; can I do the same course again?

Yes. The specialist NPQs are completely distinct from the old NPQML, and the TDT's NPQSL and NPQH have been designed from scratch, so you will have a different experience doing the same course again.

I am currently on the senior leadership team in my school — can I do the NPQH?

The NPQs are designed to help you do your existing job better, rather than as a prerequisite for a new role. The real question is how soon you see yourself in a headship role. If you will be taking on a headship before the end of the 18-month course, then the NPQH will be a good fit for you. At this point, you will also be eligible for the ASO for head teachers in their first two years of headship.

Who is eligible for the Additional Support Offer (ASO)?

The support offer is available to those in their first two years of headship, who have either completed the new/reformed NPQ before becoming head OR are currently taking the existing NPQH. The ASO will be a targeted package of support aimed at new head teachers, and based on the content of the new NPQH, which has been reformed to ensure it is underpinned by the latest and best evidence. Those teachers who are currently taking the existing NPQH, and are due to finish this qualification in 2021 or 2022 will also be eligible for the ASO (if they are in their first two years of headship).