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Information for Early Career Teachers

Congratulations on achieving QTS and making your start in this most rewarding profession! This page will tell you all you need to know about your induction: what to expect; what you're entitled to; and what to do if you have any worries or concerns.

  • Early career teacher (often abbreviated to ECT): a teacher in their first or second year of teaching
  • Early career framework (ECF): a curriculum of learning to develop ECTs’ expertise during their induction period
  • Mentor: schools are required to provide each ECT with a mentor. The mentor uses instructional coaching to support the ECT, so may also be referred to as a coach
  • Induction tutor (IT): someone with responsibility for overseeing induction of ECTs; who formally observes the ECT using the Teachers’ Standards and writes termly reports to the school’s Appropriate Body on whether the ECT is on track to pass induction
  • Appropriate Body (AB): organisations who quality assure statutory teacher induction and provide data to the Teaching Regulation Agency to record the progress of persons who start, and complete, induction.

The two-year induction

The early career framework sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers. It underpins a new entitlement for two years of professional development designed to help early career teachers develop their practice, knowledge and working habits.

What is the rationale for the early career framework and two-year induction?

22% of newly qualified entrants to the sector in 2015 were not recorded as working in the state sector two years later…overall pupil numbers are expected to continue rising, with the number of secondary school pupils projected to increase by 15% between 2018 and 2025.​

House of Commons Library, Briefing Paper, 2019 

Teacher effectiveness rises sharply after the first few years in the classroom… accumulating evidence indicates that better-prepared teachers stay longer… new recruits who had training in such areas of teaching as selecting instructional materials, child psychology and learning theory… left the profession at rates half as great as those who did not have such preparation.​

Sykes and Darling-Hammond (2003: 5) 

 The best available evidence indicates that great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve pupil attainment. Ensuring every teacher is supported in delivering high-quality teaching is essential to achieving the best outcomes for all pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged among them.​

EEF, 2020

What can you expect from the Early Career Teachers Programme?

The Early Career Teachers Programme is designed to support ECTs to develop expertise in key areas of teaching and learning through engaging with a curriculum of learning which is based on the early career framework.​ As part of this programme, you will receive the following:

  • Access to self-study materials developed by Ambition Institute, via its learning platform, StepLab. Each week (fortnightly in year 2) you will engage with the self-study content by watching a video, reading a summary and completing a quiz
  • A designated mentor with whom you meet regularly (once a week in year 1, once a fortnight in year 2): they will observe a part of your lesson and then meet with you for an instructional coaching session, totalling around one hour 
  • Three conferences over the two years of your induction, and termly hour-long online clinics, delivered by the Julian Teaching School Hub. These sessions are designed to:
    • Revisit and build upon content which is also addressed in the weekly study modules
    • Cover content which is not as "coachable" as other content (e.g. managing workload and wellbeing)
    • Cover content which isn't covered in the ECF but which Ambition Institute feel is important for ECTs to know.
What are you entitled to during your induction period?
  • Access to the Early Career Teachers Programme as detailed above
  • In year 1, 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
  • In year 2, a 5% 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
  • A designated mentor who has the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfil the role; the mentor is expected to be given adequate time by the school to carry out observations and instructional coaching effectively, and time to attend regular mentor training provided as part of the Early Career Teachers Programme
  • Support from your school to allow you to attend the three conferences and six clinics provided as part of the Early Career Teachers Programme
  • A designated induction tutor to provide guidance and support, who is expected to have the time and ability to carry out the role effectively
  • A named contact at your Appropriate Body with whom you can raise any concerns about your induction programme that you are unable to resolve.
How will you be assessed during your induction period?

It's important to note that your mentor is not expected to assess your progress against the Teachers' Standards (unless they are also your induction tutor). The role of mentor is a coaching and developmental one, and they do not decide whether you pass induction.

Your induction tutor will carry out the following:

  • Termly progress reviews. Progress reviews are not formal assessments, but are written records that clearly state whether you are on track to successfully complete induction, with brief evidence and agreed development targets. Progress reviews are shared with your Appropriate Body
  • Annual formal assessments. Formal assessment meetings should be informed by evidence gathered during progress reviews and lesson observations leading up to the formal assessment, such as existing documents and working documents. There is no need for you to create anything new for the formal assessment. Formal assessments should clearly show assessment of your progress against the Teachers' Standards, and your second formal assessment will form the basis of your headteacher's recommendation to your Appropriate Body as to whether you pass induction.

You should also receive regular lesson observations separate to your mentor's observations as part of the Early Career Teachers Programme, with the opportunity for discussion and written feedback. 

What if you're not on track to successfully complete induction?

There should be no surprises in your progress reviews or formal assessments: you should be kept up to date on your progress by your school. If your school has concerns about your progress, they should put a support plan in place, agreed with you, to assist you in getting back on track. This should be shared with your Appropriate Body. The support plan should include relevant training and support as well as expectations for your progress.

What should you do if you have concerns about your induction entitlement?

If you're worried that you're not receiving your entitlement, whether that be time off timetable, a suitable mentor, time to engage with the Early Career Teachers Programme, or anything else, we recommend that you first try and resolve this with your school.

If you cannot resolve the situation or do not feel comfortable approaching your school, please contact your Appropriate Body. Your AB is there to make sure that you have every opportunity to successfully complete induction, and they will want to know about any concerns you have. Your AB may request a meeting with you and/or with your school to resolve the issue.

What should you do if you're worried or overwhelmed?

Speak to your school - they want you to succeed and will want to know if you feel you’re not coping. Teaching can be stressful and more experienced colleagues will have a wealth of tips, tricks, and advice to help you through your first few years.

You can also contact us for a chat: or 01603 753767. We're here to listen and help in any way we can.