A guide to the ECT induction period


Having gained Qualified Teacher Status, new teachers in England must complete an induction period which is designed to show they can put the theory into practice.

The induction for an early career teacher (ECT) acts as the bridge between initial teacher training and a long term career in the classroom.

It includes an array of support for teachers that is focused on their professional development, and checks that they meet the relevant teachers’ standards.

In order to complete their induction, an ECT can work in a maintained school in England, as well as in an independent school setting such as free schools, academies and nurseries.

The only exception is if a school is designated by Ofsted to be under special measures, in which case an induction cannot be completed there.

Extended period of induction

In previous years, the induction period covered one year of full-time teaching, or an extended period based on the number of hours worked – for instance, an ECT teaching for half a week would require two years to complete their induction.

However, new government plans known as the Early Career Framework mean that from September 2021, all ECTs will complete a two-year induction period, with far greater support available than was previously offered.

The two-year statutory induction period for new teachers is already in place in a number of early roll-out areas, where the new plans were implemented from September 2020, including in parts of Greater Manchester, the North East, Bradford and Doncaster.

Under the new plans, ECTs will be assessed at the end of the two-year period to ensure they meet the government’s teachers’ standards.

Flexible alternatives

If a teacher has not completed an induction period, they can still undertake short-term supply work of less than one term for up to five years from gaining their qualified teacher status.

However, it’s important to note that these short periods of work cannot count towards induction, although an induction programme could be put in place should the contract be extended beyond one term (as long as the school involved is suitable for induction).

It is also possible for an ECT to complete the induction period in multiple schools simultaneously, as long as an individual works at both schools regularly and one institution is left in charge of the assessment.

Alternatively, an ECT could complete their induction at multiple schools, one after the other, provided that one or more full terms are completed, and all relevant assessments are up-to-date.

Using an agency, like Tradewind Recruitment, can provide plenty of flexibility, as they can help an ECT to assess their options and take the stress out of finding multiple teaching placements across the school year which can count towards their induction.

The support to expect

Under the Early Career Framework, those completing their ECT induction can expect regular one-to-one mentoring to aid their development.

Support will also be given to the mentors so they are aware of what is being asked of them, while the government has promised financial support for schools to cover the additional mentoring time.

In addition, schools can access an array of resources and training through the framework, allowing them to aid an ECT’s development.

An overview of the Early Career Framework reforms can be found on the official government website, while additional information on the new two-year induction is due to be published in spring 2021.

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