Early Career Framework (ECF) – important changes to the ECT year


The induction period for early career teachers is changing this summer, as early career framework (ECF) reforms become active from the start of the new academic year.

Ultimately, the move should mean greater support for early careers teaching and better development opportunities for those preparing for life in the classroom.

The reforms are part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy, an effort to ensure that state-funded schools have the staff they require.

It’s also important to note that government terminology is also changing, so that newly qualified teachers will now be known as early careers teachers.

What do the ECF changes mean for schools?

The ECF reforms are a statutory requirement for any school in England which is inducting new teachers from September 2021, as they must provide a two-year package of high-quality professional development.

In some regions, including the North East, Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster, an early rollout of the reforms saw them introduced from autumn 2020.

As with the previous induction, the completion of the process will be judged on how a teacher performs against the Teachers’ Standards.

By following the new framework, schools will provide early career teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the classroom.

This includes a range of guidance on managing elements such as behaviour and workloads, as well as building on the basic understanding developed throughout teacher training.

The available options for schools

As a result, any school which provides statutory induction must change their current processes, with several different options available to them.

Schools can opt to provide their own ECF-based induction, can provide their own training via the use of materials accredited by the Department for Education, or can choose a funded provider-led programme.

These broad options are designed so that school leaders can pick what is best for their early career teachers, as requirements may differ by region.

How the ECF options work

The Department for Education has said it expects most schools to opt for the funded provider-led programmes, which will see a set of providers give online and face-to-face training for the two-year period.

As this will be fully funded, no costs will passed on to schools, while Ofsted will inspect the various chosen training providers to ensure that high standards are met.

Alternatively, school leaders may want to consider the available core induction programmes from four expert teaching providers, again designed to ensure that early careers teachers are focusing on what will help them improve in the classroom.

A lot of the materials have been released early to give schools time to prepare, with access to training, mentoring guidelines and other materials to enable self-study.

Lastly, school leaders could opt to develop their own two-year programmes for training and support, which follow the ECF, with funding provided based on the time that early career teachers and mentors take off timetable.

Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.