ECF: One Year In!


Tradewind Recruitment has partnered with Mr T from Twitter diving into the frequently asked questions regarding the ECT induction. We want to provide the best support for Early Career Teachers, helping to make you feel at ease in time for September. Take it away, Mr T…

We are now one year into the national rollout of the 2-year ECT induction driven by the ECF curriculum. This blog has been written to give space to reflect on the developments of the year through the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) I have received around ECT induction.  

I have had the privilege of being able to deliver ECF materials to both mentors and ECTs this year. The national rollout has enabled over 12,000 ECTs to start their teaching journey with the support of the ECF materials. There have definitely been some teething problems. Being the first year of the rollout has meant that materials have been released over the year. This has meant that all ECTs have worked through the same materials with no flexibility to look at other modules that may have been more supportive at that point in time. The other challenge has been around the workload for Mentors and ECTs. With a new system and curriculum for both ECTs and Mentors, there has been a challenge in getting to grips with how the materials and systems look and how sessions run. With a year under our belt, the pitfalls have been identified, but there are still questions I regularly get asked around induction.

What should I be doing in my ECT time?

During your ECT time, you should be engaging with the ECF developmental materials – this could be a video or a piece of research. You will then be asked to reflect on this. This should take about 40 minutes in all. During the rest of that time, you should be engaged with CPD opportunities, observing other colleagues, and talking with colleagues about key practices in the school. Each week you will meet with your mentor, and this may be done during your ECT time or could be outside of this time. Regardless of when it happens, your Mentor may also spend some time with you guiding you through the materials and providing feedback from the observations they have undertaken of you in relation to the ECF materials. 

How often should I be observed?

Your mentor should be engaged in weekly low stakes observations of you. These are undertaken with a clear focus on the content being addressed in the ECF this week and will inform the feedback they provide to you during their weekly meeting with you.

Your induction tutor should also be observing you ‘regularly’ (the language in the statutory guidance). This could be termly or half termly and will be with a clear focus on assessing you against the Teachers’ Standards to inform the progress reviews and end of assessment period reports that are provided back to the appropriate body.

My lesson observation has not gone well, does this mean I will fail?

Definitely not. The 2-year induction period is exactly that. You have 2 years to be able to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards. One unsuccessful lesson observation or even a progress report that says that you are at risk of not meeting the standards, does not mean that you have failed. It means that the school and appropriate body should be offering you further support to get you on track to be able to meet the Teachers’ Standards.


I am on a fixed term contract; will I have to start my induction again?

No. If you have completed a full term and had this captured in a progress review then it has been ‘banked’. This would then mean that in your next school you would be able to continue from where you got to. Technically, and I am not advocating this, you could complete induction in 6 different schools, completing a term in each.

I haven’t got a job yet; I’ve heard I only have 5 years to complete induction.

This is not the case at all. Your QTS never expires. The 5-year rule only applies to short-term supply. The guidance is that you can only carry out short-term supply for 5 years before needing to commence induction. If you work in the independent sector or overseas, you never have to complete induction, and you will still hold your QTS.

I have been asked to provide a folder of evidence, what should I be putting in it?

NO, NO, NO! You do not have to collate evidence in a folder*. You can be asked to share evidence with your mentor induction tutor which can be captured in your progress reviews. For example, they may ask you to share an example where your feedback has made an impact on pupil progress. You can take pupils’ books to the review meeting share and share them there. You do not need to photocopy it and stick it in a folder. If anyone is asking you to do this, send them to the link here. The DfE has made this clear in their guidance

*If you are completing induction in Wales, you are expected to provide 3 pieces of evidence for each of the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your induction.

Do I move to M2 at the end of my first year?

Yes, you should. The guidance when the 2-year induction was clear that it should not affect pay progression. However, don’t panic if it doesn’t appear in your September pay! Salary increases are aligned in school with the performance management cycle (you won’t be part of this yet) this can mean that pay increases do not happen until October/November time. However, it will be backdated to September.

I hope that by collating these in one place I have helped to reassure you and support you with what induction should hold for you.  

Please come and find me on Twitter @MrTs_NQTs and keep an eye out for my upcoming book You Got This – Thriving as an early career teacher with Mr T for more support and guidance to help you thrive in your induction.

Tradewind Recruitment supports teachers across the UK in finding their perfect role in education. If you’re an ECT looking for a role, get in touch with us today. We have hundreds of jobs available for new teachers as well as blogs to help you including, interview techniques, resources for September and top tips for your first week as an ECT.