Changes to inductions for early career teachers from September 2021

Changes to inductions for early career teachers from September 2021

You may have heard that government is making changes to teacher training this year. This week, we’re taking a look at what these changes mean for newly qualified teachers, and for those who are thinking about undertaking a PGCE. 

So, what’s changed?

The term early career teacher (ECT) replaces newly qualified teacher (NQT). 

There is now a two school year induction period that all qualified teachers must undertake in order to be employed as a teacher (there are some exceptions to this applicable to certain educational settings, which you can find out more about here). This two school year induction period is an increase from the previous one school year period. 

ECTs will now have a mentor during their induction period. The role of the mentor is to provide support and mentorship to the ECT. The mentor should hold qualified teacher status (QTS). 

ECTs will continue to receive a 10% timetable reduction in their first year of induction, in addition to a 5% timetable reduction in their second year of induction. 

ECTs will be assessed at two points in their induction. The first will occur midway through induction and the second at the end of the induction period. Regular progress reviews will also take place to monitor the progress of ECTs; these will occur in each term where no formal assessment period is scheduled. 

These changes will be supported by the Early Career Framework (ECF) as central element of ECT induction. The ECF core areas are as follows and will enable ECTs to develop key knowledge and skills, setting them for a successful teaching career:

  • behaviour management
  • pedagogy
  • curriculum
  • assessment
  • professional behaviours

Why have these changes been introduced?

Statutory induction for ECTs bridges initial teacher training and a career in teaching. Induction provides ECTS with “a structured programme of development, support and professional dialogue, underpinned by the ECF, with monitoring and an assessment of performance against the Teachers’ Standards” (Department for Education, 2021).

The induction programme aims to support ECTs and provide them with important training to ensure they are able to demonstrate satisfactory performance against the Teacher’s Standards by the end of their induction period. Induction should be equip ECTs with the tools they need to be ‘an effective and successful teacher’ (Department for Education, 2021).

What standards do these changes relate to?

The Teachers’ Standards will be used to assess an ECT’s performance at the end of their induction period. The decision about whether an ECT’s performance against relevant standards is satisfactory by the end of the induction period should account for the context in which the ECT has been working. The decision must also be made based upon reasonable expectations of an ECT by the end of the induction period, again within the context of The Teacher’s Standards. 

The decision should reflect ‘the expectation that ECTs have effectively consolidated their initial teacher training (ITT) and demonstrated their ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards consistently over a sustained period in their practice. The ECF is not and should not be used as an assessment tool’ (Department for Education, 2021). 

Where can I read more about these standards?

What are the benefits to ECTS?

  • ECTs will have access to two full school years of support from a qualified and experienced mentor.
  • ECTS will be have access to high quality ECF materials that will enable them build a strong set of professional practice skills to use throughout their career. 
  • Formal assessments will be supported by regular progress reviews, giving ECTs chance to understand their progress, and reflect on their induction period journey. 
  • The changes to the ECT induction period will ensure that ECTs have consistent professional development opportunities and protected time to undertake these. 

Where can I find out more?

You can read more about the standards via the links above. You can also find out what schools, educational charities and other teachers are saying about these changes using the links below. 

The Early Career Framework reforms – something to get excited about:

What to Expect from NQT or ECT Years: Guidance & Tips:

The Early Career Framework: what you need to know:

ECT Framework and Induction Overview | September 2021 changes | NO LONGER NQT | All you need to know:

Don’t forget!

The Careers and Employability Team can help if you are thinking about applying for a PGCE, or are interested in teacher training. Get in touch with us via My Career Enriched, where you can ask us questions, book and appointment with an adviser, send us your CV or application for feedback, and search for opportunities. 


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