Are you ready for the Early Careers Framework?

Sylvia King, Senior Education Lead at SSAT, reflects on the confirmation made by the DfE regarding the Early Careers Framework, and what you need to consider this term.

The DfE have confirmed that the Early Careers Framework (ECF), part of its teacher recruitment and retention strategy, will be rolled out nationally in September 2021. As part of these reforms Newly Qualified Teachers will be referred to as Early Career Teachers (ECTs).

The reforms have changed the statutory induction guidance to include the following:
  • Standard induction is increased to two years.
  • ECTs will be entitled to a 10% timetable reduction in year one and a 5% timetable in year two.
  • The two-year induction period should be underpinned by the ECF (there are three routes available to achieve this).
  • Separate roles for the induction tutor and the mentor.
  • A revised Quality Assurance system overseen by ‘appropriate bodies’ (note these do not include Teaching Schools but may include Local Authorities, Teaching School Hubs and other organisations approved by DfE).
Schools can choose one of three options for their two-year programme. They can opt to choose:
  1. a funded provider-led programme,
  2. to deliver their own training using DfE-accredited materials and resources, or
  3. to design and deliver their own ECF-based induction.
There are six accredited providers for the funded provider-led programme:
  • Ambition Institute
  • Best Practice Network (home of Outstanding Leaders Partnership)
  • Capita with lead academic partner the University of Birmingham
  • Education Development Trust
  • Teach First
  • UCL Institute of Education.


All state funded schools will receive additional funding to deliver the ECF reforms to cover:

  • 5% off timetable in the second year of induction for all ECTs to undertake induction activities including training and mentoring.
  • 20 hours of mentoring across the academic year.

Funding for the provider-led programme will be paid directly to the provider and schools will receive payments of an additional 5% to cover ‘off timetable’ costs and 20 hours of mentoring for ECTs in their second year of induction. There will be an additional payment to cover 36 hours of mentor and ECT training cover costs.

For schools choosing either of the remaining routes there will be no funding for mentor training or funding for the backfill time of mentors spent being trained, which means a substantial contribution to the costs of the programme will need to be met by the school.

Appropriate bodies

Schools that opt to deliver own programmes using their own or DfE accredited materials need to provide information to their appropriate body to demonstrate that their programme fulfils statutory requirements. Schools should contact their appropriate body for further details of what will be required in the summer term. Further information about the role of appropriate bodies can be found here.

Whilst that the Early Careers Framework will be welcomed by both ECTs and schools in terms of supporting our new teachers as they enter the teaching profession, it is important for schools that they spend time in the summer term to choose the appropriate route for them and their ECTs. This will ensure that they have the appropriate support structures, training, and timetable allowances to support it fully.

In-school support and delivery – Available online

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