Early Career Framework:

Useful information, links and guidance

The What, Why and How of the Early Career Framework...


The Early Career Framework (ECF) forms a vital part of the DfE’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy (2019) which sets out to ensure that careers in teaching are attractive, rewarding and sustainable. One of the priorities of this strategy is to transform the support for teachers early in their careers through the Early Career Framework which has been designed to ‘make sure early career teachers focus on learning the things that make the most difference in the classroom and their professional practice’.

What is the Early Career Framework?

The Early Career Framework sets out an entitlement of support for all Early Career Teachers (ECTs) and underpins a new entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to support new teachers in developing their practice at the start of their careers. It sets out what early career teachers are entitled “to learn about” and “learn how to do” when in their first years of teaching. Following the early roll out across regions of the UK in 2020-21, this entitlement became statutory for all early career teachers from September 2021.

DfE Policy, guidance and materials

All of the official DfE’s documents, resources and guidance can all be found on their website. These include the Early Career Framework itself, an overview of the reforms around the Early Career Framework and details of the statutory induction.

A Summary of the Reforms

From September 2021, statutory induction arrangements changed. These new arrangements replaced previous induction requirements. The term ‘Early Career Teacher’ is now being used where previously we might we have referred to a ‘Newly Qualified Teacher’.

  • Induction period extended from 1 year to 2 years
  • In additional to their 10% reduction in timetable during year 1, ECTs will be entitled to a 5% reduction in timetable during year 2
  • ECTs are entitled to receive a 2 year structured package of support and development based on the Early Career Framework
  • ECTs are entitled to receive support from a dedicated mentor through regular one to one mentoring sessions (this is a separate role to the current induction tutor)
  • ECTs will continue to be assessed against the Teacher Standards (the ECF is not an assessment tool). From September there will be 2 formal assessment points, instead of the current 3.
  • State schools will receive additional funding to meet these requirements (see below).

The role of the Appropriate Body has been extended to also include checking the provision offered by schools to ensure that early career teachers are receiving support based on the Early Career Framework. Teaching school hubs are now the main providers of Appropriate Body service to schools. Schools can choose who they use as their Appropriate Body.


All state funded schools offering statutory induction will receive additional funding to deliver the ECF reforms. For the most up-to-date funding information please the DfE website or consult your local teaching school hub.

Schools have three options:

1. Full Induction Programme
Choose to take up the DfE funded, provider-led programme, which includes a fully structured, 2 year programme of training for both early career teachers and their mentors.
2. Core Induction Programme
Choose to deliver your own training for early career teachers and mentors, but using free, DfE accredited materials and resources.
3. School-Led
Choose to design and deliver your own 2 year programme of training based on the Early Career Framework.

How to access the Full Induction Programme

It is likely that option 1 – Full Induction Programme – will be most appealing for most schools as…

  • This is the most straight forward option for schools;
  • This training is fully funded by the DfE;
  • The programmes are quality assured by Ofsted;
  • Schools taking up this option also receive additional funding for mentor time spent on the training. This is not available to schools who choose to deliver their own ECF programme.

National Accredited Providers

There are a number of different accredited providers that schools can choose to work with if they wish to take up the option 1 of a DfE-funded, provider-led ‘Full Induction Programme’. The providers are:

  1. Ambition Institute
  2. Education Development Trust
  3. Teach First
  4. UCL Institute of Education
  5. Best Practice Network
  6. National Institute of Teaching

Please note: all national providers will work through local delivery partners. Depending on the geographical spread of their delivery partner network they may not be able to offer their programmes to all schools.

Local Delivery

These national providers will work with a network of local delivery partners, including Gateway Alliance and the Teaching School Hubs.

Gateway Alliance are working in partnership with all of our local teaching school hubs to support the delivery of ECT training for schools across our local area. We are working closely with the hubs to bring our primary specialist knowledge and expertise in supporting highly effective training for teachers in their early career, to support the planning and delivery of the following ECT programmes locally:

What are Teaching School Hubs?

A network of 87 teaching school hubs have been designated by the DfE to be school-led centres of excellence for teacher and leadership training and development.

They will be expected to play a significant role in delivering:

Teaching school hubs will also promote other high-quality evidence-based professional development to school leaders and teachers, such as the programmes provided by Gateway Alliance.

Gateway Alliance are delighted to be working in partnership with the teaching school hubs across the region, to support the delivery of high-quality training and development to schools across our locality.

Teaching School Hubs in our area:

Coventry & Central Warwickshire Teaching School Hub
Led by: Lawrence Sheriff School
WM6 – Coventry, Rugby, Central Warwickshire
John Taylor Teaching School Hub
Led: John Taylor High School
WM3 - Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Tamworth
Tudor Grange Teaching School Hub
Led by: Tudor Grange Academy
WM4 - Bromsgrove, Redditch, Solihull, South Warwickshire/Stratford-on-Avon
Golden Thread Teaching School Hub
Led by: Painsley Catholic College
WM5 - Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stoke-on-Trent

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