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 becomes 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, crucially, details of changes to statutory induction that will apply from September 2021.

A Summary of the Reforms

From September 2021, statutory induction arrangements are changing. These new arrangements will replace current induction requirements. The term ‘Early Career Teacher’ is now being used where previously we might refer 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 will be 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. Alongside Local Authorities, teaching school hubs will now also be providing the 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.

The funding will cover:

  • 5% off timetable in the second year of induction for all early career teachers to undertake induction activities including training and structured time with their mentor (rounded cost per ECT in England is £1,200)
  • funding for mentors to spend time supporting their early career teachers in the second year of induction – this is based on 20 hours of mentoring across the academic year (rounded cost per mentor in England is £900)

There will be additional funding for schools taking up the provider-led ‘Full Induction Programme’ (further details below), for the time mentors of early career teachers will spend on the provider-led mentor training. This will consist of 36 hours of backfill time over two years per mentor.

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 their own training for Early Career Teachers and mentors, but using free, DfE accredited materials and resources.
3. Design & Deliver Themselves
Choose to design and deliver their own 2 year programme of training based on the Early Career Framework.

How can I access the Full Induction Programme?

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

  • 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 6 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’. Four of these providers – Ambition Institute, Education Development Trust, Teach First and UCL Institute of Education – all delivered the early roll-out ECF programme from September 2020, with Best Practice Network and Capita beginning delivery from September 2021.

Local Delivery

These 6 national providers will work with a network of local delivery partners, including Gateway Alliance and the new Teaching School Hubs.


Gateway Alliance are delighted to be working in partnership with all of our local teaching school hubs and are keen to support the delivery of ECT training for schools across the whole of our region.

We have been invited to co-lead the Full Induction Programme with the Coventry & Central Warwickshire Teaching School Hub. We will be using our primary specialist knowledge and expertise in supporting highly effective training for teachers in their early career, to support the delivery of this programme in our area.  We have chosen to work with UCL Institute of Education as our national lead provider and will be delivering their ECT programme from September 2021.

UCL Institute of Education have worked with teachers, school leaders and teacher educators to design a programme which is:

  • Knowledge and evidence-based
  • Draws on expert theory and current practice
  • Offers inquiry-based spiral learning
  • Embeds learning in practice
  • Delivered by local teachers and leaders
  • Offers a blended delivery model of face to face and virtual sessions using interactive learning platforms
  • Enables early career teachers to develop a network of peers to support reflection and collaborative learning
  • Offers flexibility to enable participants to get the most out of the programme

Having led a local cohort on the extended early roll-out of the ECF during 2020-21 academic year we have developed a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the ECF reforms and how we can best support schools and ECTs as the reforms become statutory. This places us in a strong position to best support ECTs and mentors to get the most out of the programme.

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Full Induction Programme that Gateway Alliance will be delivering please contact Sally Hewitt, our ITT & ECF Programme Manager:

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 all 3 of the teaching school hubs that serve schools across Warwickshire and Coventry, 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

How to find out more?

Each of the teaching school hubs are hosting ECF information events to support schools in their hub area to better understand the ECF reforms and to share details of their funded ECT training programmes.

Coventry & Central Warwickshire Teaching School Hub – Schools in Coventry, Rugby & Central Warwickshire


John Taylor Teaching School Hub – Schools in North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth

Tudor Grange Teaching School Hub – Schools in South Warwickshire/Stratford-on-Avon

Other useful information…

Warwickshire LA are also hosting briefings for headteachers and induction tutors regarding the changes to the statutory induction due to the introduction of the ECF.

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