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

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 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 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. Alongside Local Authorities, teaching school hubs can also provide 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 is 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 consists 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 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.

Actions for Schools

Here is a list of actions for schools to take, if they are employing ECTs:
  • Decide which option you are going to take for ECT training (see 3 options above)
  • Nominate your induction tutor and mentor – the two people in your school who are to take on these role
  • Choose your Appropriate Body (AB) – schools can choose who they wish to act as their AB.
  • Register on the DFE’s online system (options 1 and 2 only) to let the DFE know which option you are using to support your ECT and who you are using as your AB (for more information see below)
  • Prepare in school – Ensure your ECT has a timetable reduction and that your induction tutor and mentor have the ability and time to carry out their roles.


ADDITIONAL ACTIONS for schools choosing Option 2 – Core OR Option 3 – School-led:

Option 2 – Core Induction Programme:

Follow the actions above PLUS…

  • Download and use the DFE materials and prepare to deliver the ECT induction programme yourself
  • Check with your AB regarding what evidence they will require to demonstrate your induction programme meets statutory requirements.

Option 3 – School-Led:

Follow the actions above PLUS…

  • Download the Early Career Framework
  • Design a 2 year programme of support and training that covers every aspect of the ECF and prepare to deliver that programme yourself
  • Check with your AB regarding what evidence they will require to demonstrate your induction programme meets statutory requirements.



Registering on the DfE Online System:


ALL SCHOOLS that wish to access the Full Induction Programme (FIP) or the Core Induction Programme (CIP) – options 1 or 2 above – MUST register on the DfE Online System for managing training for Early Career Teachers, prior to their ECT starting. Schools who wish to access the FIP should decide which provider to work with before they register on this portal.

Your school should have received an email from the DfE (sent 17 May), inviting you to register on the online portal for induction. The email has been sent to the address registered on Get Information About Schools. Follow the link in this email and complete the steps. If you cannot locate the email, please click HERE to re-generate the email. Please note however that it will be resent to your GIAS registered address – if you need to check or change this, please do so through DfE Secure Sign In.

For more help you may find it useful to watch this explainer video.

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 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’. The providers are:

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

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

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

Gateway Alliance are delighted to be 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 all 3 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:

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Full Induction Programmes 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 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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