Mr. T has been getting lots of questions about the new ECT Framework.
Here he explains the differences between NQT and ECT and attempts to answer his most frequently asked questions.
Lots of NQTs to be are getting in touch with questions about the change to the Early Career Framework (ECF) in September 2021.
In this blog, I will outline some of the major changes and answer some of the questions I have been asked most frequently. (This blog post is based upon the guidance released 25th March 2021).
First thing to note is the change in language – no longer with the term NQT be used, but the term Early Career Teacher (ECT) will now be used to describe a teacher in their first 2 years of their career. Perhaps I will need a rebrand – MrTs ECT support?
Induction will now be over 2 years. The first year you will receive 10% non-contact time on top of PPA (the same as the current system), but in your second year instead of being – off you go your in 90% of the time, there is 5% non-contact time (most schools will probably release for one morning/afternoon every fortnight).
You will be allocated a mentor as well as an induction tutor – these are discrete roles but may be the same person in exceptional circumstances.
An induction tutor has the responsibility to register you with the appropriate body and will make the recommendation as to whether you have been successful in demonstrating the Teachers’ Standards. They are most likely the person who will carry out your observations and will ensure that you receive clear feedback about your progression towards meeting the standards. They will also organise CPD for you in conjunction with the appropriate body.
Your induction tutor will complete 2 formal assessment points identifying your progress towards meeting the Standards. You will be assessed after term 3 (end of the first year) and at the end of term 6 (the end of the second year). Please note the following: “Evidence for assessments must be drawn from the ECT’s work as a teacher during their induction. To ensure evidence gathering is not burdensome for the ECT, formal assessment meetings should be informed by evidence gathered during progress reviews and assessment periods leading up to the formal assessment. This will consist of existing documents and working documents. There is no need for the ECT to create anything new for the formal assessment, they should draw from their work as a teacher and from their induction programme.” (DfE, 2021) – no gathering and producing whopping folders of evidence -woohoo!
The induction tutor will also carry out termly progress reviews and may ask you to present evidence to show that you are meeting the standards. This discussion and evidence will be captured formally and can be used to support the formal assessment points.
A mentor will provide close to practice support and meet with you regularly to provide targeted feedback to help you move forward in your practice. They will also be able to provide effective support and will be there to identify when things are not going quite the way you’d hope. Your mentor will also receive specific training to support you.
At the end of the second assessment, the school will put forward the recommendation as to whether you have successfully met the standards to the appropriate body. The appropriate body will make the ultimate decision based upon the submitted report. Whatever the recommendation is, shouldn’t be a shock. You should be kept informed at all times of your progress towards the standards.
The appropriate body are independent, and their role is to quality assure induction and to make sure that schools provide effective support for ECTs. You should be given a named contact at the appropriate body – if you aren’t, ask for one. This can be useful if you feel that you are not receiving the support you expected.
During the 2 years, you will receive high-quality CPD from one of 6 appointed providers, or your school can use the materials to deliver the provision in-house. The CPD will focus on the aspects of behaviour management, assessment, pedagogy, curriculum, and professional behaviours.
So there is the overview, now onto some of the questions and important facts:
What if I am working part-time?
There is wiggle room in the new induction process for you to still complete within 2 years – the reduction would need to be agreed with the appropriate body – as long as you are doing a significant chunk of the week it shouldn’t be a huge problem, but make sure you have the discussion with the school and the appropriate body before getting your hopes up. I would always advise you to give yourself the time you need. Better to take a bit longer and get there, than set a deadline and find you are unable to demonstrate the standards in that time.
Will I still get more pay in the second year?
Yes, you will. If your first assessment point is successful you will continue to progress through the pay scales (at this point in time it is not clear what would happen if there were concerns flagged at this assessment point).
Do I have to complete 2 years in the same school?
No, you don’t. The old rule applies. If you are completing 1 full term at a school, it counts towards your ECT induction. An interim assessment form can be completed, and this time and progress will carry forward with you to your next school. Most schools will probably still continue to offer 1 year fixed-term contracts. It provides flexibility for them as there can be a lot of factors that affect the number of classes/ teachers a school needs. It also gives you a definitive reason for why you might be leaving a school that doesn’t quite fit with you. We all know how important finding the right school is.
I have started my NQT year this year – will I have to do 2 more years?
No, you won’t. If you have started your NQT year you have until September 2023 to complete it. I believe after this point, the time you have served will count but you will have to move to the new ECF and complete up to 2 years. However, there is flexibility in the new system to reduce the ECF to a minimum of 1 term depending on the ECTs previous experience.
Can supply work count?
Long-term supply of at least 1 term can count. However, the school have to know that this is the case at the time and register you with an appropriate body and put support in place. Any length of supply less than this will not count
Can I complete it in any educational setting?
Pretty much yes, however, there are some exceptions – education settings graded as inadequate (Unless Ofsted feel there is capacity to support e.g. specific departments in a large secondary, a new leadership team with the capacity to improve), a secure training center, or children’s home.
Can I complete my ECT years abroad?
Overseas schools may support the ECF if they are an independent school overseas which:
Is induction changing in Scotland or Wales?
No, induction in Wales and Scotland will continue in the same way.
If I have started my induction in Wales, can it count towards the ECF?
Yes, it can – any length of time served in Wales (with a minimum of 1 full-term) can count towards the ECF.
Is there a time limit for me to start my ECT years?
In essence, no. However, there is a slight caveat. As with the previous programme. You can only carry out a maximum of 5 years supply from the date of qualification, without undertaking induction.
There we go. Hot off the press. Don’t forget if you have any further questions drop me a message @MrTs_NQTs (or possibly @MrTs_ECTs after September).
DfE (2021), Induction for early career teachers (England): Statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/972316/Statutory_Induction_Guidance_2021_final__002_____1___1_.pdf>