8 Things ECTs Can Expect in Their Induction years

Written by Dan

Last updated

If you are an Early Career Teacher, then congratulations! You have made a very important decision in your life and you are about to embark on a journey that will be filled with new experiences and learning opportunities. Teaching is a challenging profession, but it is also very rewarding. In this article, we will discuss 8 things to know about your first two years of teaching. We hope that this information will help prepare you for what lies ahead!

A lot of learning

Your first two years as a teacher are crucial in shaping the remainder of your career. That’s why we have a policy project specifically designed to give newly qualified teachers the opportunity to develop their skills and learn while they’re on the job.

The Department for Education’s Early Career Framework (ECF) provides new teachers with a range of evidence-based support for continuous professional development. This new programme builds on the objectives of the Initial Teacher Training course and covers five core areas:

  • Behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours

Why has it changed?

The DfE released word in 2019 that the NQT induction framework would be replaced by 2021 with a revised scheme now called the Early Career Framework. With this change not only has the terminology changed–NQTs are now to be known as Early Career Teachers (ECTs)–but so too has the new framework, which contains some noteworthy changes and additions when compared to its predecessor.

Firstly, the induction period itself has been extended from one to two years in length. In the first year, ECTs will be entitled to a fully-funded 10% timetable reduction to allow them to complete their training and development obligations. The DfE will also fund and guarantee a 5% timetable reduction in the second year. This means that ECTs can focus on completing their responsibilities within their first few years of teaching, rather than being pulled away by other commitments.

The three options for schools to provide their training programmes are choosing from one of six providers, using DfE-accredited materials, or designing and delivering their own ECF-based induction programme. You will most likely receive your training through the first option, which is what the DfE has stressed as their go-to for most schools.

A dedicated mentor will now support all ECTs. This addition to the NQT framework is very important. Your ECT mentor will be a qualified teacher who can provide helpful weekly advice, feedback, and critiques. They are available to help you create strategies for improvement as a teacher.


How to find ECT Jobs? 

It will be easier to find your ideal job if you take some time beforehand to figure out what kind of school you want to work at. Consider things like the size and location of the school, it’s Ofsted rating, and whether its ethos agrees with your personal teaching style.

The majority of job hunts now start with an online search. If you were to Google ECT jobs near me, you would probably find a few relevant listings; however, in order to improve your chances of finding a job that you love, you need to be more specific about where you look.

The DfE (Department of Education) instituted a free job-listing service for teachers, where jobseekers can filter by area, subject and role. In addition, your local authority may have its own dedicated website with current vacancies at schools in proximity to you. Moreover, online job sites that cater exclusively to the education sector are widely available; some notable examples include TES and Teaching Personnel’s listing boards. Even a quick glance at these destinations will present you with an array of different job listings.

The best time to apply for teaching jobs is from February to June because current members of staff must give notice by May 31st if they want to leave their positions before September.

What to expect as an ECT?

The first two years as a teacher are when you can finally put your Initial Teacher Training into practice with a real, full-time classroom. You’ll be starting from the deep end, having to teach lessons and grade pupils while being an actual staff member of the school.

You might feel overwhelmed at points because you’ll be busier than ever before and there’s an endless amount of new tasks, such as familiarising yourself with everyone’s names (whether they’re pupils or colleagues).

From attending mentor sessions to teaching lessons, you’ll find hardly any time for a cup of tea in the staff room. Although it might sound chaotic, newly qualified teachers have fun because there is so much to learn daily.

How Many Hours Does An ECT Work Each Week

Directed time is the hours your head teacher can direct what activities you undertake. Teachers should be available for work 195 days a year, 190 of which are for teaching pupils.

During the academic year, your directed hours are 1265, or pro-rata for part-time staff. The 1256 hours should include all classroom teaching, parent-teacher meetings, data submissions, report writing, and the occasional cover.

So if you take these hours and divide them by the number of weeks worked, you will get your weekly number of hours.

How are ECTs assessed?

The ECT induction programme includes formative and summative elements to help you develop both professionally and educationally. This means that you’ll be able to try new things out and see what works for you, but there will also be some assessments which you’ll need to pass in order to progress.

At the end of a new teacher’s first and second year, they must pass two formal assessments evaluating if they meet the guidelines put forth in the Teachers’ Standards. These will typically be conducted by either the headteacher or induction tutor who, based on the results of these tests, decides whether to recommend that said person has met all requirements for their induction period to Appropriate Body.

Throughout your induction as an Early Childhood Teacher, you will have multiple lessons observed by a certified teacher. This feedback will be crucial as it enables you to show your development against the Teachers’ Standards.

Induction tutors will review your progress on a termly basis. Although these do not formally assess you or count towards pass/fail for induction, you should be prepared to show evidence of your development as a teacher. These reviews give both you and your induction tutor an idea of where you are in terms of progression through the period.

Upon completion of six terms and successful performance against the Teachers’ Standards, you will have finished your ECT induction.

How much should ECTs get paid?

Early career teachers in England can expect a generous starting salary of £25,714 in 2022, a 5.5% increase from the previous academic year. The government has also pledged to raise the NQT salary to £30,000 across England as part of the ECF initiative.

What support do ECTs get?

The Early Career Framework was established to provide the most support possible for new educators. Starting in 2022, teachers can anticipate this aid coming from multiple sources. One of the ECF’s key components is a designated mentor separate from the ECT tutor. This addition will ensure that every teacher has access to someone with more experience who can guide them through their early career journey.

Your mentor is someone you can go to for advice and support during your studies, but they are not involved in any way with your assessments. Your tutor, however, will oversee the assessment process and review your work. They will also play an important part during induction.

In your first year as a teacher, you are allowed 20% less teaching time so that you can explore development and assessment opportunities. This consists of the 10% PPA time that all teachers are legally entitled to, plus an additional 10%. In your second year, you will have 15% less teaching time in total – the legal 10%, plus another 5%.

What other routes are there?

Many early career teachers opt to continue working full-time in the same school where they completed their induction. If that doesn’t sound appealing, don’t worry–there are other equally fulfilling options available to you.

Many schools that are geared specifically towards children with special educational needs (SEN) are always in search of young, qualified educators. There is certainly a challenge that comes with adapting your teaching skills to fit this specialist setting, but for many staff members who have committed themselves to work in SEN education long-term, this is their life’s calling.

An increasing number of teachers are seeking out more flexible working hours. If you feel that the current guidance from education authorities is still too restrictive, then it might be worth exploring whether you would find the ideal situation through supply teaching.

One of the great things about working as a supply teacher is that you can choose your own hours and still earn the same salary. By teaching in different settings each week, you’ll also develop your skills as an educator. And if you decide to become a full-time teacher at some point, local schools will already have seen what you’re capable of.


About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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