Teachers are the foundation of the education system; their work can transform a student’s performance, outcomes and chances in life. Therefore, providing teachers with high quality structured support can be pivotal to the success of your school.
Like many other professions - such as engineering, medicine or law - the learning curve for teachers is the steepest in the first years of teaching. During this time, it’s essential that early career teachers (ECTs) are able to develop the knowledge, practices and working habits that set them up for success.
The fully funded Early Career Framework (ECF) programme empowers new teachers to confidently walk into the classroom with the practical skills and insights to enhance teaching and learning. By focusing on five key areas - behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and professional behaviours - early career teachers are equipped with the tools they need to thrive and make a positive impact in the classroom.
For the first time ever, new teachers are entitled to structured learning, coaching and continuous professional development for the first two years of their career. The programme is designed to be a valuable, integral and central support system for new teachers – and not an additional burden to their already busy schedules.
To give your school the best start to the ECF programme, we’d recommend undertaking these actions to ensure that everyone involved feels motivated, empowered and equipped.
- Register on the DfE portal
Make sure that you select your lead provider (Capita) and your local delivery partner. This will ensure that you and your staff receive all the relevant communications. Always double-check that your induction lead, mentors and ECTs have all registered with their correct email addresses.
- Register with an appropriate body
They will make sure that your early career teachers are fairly assessed and supported throughout their statutory induction period.
- Identify your induction lead
This can be a member of your senior leadership team or someone who is ready to take on additional responsibility. They will act as the main link between your school and the delivery partner and will be responsible for ensuring that the ECTs and mentors are provided with the appropriate time to complete their training.
- Selecting the right mentors
Ensure your best and most inspiring teachers are mentors; they’ll be modelling the best practices that your new teachers are striving towards, as well as conducting weekly observations and coaching meetings. Where possible, mentors with shared subjects or specialisms will provide tailored coaching to their ECTs. This may not be possible in all contexts – please consider who is best placed to take on this role based on the needs of your school and the capacity of your staff.
- Time management: ECTs
Protecting the ECTs’ time is crucial. It will enable them to complete their self-study tasks (40 minutes per week) and meet with their mentor for instructional coaching (45 minutes per week). In parallel, they’ll be required to attend CPD clinics during half-term which will be delivered by your local delivery partner. Please note: ECTs will be given 10% of their time off to study, in addition to the standard 10% PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time that teachers receive. The DfE will fund a further 5% off their timetable in the second year.
- Time management: mentors
Mentors will be required to allocate time for focused observations (15 minutes) and coaching (45 minutes) in the first year. They will also be required to undertake online self-study for 15 minutes every week. Mentors will receive a total of 36 hours of funded CPD training during the two-year induction period, with the DfE funding the time a mentor and mentee spend together in their second year.
- Communication is key
Feedback has shown that regular encouragement and interactions from senior leadership can help teachers to feel motivated, valued and supported after a challenging day.
- Maintain a calendar of activities
Remain effective and efficient by planning ahead. Provide your induction lead with a calendar of your delivery partner’s training events, so they can help everyone to plan their time and gain maximum benefits from the programme.
- Create a ripple effect through your mentors
Mentors will be enriched with knowledge during this process. Their newly gained instructional coaching and deliberate practice skills can be applied to the work of other teachers, not just new entrants. Build sustainable approaches that enable mentors to share their learnings with the wider teaching and learning community in your school.
- Professional development opportunities
Encourage and promote the opportunity for teachers to continue developing their knowledge, skills and practices through the eight new NPQs which are available for teachers at various stages of their careers.
For further support and advice, please contact ECF@capita.com