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How To Get The Best Results From The Early Career Framework

24/06/2021 Alex

From September 2021, the NQT Year for new teachers will be replaced with the Early Career Framework (ECF). This means that teachers starting out in their careers will be entitled to two years of professional training and support from their schools, funded by the Department for Education.  

The government has envisioned the ECF as a ‘golden thread’ linking Initial Teacher Training through to eventual school leadership. Schools will be at centre stage of this ambitious project, delivering training through accredited providers.

But how can your school get the most out of the Early Career Framework? There are a few things you need to know first.

How To Get The Best Results From The Early Career Framework

What you need to know about the Early Career Framework


1. The ECF is fully funded by the government

The DfE has pledged to fund ECF training in full. This means that schools concentrate on delivering the scheme without worrying about financing. 

The funding covers:

  • Two years of training and support
  • Freely available development materials
  • Additional funding for 5% time away from the classroom for teachers in their second year
  • A dedicated mentor (and support for these mentors)
  • Funding to cover mentors time with mentees in the second year of teaching

2. Schools must choose how they deliver the ECF

With funding sorted, schools have quite a lot of freedom in how they implement their ECF programme. There are three options:

  1. Choosing an accredited provider to lead your programme
  2. Delivering your own training using DfE-accredited materials and resources
  3. Designing and delivering your own ECF-based induction programme

The government has stated that they expect and recommend most schools to pick the first option. They have selected just six lead training providers to choose from to administer this programme, each one picked for their record of excellence in the field of education training.

We would echo this recommendation to call upon the expertise of a certified training provider. This will save you a great deal of time and effort, while assuring that you deliver training of the highest quality.

Choosing your ideal Early Career Framework provider

But with half a dozen providers to pick from, schools must think carefully about which one will best suit their circumstances.

At Teaching Personnel, we would recommend that you consider working with our partner company, Best Practice Network (BPN). BPN have provided sector-leading education training for almost two decades and are rated “an exceptional training provider” by the DfE themselves.  They offer a range of accredited programmes from Early Years ITT, to apprenticeships to NPQ courses for school leadership.    

Here are a few reasons why we would urge you to select Best Practice Network to lead your school’s Early Career Teacher programme.

1. A wide range of training channels

Each early career teacher (ECT) is different. The kind of training that most appeals to one teacher might make little impact on another. To ensure that all your ECTs can get the same benefits out of the ECF, it is important to work with a provider who offers a wide range of ways to engage with the programme.   

BPN offer a suite of channels in their training, including face-to-face mentoring, online workshops, self-directed study and online conferences. This blended approach will ensure that all your ECTs are able to get the most out of the programme.

2. A dedication to developing top-class mentors

The DfE have placed one-to-one mentoring at the heart of the ECF. This means your school’s assigned mentors will also receive training on how to bring out the potential of their ECTs.

BPN is the leading provider of National Professional Qualifications in the UK. This wellspring of expertise training school leaders means you can rely on your mentors receiving the best-in-class guidance that they can then use to inspire and mould your ECTs.

3. Engagement from the get-go

In autumn 2020, the government ran an early roll-out pilot of the ECF reforms in eligible schools in selected regions of the country. . A number of schools involved in this pilot phase have contributed to the design and development of Best Practice Network’s ECF programme.

ECF has embedded the lessons learnt from this fledgling stage of the process into their programme to best support your ECTs and their mentors.

4. You are given flexibility

As a lead provider, BPN do not work on the basis of contracts. Instead, they use partnership agreements that offer schools greater flexibility.  

This open-endedness extends to the day-to-day structure of the training. Best Practice Network have committed to ensuring the largest-possible degree of flexibility for training slots and conferences. They also have put contingency plans in place in the event that an ECT might move schools to make that transition as smooth as possible.

The Early Career Framework is shaping up to be a sea change in the way that early career teachers are trained. This offers great opportunities for schools looking to cultivate young teachers. To develop the school leaders of tomorrow, schools should look to enlist the expertise of an established training provider. We would endorse Best Practice Network to run your school’s ECF programme effectively.

To register your school for the ECF with Best Practice Network, please visit their website for a host of ECF information and resources.

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