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School Notebook

The Early Career Framework

Extracted from the DfE's Early Career Framework (2019)

Teachers deserve high quality support throughout their careers, particularly in those first years of teaching when the learning curve is steepest. Just as with other esteemed professions like medicine and law, teachers in the first years of their career require high quality, structured support in order to begin the journey towards becoming an expert. During induction, it is essential that early career teachers are able to develop the knowledge, practices and working habits that set them up for a fulfilling and successful career in teaching. However, too often, new teachers have not enjoyed the support they need to thrive, nor have they had adequate time to devote to their professional development.


The package of reforms will ensure new teachers have dedicated time set aside to focus on their development. The content of the ECF builds on and complements ITT. The ECF underpins what all early career teachers should be entitled to learn about and learn how to do based on expert guidance and the best available research evidence. As is the case for other professions, areas covered in initial training will be covered in greater depth as part of induction as teachers continue on their journey to becoming experts.


The ECF has been designed to support early career teacher development in 5 core areas: behaviour management; pedagogy; curriculum; assessment; professional behaviours. In order to ensure congruence with the 8 Teachers’ Standards, the content of the framework is presented in 8 sections. In developing the framework, behaviour management was thought to be encompassed by High Expectations and Managing Behaviour (S1 and S7); pedagogy was thought to be encompassed by How Pupils Learn, Classroom Practice and Adaptive Teaching (S2, S4, S5); and curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours were thought to be encompassed by S3, 6 S6 and S8 respectively. Within each area, key evidence statements (“Learn that…”) have been drawn from current high-quality evidence from the UK and overseas. In addition, the ECF provides practical guidance on the skills that early career teachers should be supported to develop in the form of practice statements (“Learn how to…”)

The headteacher is expected to ensure that ECTs receive a programme of training that enables the ECT to understand and apply the knowledge and skills set out in each of the ECF evidence statements. Each ECT should be appointed with an induction tutor and a mentor, these are two discrete roles and should be held by different individuals.

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