Early Career Framework (ECF)

Statutory changes for all early career teachers to be implemented by schools from September 2021.

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The Early Career Framework (ECF) has been designed to make sure early career teachers focus on learning the things that make the most difference in the classroom and their professional practice.

Induction programmes will include high-quality development materials, underpinned by the ECF, which will support early career teachers to develop the essential knowledge and skills to set them up for a successful and fulfilling career in teaching.

The ECF has been compiled by an expert advisory group with input from teachers, school leaders, academics and experts and has been independently assessed and endorsed by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The Early Career Framework (ECF) underpins an entitlement to a fully funded, two-year package of structured training and support for early career teachers linked to the best available research evidence. The package of reforms will ensure new teachers have dedicated time set aside to focus on their development, with additional funding set aside to support this. 

School leaders will have a statutory obligation to ensure that The Early Career Framework is implemented for all early career teachers from September 2021. Full details about the DfE changes to statutory induction and the early career framework reforms (which replace the previous NQT induction arrangements) can be found below.


Three Early Career Teacher (ECT) Induction Programme Options

Registration for the Early Career Framework (ECF) is now open to all schools. Schools are able to choose from three Early Career Teacher (ECT) induction programme options:

Use a training provider to support meeting the new statutory induction requirements

Deliver your own induction programme in your own school using high quality materials and resources, accredited by the DfE.

Design your own two year induction programme based on the Early Career Framework

Schools have the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of the ECF by selecting the relevant induction programme to suit their needs. Any school who has employed an ECT to begin employment in September 2021 MUST select one of the options as a statutory obligation.


Full Induction

Registration for the Early Career Framework (ECF) is now open. Schools/MATs employing ECTs from September 2021 will need to register via the DfE online service. This service will ask for several details in relation to induction programme preference, number of ECTs and mentor details. Schools are able to choose from the three Early Career Teacher (ECT) induction programme options.

The DfE awarded 6 national lead providers a contract for the design and QA of the Full Induction programme. Lead providers will be working with a range of local delivery partners, to offer the Full Induction programme which has full fidelity to the ECF reforms. In collaboration with TS Hubs and national lead providers, Learners First is excited to be involved in the delivery of the Full Induction Programme.

Lead Providers will be held to account for the quality of their training through regular quality assurance so schools can be assured that this training will remain high quality. The full induction programme is fully funded and will be delivered by high quality facilitators who have undergone intensive training and development by lead provider, EDT. Full Induction training will be available across Learners First for both Early Career Teachers and mentors.

Funding will be paid directly to the provider by the DfE – schools will not have any burdens in terms of payment. Funding is available to pay for mentor time-off timetable for 36 hours over two years for mentors to attend CPD courses and other training and professional development activities.

The Full Induction Programme is a freely available national offer.

In addition and in response to school leader feedback, we are also able to offer support to subscribing schools wishing to follow the ‘Core Induction’ option.

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Early Career Teacher – Enhanced CPD Opportunities

All Phases

The Early Career enhanced CPD opportunities have been designed to reflect the challenges teachers in the early stages of their career face within the classroom. These opportunities have been organised into core themes, building on the content and approach of the Early Career Framework. They provide a progressive professional development pathway with practical support, strategies and ideas.

The CPD enhancements are aligned to the Early Career Framework, which spans age phases. The sessions will be delivered through a series of online webinars and have been designed by a range of specialist colleagues. The enhanced opportunities available in the current overview are available for Primary, Secondary and Special Early Career Teachers and are aimed primarily at ECT2/NQT+1 teachers (previously RQTs), or colleagues interested in refreshing their knowledge or further developing their skills.

Throughout the year, and acting on feedback from mentors and ECTs, Leaners First have the opportunity to add additional, enhanced CPD opportunities. Carefully designed to be complementary to the ECF and school based support, they will add value to support and enhance learning from other areas of the Early Career Framework, Year 1 programme.




Following national reforms which take effect from September 2021, Appropriate Bodies will have a role in checking that early career teachers (ECTs) are receiving a programme of support and training based on the ECF across the two years of statutory induction as well as ensuring they receive statutory entitlements and are fairly and consistently assessed. Changes also come into effect from September 2021 relating to the organisations eligible to act as Appropriate Bodies.


There are many implications as a result of these new statutory reforms for school leaders to consider, including staffing and financial resource, and we are conscious that it is not the easiest landscape to navigate.

Colleagues within Learners First have knowledge, experience, and expertise about all three ECF programmes which can be used to support your school/MAT explore the changes, opportunities and next steps. This is led by the Strategic Lead for Early Career Development who is also able to offer bespoke briefings, telephone/zoom calls or information sessions to schools and/or MATs.

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ECF Contact

For information regarding the Early Career Framework or to discuss your options please contact:

Early Career Lead: Claire Garbutt