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Changes to statutory induction for early career teachers (ECTs)

Inductions starting on or after 1 September 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) rolled out changes to statutory induction across England in September 2021.

These changes are part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy. This aims to improve the training and development opportunities available to teachers.

The 2-year induction programme

Teachers starting induction on or after 1 September 2021 are known as ‘early career teachers’ (ECTs).

ECTs now serve an extended induction over 2 school years. During their induction period, they are entitled to:

a 2-year training programme based on the early career framework

support from a dedicated mentor
time off timetable for induction activities, including training and mentor sessions
regular progress reviews and 2 formal assessments against the teachers’ standards

The end of an ECT’s induction period is still marked by a decision as to whether the teacher’s performance meets the teachers’ standards.

Guidance on ECT induction

The responsibilities of school leaders, induction tutors, mentors and ECTs are set out in the statutory guidance on ECT induction.

Guidance on training based on the early career framework (ECF)

You can read guidance on:

You can also read guidance on ECF-based training for:

In autumn 2020, we launched an early rollout of the 2-year ECT induction programme for eligible schools in:

the north-east of England
Greater Manchester

This was so we could gather feedback and further develop the programme before the national rollout in September 2021.

Schools, mentors and ECTs that are part of the early rollout should refer to the standard guidance on ECT induction and ECF-based training.

Inductions starting before 1 September 2021

Before the changes, the induction period was one year. Teachers serving this shorter induction used to be called NQTs.

NQTs who started but did not complete their induction by 31 August 2021 are now known as ‘transitional ECTs’.

To complete a one-year induction, transitional ECTs must finish by 1 September 2023. Schools should refer to the statutory guidance on NQT inductions starting before 1 September 2021.

From 1 September 2023, all ECTs will need to complete a 2-year induction period.

If a transitional ECT has not completed their induction by 1 September 2023, they do not need to start induction again. Instead, they must complete what remains of a 2-year induction. The ECT should be given access to ECF-based training, mentor support and other statutory entitlements in this case.

In response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, DfE gave more than 4,600 NQTs a one-year package of additional support based on the early career framework.

They were eligible for funded time off timetable and access to ECF-based training materials if they either:

completed their induction in the 2020 to 2021 academic year
had started but not yet completed their induction by 1 September 2021

We identified these NQTs using school workforce census data collections over the period.

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