ECT Teaching – Induction Guidance and Support

ECT Teaching - Induction Guidance and Support

With early career teacher (ECT) status having replaced what was known as the newly qualified teacher (NQT) – as of 1st September 2021 – a new induction period awaits teachers starting their careers.

Here, we aim to explain, summarise, and generally make sense of the induction process for ECT teaching whilst offering helpful advice and resources along the way.

But, if you’re short on time (we know, teachers are always short on time) then this handy summary of essential information should help.

Feel free to click through for more detail on each item.

You can also jump ahead to the FAQs here, a summary of acronyms here, our list of official links here, and a few starting points for the resource/planning side of things here.

The Induction Process

On making the move from initial teacher training (ITT) to a career in teaching, you will undertake a statutory induction. 

This period – under the new title of ECTs – will last for two years. This is in contrast to the one-year period NQTs previously undertook.

Its purpose is to provide you with the training and support needed to meet the criteria laid out in the Teacher’s Standards.

Induction Can Only Be Completed Once

A tough one to read but an essential piece of information is the fact that the two-year induction period can only be completed once. From there it is either a pass or a fail.

If the programme is failed then that person cannot be employed lawfully as a teacher. They retain their QTS status but cannot re-start the induction process. The decision, however, can be appealed.

This regulation seems scary on reading but highlights the importance of meeting the Teacher’s Standards.

Your Place of Induction Must Fulfil the Programme’s Requirements

To complete an ECT teaching induction period, you must fulfil the programme’s requirements in an institution that falls into one of the following categories:

  • a relevant school in England
    • to include a maintained school; a non maintained special school; a maintained nursery school; a nursery school that forms part of a maintained school; a local authority maintained children’s centre; and a pupil referral unit 
  • a non-maintained nursery school
  • an independent school in England; academies; free schools; 16–19 academies; alternative provision academies; and city technology colleges or an independent nursery school*
  • a further education (FE) institution
    • inclusive of sixth-form college*
  • an independent school overseas
  • a school or FE institution in Wales which can oversee the period under Welsh regulations

*Subject to meeting the various standards set out by the DfE.

You’re Required to Have QTS Before You Start

If you’re wanting to begin an induction period then you must first hold QTS (qualified teacher status). Headteachers or principals will check with the Teaching Regulation Agency that you hold QTS before you start.

You’ll Receive a Reduced Timetable of 10% and 5%

ECTs will receive a reduction in teaching hours for the duration of the induction period. It applies as follows:

  • Year 1: You will teach 90% of the timetable of a full-time, fully qualified teacher on the main pay range.
  • Year 2: You will teach 95% of the timetable of a full-time, fully qualified teacher on the main pay range.

These reductions of 10% and 5% have been allocated to allow ECTs time to spend completing activities from the induction programme.

You should also bear in mind that these time periods gained should be in addition to the time given by each school to teachers for administrative duties such as lesson planning. This time can be referred to as planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA).

Why not try our Teacher Planner to help you maximise the reduction in timetabled hours?

Teaching planner - ideal for ECTs

Your Duration of Induction is the Equivalent of Two School Years

Your period of induction should last for two school years. In most cases, this equates to six school terms which are split into two sections of three terms.

If you serve this term in more than one setting or in a non-standard setting such as an FE college then its equivalence should be decided by the appropriate body. This is true also of those undertaking part-time teaching.

In some cases, the duration of the induction period may be reduced but, again, it would be the appropriate body to decide if this is appropriate or not. If this is the case, you’re still entitled to complete your full induction term but this is surely a matter of personal preference!

You Will be Appointed a Mentor and Tutor During Induction

Essentially, your appointed tutor will conduct regular monitoring and support in addition to the administration of assessment. 

This person should hold QTS and be well placed to assess your standards against the Teacher’s Standards. A key part of this is recognising and acting early if/when you experience difficulties.

On the other side, you will also receive an appointed mentor. This person should also hold QTS and should be given adequate time to support you.

The appointed mentor is expected to hold regular mentoring sessions with you and provide training where needed.

The appointed mentor and tutor should not be the same person.

You Will Receive Formal Support and Assessment

It is important that you are supported during your induction with formalised procedures. Your place of work should lead a structured programme that helps you to meet professional standards.

This includes:

  • training to help you understand and apply knowledge and skills set out in the Early Career Framework’s evidence;
  • regular one-to-one meetings with your designated mentor who, by the standards set out, is required to have QTS;
  • ongoing support and guidance from your tutor (reminder: your tutor provides support in addition to that from your mentor)
  • any observation notes and reflections on your ECT teaching should be provided to you;
  • professional reviews of your progress – carried out by your tutor – to assess development targets against the Teacher’s Standards;
  • your opportunity to observe effective practice of experienced teachers, whether that’s in your institution of work or at another.

You Will Be Assessed in Your Third and Final Terms

You will be formally assessed in the final term of the first year (term 3) and in the final term of the second year (term 6).

These formal assessments should be conducted by your tutor or the headteacher/principal, but not your mentor. 

You will not be expected to produce new evidence for these assessments as it should accumulate throughout the induction period and all recorded feedback should also be made available to you.

Your Completion of Induction will be Determined Against the Teacher’s Standards

Your task of completing the induction period will be completed when you’ve gone through the following:

  • completed the full-time equivalent of two standard school years;
  • your institution’s headteacher/principal makes a recommendation of completion to the appropriate body;
  • received confirmation of satisfactory performance against the Teacher’s Standards from that appropriate body.

Your ECT Teaching is Measured Against a Checklist of Expectations

In order to meet the requirements of the programme, you will be expected to:

  • have evidence of QTS before starting the induction;
  • have an initial meet with your induction tutor to discuss priorities for the programme
  • speak with your tutor to agree how best to implement your 10% (year one) and 5% (year two) reduction in teaching hours;
  • providing evidence of meeting the Teacher’s Standards;
  • participate fully in the development programme;
  • speak to your tutor about any concerns as and when they arise;
  • speak to your appropriate body – you should be given a named person of contact – if there are issues relating to your tutor or the institution;
  • participate fully in classroom observations, progress reviews and assessment meetings;
  • agree with your tutor the start and end dates of your induction period;
  • keep copies of all assessment reports.

These organisational tools might help you in dealing with the mass of admin and planning throughout your ECT years:

Preview image for organisational tools - for ECT teaching


Question: What’s the difference between a tutor and a mentor on my ECT induction? 

  • Answer: Generally speaking, tutors will lead your formal assessments and progress reviews whereas mentors will provide you with structured support, inclusive of guiding you on subject-specific help. The two roles may overlap on limited, support-based items but it is clear that your tutor is the only one (of the two) who will assess you.

Question: I already have significant experience in teaching. Do I still need to complete the statutory induction?

  • Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is yes if you are to teach in a maintained sector. However, appropriate bodies may reduce the minimum induction time to reflect the experience.

Question: How will I find my tutor and mentor?

  • Answer: Your tutor and mentor will be appointed for you by the institute’s headteacher/principal.

Question: With whom do I raise any concerns whilst on my induction?

  • Answer: Raise any concerns firstly to your induction tutor. If this does not resolve your situation then you can notify the named contact at the appropriate body.

Summary of Acronyms

  • ECT = Early career teacher
  • NQT = Newly qualified teacher (replaced by ECT)
  • ECF = Early career framework
  • QTS = Qualified teacher status
  • PPA = Planning and preparation time

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