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Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

DfE launch new ITT and ECF framework

We are thrilled to see a greater focus on supporting children with SEND within the Department for Education’s newly updated Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Framework (ITTECF).

Yesterday, the Department announced a new framework – the initial teacher training and early career framework (ITTECF) – which has combined and updated the initial teacher training core content and early career frameworks. This follows the review launched in March 2023, with evidence reviewed independently by the Education Endowment Foundation, and feedback gathered from the sector.

The new framework is designed to help trainee and early career teachers receive a more coherent development journey beyond initial teacher training. Key changes include:

  • An updated and strengthened evidence base, including a greater focus on areas that were raised for improvement such as oracy and early cognitive development;
  • Significantly more content related to adaptive teaching and supporting pupils with SEND, and enhanced requirements for exemplification materials used by providers;
  • Reduced duplication by collapsing existing ITT and ECF content into one new framework;
  • In response to feedback, additional content related to younger primary pupils.

Changes will also be made to delivery, with greater flexibility for mentors to provide resources, a training programme for mentors, and enhanced subject-specific materials from providers.  

Schools Minister Damian Hinds said:

“Great teaching is key to securing academic success and improving pupil outcomes, which is why it is so important we continue to support teachers with high-quality, evidence-based training. Today, we have announced a new combined framework to provide trainee and early career teachers with the knowledge and skills they need in those crucial first years in the classroom. It’s thanks to the hard work of teachers and leaders that education standards have risen significantly since 2010. That is why we will continue to invest in competitive pay and high-quality training, improving teacher wellbeing and easing workload pressures.”

Later this year, the Department for Education will be procuring updated training programmes for early career teachers (ECTs) based on this new framework. They will be designed after an evaluation of the national ECF reforms since September 2021.

The updated programmes, to be rolled out from September 2025, will be better designed to take ECTs’ learning from Initial Teacher Training into account, provide more tailoring based on their level of development, subject and context, and streamline the training and support for mentors, so they can better focus on supporting their ECTs.

The framework is a central part of the Government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy and is supported by the £130 million invested annually into the ECF. The reforms to support trainees and ECTs builds on the Government’s action to boost teacher recruitment, with £196 million invested this academic year to fund scholarships, bursaries and salary grants to help thousands of candidates through their initial teacher training.

Margaret Mulholland, ASCL SEN & Inclusion Policy Specialist said:

"We must equip new teachers with the confidence and competence to know they can support every child. Whilst there are no ‘quick fixes’ for teachers or children, an Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Framework that gives more specific focus to developing the knowledge and skills to support pupils that need the most help is welcomed."

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said: 

“Like all great professions, teaching deserves to be built upon a core body of knowledge and skills that describe best practice and are drawn from robust research. By setting out what trainee and early career teachers should be entitled to know and do, today’s updated framework is an important step to realising this. By independently assessing and endorsing the framework, we’ve made sure the claims it makes accurately reflect the evidence from which they were drawn. Our hope is that providers will be able to translate the framework into practically relevant programmes, balancing the need to cover core content alongside the holistic needs of their participants.”

SFET welcomes this new framework. Combining the frameworks enables providers to build on prior knowledge and reduce repetition of content from ITT. We really welcome the greater focus on inclusive teaching to support all pupils to succeed, including those with SEND.