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Early Career Teachers (ECF & Appropriate Body)

Frequently Asked Questions & DfE Guidance

As you work through the two-year induction programme there are bound to be questions that arise. The FAQ attachments below are a good starting point (scroll to the bottom of the page), however, please remember the appropriate body and Teaching School Hub team is always here to help!

The DfE has refreshed some of its key guidance for the 2023/24 academic year:

Changes to statutory induction for ECTs (new update Summer 2023)

Click here for information on the 2-year ECT induction and how it replaces the old 1-year newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction, including the early roll-out of the reforms

Statutory Induction for early career teachers - England (new update Summer 2023)

Click here to read statutory guidance - Induction for early career teachers

Appropriate Bodies Guidance: induction and the early career framework (updated Summer 2023) 

Click here to read guidance on statutory teacher induction: appropriate bodies

The early career framework (ECF)

The early career framework (ECF) sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers. It underpins the entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to help early career teachers develop their practice, knowledge and working habits. Click here to read more. 

Guidance for Early Career Teachers: ECF based training (last update Summer 2022)

Click here for guidance for Early Career Teachers: ECF based training, including Information for ECTs on professional development training and support based on the early career framework (ECF). This is part of your 2-year induction.

Guidance for mentors: how to support ECF based training (last update Summer 2022)

Click here for guidance for mentors: how to support ECF based training

How the ECF supports induction (last update Spring 2022)

Click here for more information on how the early career framework (ECF) supports induction

Funding and eligibility for ECF based training (new update Summer 2023)

Click here for more information on how DfE funding for training based on the early career framework (ECF) works, also which schools, early career teachers and mentors are eligible for funding.

Schools using one of the DfE-funded training providers to deliver early career framework (ECF) mentor training will receive backfill payments to cover 36 hours of mentor time off-timetable for training per mentor, over two years. Find out more here.

Guidance for schools/SLT induction tutors: how to manage ECF based training - including the DfE registration portal 

The DfE require schools to enter information regarding their early career teachers and choice of route on their online portal ('Manage training for early career teachers').

The DfE have sent the portal email invitations to all maintained schools and academies using the email address(es) registered against the schools in GIAS (Get Information About Schools). This is usually an office@, admin@ or head@ email address. Schools can download their entry on GIAS to check that the email address is correct.

If you cannot find the original email invitation then you can visit the following website to regenerate the email: Manage training for early career teachers (

Click here for DfE guidance for schools: how to manage ECF-based training

Step by step icon - vector stock illustration. Illustration of courage -  164556531 Click here for a step-by-step guide to DfE portal registration.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if anything is unclear as we can help. Email


Let SFET Teaching School Hub support you.

OFSTED inspections of ECF and NPQ programmes

Ofsted has published its framework and handbook for inspecting lead providers of early career framework (ECF) and national professional qualification (NPQ) programmes (click here). 

These new inspections will look at the quality of professional development and training and the effectiveness of leadership and management to determine the overall effectiveness of the lead provider (Teach First).

Inspections of Lead Providers (Teach First) will begin in summer 2022, with monitoring visits to check that early implementation is on track. Monitoring visits will judge whether leaders are taking effective action to establish the new courses. From the spring term 2023, Ofsted will then carry out full inspections of each lead provider, a minimum of once every two academic years.

What does this mean for schools?

Ofsted inspectors will:

  • only inspect DfE-funded lead providers - for you, this will be an inspection of Teach First (not your school provision)
  • visit a sample of delivery partners, ECTs and/or NPQ participants, mentors, induction tutors, and trainers to inform their assessment of a lead provider (Teach First)
  • report on any failure to comply with the statutory requirements of the ECF (Teach First)
  • comment on the quality of the mentor training programme (Teach First)

Ofsted inspectors will not:

  • make judgements about individual ECTs, NPQ participants, delivery partners or mentors
  • inspect ECF training in schools that deliver their own ECF-based induction (whether using the DfE accredited materials, or the ECF to design a school-based programme)
  • make a judgement on the content of the ECF/NPQ programmes of education, which are set by the DfE, and approved by the EEF
  • grade individual lessons taught by ECTs or NPQ participants, or sessions led by trainers or mentors
  • consider the accuracy of NPQ summative assessments.

How long does an ECT have to complete induction?

While ECTs are encouraged to start their induction as soon as possible after gaining qualified teacher status (QTS), there is no set time limit for starting or completing an induction period. An ECT’s QTS cannot be lost or affected by the length of time it takes them to complete induction.

Can an ECT repeat or restart induction?

No. An ECT has only one chance to complete statutory induction once they have started. 

Where can induction be served?

The Regulations specify that induction can be served in the following institutions:
• a relevant school in England – this includes: 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 (PRU)
• 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 subject to the circumstances set out in para 2.44 of the guidance
• a further education (FE) institution, including a sixth-form college, in the circumstances set out in para 2.3 of the guidance
• an independent school overseas which:
- has been inspected by a DfE-accredited inspectorate within the last six years against the Standards for Inspection of British Schools Overseas; and
- has satisfactorily met all of those standards/categories; and
- is a member of an organisation which the DfE has determined may represent such schools
• a school or FE institution in Wales in which an induction period may be served under Welsh regulations

Induction in a maintained, non-maintained or independent nursery school, or maintained children’s centre
ECTs employed and completing a period or part-period of statutory induction in these settings must have a headteacher/principal who can make the recommendation against the Teachers’ Standards and should teach classes of pupils predominantly aged three and over. The headteacher/principal should ensure that the ECT’s post is suitable for induction.


Induction in further education institutions (including sixth-form colleges and 16-19 academies)

Induction in further education institutions (including sixth-form colleges and 16-19 academies)
An FE institution, sixth-form college or 16–19 academy wishing to offer an ECT a post in which to serve a statutory induction period is expected to:
• ensure that normally no more than 10% of the ECT’s teaching in the FE institution is devoted to teaching classes predominantly consisting of pupils aged 19 and over;
• enable the ECT to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of day-today practices and the role of a teacher in a school; ECTs should spend the equivalent of at least ten days teaching children of compulsory school age in a school during their induction; and
• make every effort to provide the ECT with up to a further 15 days’ experience in a school setting.

Institutions where induction cannot be served

Workplaces which cannot offer statutory induction are:
• a secure training centre
• a secure children’s home
• a school requiring special measures (i.e. one which is eligible for intervention under section 62 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006), except in cases where Ofsted have judged a school, or part of a school, to be suitable to host induction. Relevant schools and academies can continue to host induction where a teacher was employed on an employment-based initial teacher training scheme in the school prior to gaining QTS, or had already started an induction period in the setting, before it entered special measures. Generally, once a setting has entered special measures it is not permitted to recruit any new ECTs. However, an Ofsted Inspector may make a judgement on whether the setting is suitable for the purposes of induction. In some cases, particularly with larger schools, Ofsted may give permission for ECT appointments within specific departments or subject departments of the school.
• an FE institution where, following an Ofsted inspection, it is reported that the overall effectiveness of the institution, or part of its education or training, has been judged to be inadequate (category 4) except in cases where Ofsted has judged the institution or part of the institution to be suitable to host induction. ECTs already serving induction in an FE institution where the overall effectiveness of the institution, or part of its education and training, have been judged to be inadequate (category 4) at the time of inspection, can continue to serve induction. FE institutions judged as inadequate, or where leadership and management is judged inadequate, should have a certification in writing from the Chief Inspector that the institution, or the part of such an institution in which the person in question teaches, is fit for the purpose of providing supervision and training during an induction period.

What happens if an ECT is judged to have failed to meet the Teachers’ Standards at the end of their induction period?

An ECT has only one chance to complete statutory induction. An ECT who has completed induction and is judged to have failed to meet the Teachers’ Standards at the end of their induction period, is not permitted to repeat induction (although they may appeal against the decision). While such an ECT does not lose their QTS, they cannot be employed lawfully as a teacher in a relevant school, including any post where they would carry out specified work. Their name is included on the list of persons, held by the Teaching Regulation Agency, who have failed to satisfactorily complete an induction period.