What is an ECT?

08/08/2022 | All

If you have been training to teach over the last couple of years, you will be aware of the news that the Department of Education has made major changes to what we are used to calling a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). The new Early Careers Framework (ECF) which is behind this change is not just a change in terminology, but is a wider shake up of the whole process of going from trainee to a fully qualified teacher. This blog will help you to understand what an ECT is and how it’s different to a NQT!

What is an ECT?

Where you were once an NQT, you’ll now be referred to as an ECT. As well as the new name, the significant change is that your induction period as a trainee teacher will be two years instead of one. For the first time, there will be a structured two-year package of high quality professional development for every ECT, funded by the DfE. This means a more unified approach to your in-school training that aims to deliver better trained teachers and also better prepares early career teachers for the challenges that they will face.

Why the changes?

The introduction of the ECF has been welcomed broadly by most, supported by teachers themselves, teachers’ unions and the various bodies of the wider education system. This is because the changes allow for better professional development for every teacher in their first two years which should, in turn, mean all teachers are better qualified to do the job so that pupils can get a better education. 

The dropout rate in the first two years has hovered at around 20% in recent years, so the EFC changes are also targeted at improving the overall experience for early career teachers. The theory is that better support and better training will make those first few tricky years of learning the ropes easier to navigate. More teachers will thrive and therefore stay the course. 

It has been recognised that there has been a lack of structured training as an NQT in the past, meaning that the experience of each NQT could differ markedly depending on where they were going through their NQT year. The new statutory requirement to follow the Early Career Framework and to do so with specific funded training is likely to make a considerable impact on the experience for each ECT. The aim is that it will deliver across the board results in terms of better teachers staying in the profession for longer and being better equipped to give a better education to their students.

ECF Induction Training Programmes

Schools have three options available to them to enable the delivery of an ECF-based induction training package and which is on offer for your school would depend on the choice they make. It is likely that most schools will use an external provider since this ensures uniformity of the training and the funding is delivered directly to the third party provider. 

The three types of ECF programme you may find offered by a school are:

  • A funded provider-led programme (known as a full programme)
  • Schools deliver a training programme using DfE-accredited material – known as a core programme
  • Regular professional reviews of their progress

Summary of changes

To sum up the core differences between an NQT and the new ECT entering a training phase, we have constructed the table below:

Length of Induction1 year2 years
Allowed reduction in timetable workload10% reduced timetabled teaching for 1 year10% reduced timetable teaching for 1 year
5% reduced timetabled teaching for year 2
Allocated supportSupport and guidance from a designated Induction TutorSupport and guidance from a designated Induction Tutor. Regular one to one mentoring sessions from a designated Induction Mentor
Professional development trainingNo explicit or implied reference to a particular training requirementA programme of training that supports the Early Career Framework’s (ECF) evidence statements and practice statements
AssessmentAssessed against Teacher Standards 3 times in one yearAssess against Teacher Standards.
2 formal assessments end of first year and the end of second year
Regular progress reviews taking place at the end of terms where formal assessment does not take place.

How i-teachers can help ECTs find their next role

Looking for your first role as an ECT? Maybe you’ve just completed your ECT years and now you’re looking for a permanent role in a new school? Our experienced education recruitment consultants recruit for teaching roles across England. 

We are the UKs highest rated education recruitment consultancy and our team is dedicated to making a positive difference to education through placing high quality candidates. The i-teachers approach is entirely personal – we pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our candidates and schools to ensure the best possible fit. Our dedicated education consultants provide thorough interview preparation advice to all of our candidates going for an interview for one of our teaching roles. Contact us to find out more!