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How has the Early Career Framework (ECF) landed in schools?

​NAHT’s latest survey report gauges the views of school leaders on the impact of the new mandatory two-year induction​ period for new teachers. Read the report.

Key findings


  • A majority of school leaders (55%) support the extended two-year support offered by the ECF. However, a minority (30%) have yet to be convinced that the extended period is appropriate
  • An overwhelming majority of school leaders (95%) said that the ECF generates new and additional workload for Early Career teachers (ECTs). Almost all respondents (99%), who expressed an opinion, told us that the ECF negatively impacts the workload of mentors. This threatens the policy intent underpinning the longer induction period to the extent that it could exacerbate rather than improve early-career retention rates
  • Reactions to the ECF delivery offer are mixed in terms of access to providers, the quality of their materials and their potential to impact the quality of teaching.


NAHT’s recommendations


  • There is an urgent need to reduce the workload associated with the ECF for new teachers and their mentors. The Department for Education (DfE) should review providers’ practices to ensure that programmes can be delivered and managed within the time made available for the programme during working hours
  • NAHT warned that late implementation and the continuing pandemic would create challenging conditions for a full rollout. The DfE must immediately resolve confusion over requirements and create flexibility for ECTs and mentors to focus on the matters that matter most for their individual context and circumstances
  • The ECF was originally conceived as a programme of support for newly qualified teachers rather than an early career curriculum. The DfE should return to this original intention by securing much greater flexibility for schools in delivering providers’ programmes and prioritising professional agency, autonomy, and independence.


Read the full report.


First published 16 December 2021