Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ECTs and Mentors

What is the Early Career Framework?

The ECF was established by the Department for Education to give teachers more training and development opportunities at the beginning of their careers. As part of the ECF reforms, Early Career Teachers will now receive two years of funded development support and training, as well as access to a Mentor who has experience in a similar setting. All schools and teachers are different, but the ECF will ensure consistent and enhanced professional development and support for Early Career Teachers.

Early Career Teachers will attend a conference at the start of each year, be observed by and meet weekly with their mentor, attend six clinics each year and undertake weekly independent digital learning.

Mentors will attend a conference at the start of each year, observe their ECT weekly for 15 minutes and provide 45 minutes of feedback, attend Action Learning Sets and Boost sessions each year and undertake fortnightly independent digital learning.

How do I access the LXP and the Introductory Webinar?

You will receive an email from a ‘noreply’ email address which will direct you to access the LXP and the introductory webinar. Please look out for this email and make sure you check your junk folder. There is also information in your induction pack.

The Introductory Conference is on a Saturday. Is attendance compulsory?

Yes, attendance at the Introductory Conference is compulsory for all ECTs and Mentors. If you have any further questions about this, please contact outlining your query.

The introductory conference is on a Saturday. As a mentor, will I receive time off in lieu for attending?

You should speak to you school about this. Schools receive backfill funding to cover mentor training and it is up to individual schools how to use this money.

What happens if I miss a mentor meeting, clinic or digital learning due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances?

It is important that you attend all clinics and meetings and that you complete all digital learning. The programme is designed to be accessed in order and you will not be able to access the next clinic or digital learning without completing the present one. Should you miss a clinic or other live session due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, there will be recordings available to allow you to catch up on what you have missed. These are only to be used in exceptional circumstances, however. Mentor meetings should be rescheduled as appropriate.

What do I need to do to pass at the end of my ECT period?

There are no formal assessment points in the ECF. The ECF is a professional development programme designed to support ECTs in the first two years in the teaching profession. There is no paperwork or reporting, the focus is purely professional development.

Your school will have two formal assessment points, one at the end of year 1 and the other at the end of year 2. These are, however, separate from the ECF and the work you undertake with your mentor. For these assessment points, your Induction Tutor will conduct an observation and sign off your ECT years based on this, not on your progress through the ECF. However, because the ECF is built around the teacher standards, your development against these standards should be evident at the formal assessment points.

I am a mentor and my ECT is only teaching during one of my free periods. Should I observe the same lesson every week or can I ask someone else to do some of the observations instead?

The ECF model requires the mentor to do the observations as the weekly observation and feedback are part of the developing coaching relationship. It is not an option for other members of staff to deliver observations. They can support, however, in other ways. This would require a team approach within the department, team or faculty. The mentor can ask someone to cover their lesson for 15 minutes to allow them to do the observation. This could be a cover supervisor or a member of SLT.

The mentor should observe the ECT in a variety of different lessons. This can be done by working flexibly with PPA time, observing the ECT during the mentor’s PPA periods some weeks and using the assigned mentoring period as PPA time in lieu. If the mentor has TLR time, this can also be used in the same way. The observations should take place during different parts of lessons too and shouldn’t always be at the start of the lesson.