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Opinion30th April 2021

Ark recommends the Full Induction Programme for delivery of the Early Career Framework

Schools will soon be faced with a choice that will determine how they offer teacher training and professional development for early career teachers’ first two years in school. Matt Dunne, Director of our Teaching School in South Birmingham, discusses how schools can save money and reduce workload by choosing the Full Induction Programme.

This week (w/c Monday 26 April 2021), the Department for Education will launch a new online service portal for teachers’ professional development; one of the first actions schools will be able to make on this system is to select what type of Early Career Framework (ECF) delivery route they wish to implement in September 2021 – a Full Induction Programme, a Core Induction Programme or a school designed induction programme.

The ECF is a two year, fully funded, research driven programme of structured professional development and support for early career teachers. The ECF, through professional development sessions, self-guided study and in-school instructional coaching, will focus on five core areas – assessment, behaviour management, curriculum, pedagogy, and professional behaviours – to ensure that early career teachers are given the best possible support in the formative years of their career. Following the success of the ECF pilots, the wider rollout of the framework is an incredibly exciting time for teacher development, particularly through the role Teaching School Hubs will play in providing structured support for schools across all settings.

One significant change through the ECF is the teacher induction period will increase to two years to facilitate the time needed for early career teachers, with the support of their mentors, to develop within this new framework.

As a result, all state funded schools, no matter which of the three delivery routes they choose, will receive additional funding for time off timetable for early career teachers and their mentors in the second year of the induction period.

Whilst schools do have the option to design their own two-year induction programme built on the Early Career Framework, national Lead Providers have developed programmes for schools to use as either a Full Induction Programme (FIP) or Core Induction Programme (CIP).

Schools choosing the CIP option will be able to download their chosen Lead Provider’s ECF materials to facilitate training and coaching within their school. However, the CIP delivery route will increase workload for schools, and create the need for an Appropriate Body to increase its scrutiny of the school’s two-year induction programme, known as an ECF-fidelity check, which will result in increased costs for schools when purchasing Appropriate Body services.

Schools choosing the school-designed induction programme will need to undergo even more in-depth quality assurance processes through the Appropriate Body’s ECF-fidelity checks.

The most comprehensive, and arguably easiest, option for schools is to select the fully funded Full Induction Programme through their local Teaching School Hub (TSHs). Schools selecting a Full Induction Programme will enable TSHs to organise and facilitate high impact professional development sessions across the induction period, monitor the progress of each early career teacher and provide ongoing support for mentors to ensure the programme runs effectively.

Unlike the CIP and school designed delivery routes, the FIP will be quality assured by Ofsted’s inspections of Lead Providers and their delivery partners, meaning Appropriate Body work in schools following the FIP will be limited to checking new teachers are receiving their statutory entitlements and that they are being fairly and consistently assessed.

In addition to the FIP being fully funded by the Department for Education, schools will also receive further funding from the Department when choosing this delivery route. Because the FIP is the most supportive of the three options, there will be further funding paid to schools for the additional time spent on TSH-led mentor training – consisting of 36 hours of backfill time over two years per mentor.

We’re delighted to share that the Ark Teaching School Hub has partnered with Ambition Institute to deliver an ECF Full Induction Programme to schools in South Birmingham. Ark’s experience of this programme in the pilot year with early career teachers across our 38 schools has been overwhelmingly positive.

Ambition’s Early Career Framework programme compliments Ark’s existing commitment to high quality, high impact instructional coaching to develop teachers at all stages of their career. Building on the successes of Ark’s in-house professional development programmes, and our current Teaching School’s work in Birmingham, we are confident we can support schools in South Birmingham with a truly excellent Full Induction Programme. Through the Ark Teaching School Hub, we are really looking forward to supporting South Birmingham’s schools in providing early career teachers with the very best foundations for them to build fantastic careers upon to the benefit of Birmingham’s children.

To find out more about our offer, or other ways our TSH can support your school, please contact the Ark Teaching School Hub at