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Early Career Framework at risk says National Association of Head Teachers

16 Dec 2021|16:01

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has published its findings from a survey of its members on their experiences of and views on the rollout of the Early Career Framework (ECF) in September 2021. The ECF is a new, mandatory two-year induction period for newly qualified teachers or Early Career Teachers (ECT) as they are now to be called.

The survey of more than 1,000 school leaders found:

  • Just over half (55%) agreed or strongly agreed with the decision to move to a two-year induction period
  • Only 40% thought that the ECF will deliver a positive impact on the quality of teaching
  • An overwhelming majority (95%) said that the ECF has increased the workload for an ECT
  • Almost all respondents (99%) said the ECF had a negative impact on the workload of mentors with 81% citing that the workload of mentors was significantly increased

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“It is enormously concerning that schools are finding the additional workload from the ECF so debilitating. One of the key aims of this new system is to improve retention of early career teachers. That obviously won’t happen if they are so overwhelmed in their first two years. Even more concerning, those who are stepping up to mentor new teachers are also drowning in the resulting workload and considering not continuing in this crucial role.”

Overall the ECF appeared to be was welcomed as 68% of school leaders hoped it would have a positive impact on retention rates. However, some may question the implementation of a new framework that requires additional invested time on behalf of the ECT and their mentor during a school year that has again been blighted by the impact of Covid.