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Introducing the Early Career Framework (ECF)


The Early Career Framework (ECF) is transforming the support and development offer for teachers at the start of their career. From September 2021, all early career teachers (ECT) - a newly qualified teacher in their first or second year of induction - will be entitled to an ‘ECF induction’.

This entitles early career teachers to two years of support including:

  • 2 years of new, funded, high-quality training available either as a Full Induction Programme (FIP), Core Induction Programme (CIP) or school-based programme (see below)
  • funding for 5% time away from the classroom for teachers in their second year
  • a dedicated mentor and support for these mentors including access to funded high-quality training

Schools receive:

  • Funding to cover mentors’ time with the mentee in the second year of teaching
  • Further funding for schools opting for the Full Induction Programme (FIP) to backfill for mentors to take part in training (36 hours over 2 years)

Programme options

Schools, not ECTs, have three choices in terms of how they provide an ECF-based induction:

Full Induction Programme (FIP)

Schools are encouraged by the Department for Education (DfE) to choose a Full Induction Programme (FIP) approach to induction. This is a free-to-use programme that offers high-quality training for early career teachers and their mentors delivered by an external provider that compliments the self-study and mentor sessions. This is the easiest option for schools and schools benefit from the highest level of financial investment made by DfE.

Fidelity checks by the Appropriate Body

Where schools opt for the Full Induction Programme, which includes materials and funded training, the appropriate body does not need to carry out ECF fidelity checks. This is because the providers of Full Induction Programmes will already be subject to separate quality assurance through Ofsted and contract management to ensure their training provides fidelity to the ECF.

Early Career Teachers programme

Schools can find out about and register for the Early Careers Teachers programme delivered by Bradford Teaching School Hub and Ambition Institute here.

Core Induction Programme (CIP)

Schools opting for the Core Induction Programme (CIP) approach to induction will be able to draw upon the ECF materials developed by lead providers (national organisations commissioned by DfE to create the materials) but they will need to self-fund the design and deliver the early-career teacher and mentor training themselves. 

The early-roll out CIP resources can be viewed here. This will move to the new DfE portal in summer 2021.

Fidelity checks by the Appropriate Body

Where schools deliver induction through a Core Induction Programme , additional quality assurance will be necessary by the appropriate body in order to safeguard ECTs’ entitlement to an ECF-based induction.

School-based programme

Schools opting to use a school-based programme of induction will receive no support from the Department for Education (DfE) in creating or procuring their own programme, subject or phase-specific coaching, and training for mentors in line with the Statutory Guidance.

Fidelity checks by the Appropriate Body

Schools delivering their own induction programmes will require an appropriate body to check these have been designed and delivered with fidelity to the ECF. This means that training and support provided to the ECT has covered the ECF evidence statements in sufficient breadth and depth.


The ECF is free to schools. Details of the funding schools will receive in the second year of induction are available here. Schools in West Yorkshire will receive, based on the information published as of 11/06/2021:

  • per Early Career Teacher: £1,200 to fund 5% off timetable in the second year of induction for all early career teachers in state schools
  • per mentor: £900 to fund time for mentors to support ECTs in the second year of induction in state schools (20 hours)
  • Full Induction Programme (FIP) only for the first and second year of induction: £1,576.10 for mentor backfill for time off timetable for training
  • Full Induction Programme (FIP) only: ECF lead providers will be paid directly by the DfE, so schools will not face any payment burdens for the cost of the programme.

N.B. No additional DfE Funding is provided in the first year of induction for the time an ECT to undertakes induction activities or for the mentor to undertake mentoring as this is already included in school's core National Funding Formula (NFF) grant. Grants are paid in arrears to the school employing the ECT at the end of their second year of induction.

DfE guidance: Key information

UPDATED MAY 2021: Follow this link to access diagrams that summarise:

  • The changes to induction
  • The differences between the FIP, CIP and school-based programme offer from the DfE
  • Details of the FIP offer from the DfE
  • Funding differences between programmes
  • The National Professional Qualifications

Early roll-out of the ECF in Bradford in 2020-21

Bradford schools supported the 'piloting' of the ECF through engaging with the early roll-out during 2020-21 for NQTs and 2021-22 as these colleagues became RQTs. Four lead providers worked with schools and trusts in the city. However, this is superseded by the national roll-out for all early career teachers joining schools from September 2021.

Ideally, schools and early career teachers involved in the pilot during 2020-21 should continue their engagement with their current early roll-out lead provider. This is likely to mean for 2021-22 some schools - those with at least one NQT and RQT - will engage with two lead providers offer as the early roll-out continues for the RQT (to July 2022) and the new lead provider for the region begins delivery for the NQT (from September 2021) as part of the national roll-out.

Registering for the Full Induction Programme (FIP) or Core Induction Programme (CIP) for September 2021

In summer 2021, schools were invited by the Department for Education (DfE) to register on their portal and to indicate their ECF induction preference - either the FIP or CIP. Later in the summer, they will register the number of ECTs to be employed in their school from September 2021 so that the lead provider and their delivery partner for the region (see below) is aware of their need.

Please note: Schools register, not individual ECTs.

National roll-out from September 2021: Exceed Teaching School Hub and Ambition Institute

In March 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned six national providers to deliver the Early Career Framework (ECF). Each lead providers of the ECF has partnered with a small number of delivery partners across the country. The DfE expect lead providers to work closely with teaching schools hubs as their delivery partner for their region. Exceed Teaching School Hub is a delivery partner of Ambition Institute. The Hub will deliver the ECF Full Induction Programme (FIP) developed by Ambition Institute to all schools opting for the FIP, regardless of phase or type, in Bradford and our formal partner schools and trusts beyond Bradford.

Exceed Teaching School Hub undertook a rigorous due diligence process with the lead providers over many months to inform the final decision to partner with Ambition Institute. This included attending DfE events; numerous meetings with providers; the sharing of experiences and information with other teaching school hubs; consideration of our ethical goals and strategy for supporting the region; and reviewing the early roll-out materials.