Frequently Asked Questions

The DfE have published ECF FAQ pages on GOV.UK. Below you will find guidance for school leaders and induction tutors, mentors and early career teachers. 

ECF induction and training: additional information for school leaders ECF induction and training: additional information for mentors

ECF induction and training: additional information for early career teachers

Take a look at our frequently asked questions below. If you have any further questions, we’re happy to help - please email us at or call 01603 733443.

What is the Early Career Framework (ECF) programme?

The Early Career Framework (ECF) programme is a fully-funded, two-year package of structured training and guidance for early career teachers (ECTs). The ECF programme is at the heart of the Department for Education’s (DfE) teacher recruitment and retention strategy to transform the support teachers get at the beginning of their careers. It’s linked to the best available research, ensuring ECTs have the dedicated time needed to focus on development.

What are the different terms used?

Early Career Framework (ECF)

The early career framework sets out what early career teachers are entitled to learn about and learn how to do when they start their careers. It underpins a new entitlement for 2 years of professional development designed to help early career teachers develop their practice, knowledge and working habits.

Find out more here.

Induction TUTOR

A member of the school’s senior or middle leadership team. Their role is to lead the programme in school and be the main point of contact for teachers and mentors. They will ensure teacher time and mentor time is protected.


An experienced classroom teacher with the capacity for mentoring. They will directly support the teacher in their development. They will engage with the programme by carrying out weekly observation and instructional coaching sessions with teachers and also attend conferences, clinics and coaching on coaching to develop instructional coaching practice.

Early Career Teacher (ECT)

A practising classroom teacher in their first two years of teaching. They are the main audience for the Early Career Framework. They will learn and practice aspects of the framework throughout the programme. They will engage in weekly self-study and attend clinics and conferences.

Appropriate Body (AB)

Appropriate bodies have a role in checking that early career teachers are receiving a programme of support and training based on the ECF.

Find out more here.

Full Induction Programme (FIP)

One of three approaches schools can choose from to enable the delivery of an ECF-based induction. The full induction programme is a funder provider-led programme.

Find out more about our full induction programme here.

Lead Provider

A provider who has been contracted by the DfE to deliver the ECF. There are six Lead Providers in total who will work with Delivery Partners to deliver the programme on a national scale. Lead providers will be inspected by Ofsted so schools can be assured that this training will remain high-quality. 

The lead provider we have chosen to partner with is education charity Ambition Institute. Find out more here.

Delivery Partner

Delivery partners work with lead providers to deliver their ECF programme to schools in their area. 

We at Inspiration Teaching School Hub are a delivery partner working with Ambition to deliver the ECF. Find out more here.

ECF Lead

The lead facilitator is responsible for the delivery and quality of the Early Career Framework. 

Find out more about our lead facilitator here.


Who is eligible for the ECF programme and how much will it cost schools?

All early career teachers (ECTs) across all subjects and phases at state-funded schools are eligible for the ECF programme and it is funded by DfE so there are no costs for schools. 

Funding will cover:

  • time off timetable for early career teachers and mentors in the second year of induction paid directly to schools
  • training delivered directly to early career teachers by an external provider - providers will be paid directly so schools will not face any payment burdens
  • training delivered directly to mentors by an external provider - providers will be paid directly so schools will not face any payment burdens
  • additional funding to backfill mentor time spent undertaking training paid directly to schools

For more information please see here

How do I sign up to the programme?

Induction tutors or headteachers overseeing ECT induction can register their school with us here. Induction tutors will also need to register their ECTs and mentors with:

Do I have to register with an Appropriate Body?

Yes, all early career teachers must be registered with an appropriate body (AB) before they can begin induction. Registering for AB services is separate to registering for our ECT training programme.

The DfE has recently announced reform to the AB sector. From September 2023, Local Authorities will no longer be able to take on new ECTs. 

  • From September 2023, all new ECTs will need to be registered with their local Teaching School Hub for AB services
  • Between now and September 2023, schools are encouraged to contact their local Teaching School Hub directly for ECTs appointed ahead of that point

We are working closely with the Local Authorities within our Teaching School Hub region to ensure clear communication and a smooth transition of services.

For more information on the role of appropriate bodies please see here.

Who will be completing the induction sign off? 

The Appropriate Body makes the final decision as to whether an Early Career Teacher has performed satisfactorily towards the Teachers’ standards.

Is the ECF used to assess the ECT progress during their 2-year induction? 

No. The ECT is assessed at the midway and end point of the induction period against the Teachers’ Standards. The ECF is not an assessment framework. It is an evidence based professional development curriculum which is carefully sequenced to help ECT understand what they should know and be able to do. It is designed to support their progress against the Teachers’ Standards.

Does an ECT only have one chance to complete statutory induction?

Yes, an ECT who has completed induction, and is judged to have failed to meet the Teachers’ Standards at the end of their induction period, is not permitted to repeat induction.

An ECT is encouraged to start their induction as soon as possible after gaining qualified teacher status (QTS) but there is no set time limit for starting or completing an induction period.