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Early Career Framework (ECF)

The new Early Career Framework ensures that teachers who train with the National Institute of Teaching are given the expert support they need to become confident, capable classroom practitioners.

Start Date:
Throughout the year
Programme Length:
2 years
DfE funding available (see below)
  • Overview
  • Unique benefits of our programme
  • Why study with the NIoT?
  • Curriculum
  • Time commitment
  • Location
  • Assessment
  • How to register
  • Cost/funding


The National Institute of Teaching’s Early Career Teachers programme delivers flexible training and relevant support, to help teachers succeed right from the start.

Our programme offers:

  • Personalised learning: Our self-directed study materials will help ECTs learn what they need, when they need it. Our curriculum builds on what’s gone before, but reduces repetition from ITT years.
  • 1:1 support: Mentors will be able to access relevant training and development to support their ECTs on their learning journey, and will support and guide their ECTs through the first two years with clear action steps.
  • Learning from others: Our local networking sessions allow ECTs and mentors to solve thorny problems together, learning from others on their doorsteps.
  • Access to international experts: Our unique in-depth webinars give ECTs and mentors the chance to learn from international experts on behaviour, literacy and formative assessment.

Unique benefits of our programme

  • Unique wellbeing check: Our teacher wellbeing model is informed by research, and takes a pulse survey of teachers and mentors when they are engaging with the programme. This will inform a national conversation about ECF satisfaction, and gives us the opportunity to learn and adapt in real-time.
  • Minimal disruption: Events are a combination of online and in-person, to minimise disruption to teaching. This also reduces the need for travel, fosters small group meetings, specialist sessions and networking.
  • Application matters: We understand that ECTs may have limited time for reading, which is why we prioritise application over extensive reading. Our programme places a strong emphasis on the mentor-ECT relationship, allowing us to provide bespoke sessions for each ECT and facilitating genuine networking opportunities. With reduced travel and more time spent in school, our programme is designed to help manage workload and prioritise wellbeing.
  • Highly contextual study: Our robust cycle of mentoring, feedback, observation/actions, and reflection ensures that all study is contextualised and applied in practice. ECTs will have ample opportunity to regularly observe others to inform their practice and progression. Our programme also includes subject/phase seminars to help make learning more relevant in year 2. We prioritise the mentor-ECT relationship and offer specialist sessions from industry experts. With a focus on context-specific mentoring, our programme is tailored to meet the needs of ECTs in each phase/subject.
  • Focus on the mentor-ECT relationship: The mentor-ECT relationship is priority on this programme, and our specialist sessions from industry experts also assist mentors in building effective mentoring relationships.
  • Support for mentors: Our Early Career Framework (ECF) programme provides focused training to help mentors develop their mentoring and coaching skills. As a mentor, you will receive ongoing support throughout the programme to help you grow and develop your skills further. We have a tailored programme for repeat mentors to reduce the time required for future study. Our structured cycle for mentor/ECT is designed to streamline and reduce the organisational onus on the mentor. We also provide support to contextualise the programme through subject/phase-specific training and an observation cycle.
  • Open source materials: Our open-source materials offer flexibility for mentors to study at a time that works for them. With fewer in-person sessions, our programme is designed to reduce pressure on schools and mentors. We prioritise workload management and wellbeing and provide optional sessions from industry experts to supplement the learning experience.

Why study with the NIoT?

We are school-led. We understand the unpredictability of school life – the day-to-day challenges that teachers face.  We want our teachers to be in school, working with great mentors and colleagues to learn everything they can, without causing disruption to an already complex timetable.

We take the pain out of recruiting ECTs. The Early Career Framework is an important and valuable addition to new teacher induction, but so far it has often been accompanied by heavy admin loads and complex registration processes. Our flexible and feasible programme reduces unnecessary workload, while still maintaining high-quality content and delivery.

Be part of a movement for change. The NIoT is a pioneering institute, representing schools and trusts across the country. Our large reach of trusted partners and networks means teachers and leaders can learn from each other. Our research function directly influences our programmes, meaning participants learn from relevant, up-to-date research. We’re shaping the education system for the better.


ECTs will learn:

  • How to set high expectations for students
  • How to ensure good progress
  • How to demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge
  • How to plan and teach well-structured lessons
  • How to adapt their teaching to different contexts and for different students
  • How to make accurate and productive use of assessment
  • How to manage behaviour effectively
  • How to fulfil wider professional expectations.

How learning is facilitated:

ECTs will have weekly meetings with a designated mentor. These meetings will involve a cycle of self-study, actions, observations and deliberate practice to set specific action steps, allowing new teachers to build great habits in their teaching. More specifically, ECTs will receive a weekly 15-minute observation, with feedback from their mentor, which will allow ECTs to focus on making small, incremental, manageable improvements to their teaching practice.

Time commitment

In their first year of teaching, ECTs will have a 10% reduction in their timetable. In their second year, their timetable will be reduced by 5%. This allows for regular mentoring, study and action from the ECT and ensures there is space for them to embed their learning. It’s expected that mentors also be given intentional timetable capacity, in order to provide the best support for the ECT.


Please contact so that we can advise you of your nearest National Institute of Teaching delivery school or centre. Our regional campuses are in: London, Bristol, Blackburn, Redcar, Doncaster and Birmingham.


Participants will continue to be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards during their ECT years by their Appropriate Body and won't be asked to collect evidence against the ECF. Schools will need to choose their own Appropriate Body. This programme gives training and support for early career teachers and should not be seen as an additional assessment tool.

How to register

Partner with us and let our programme support your school in providing an excellent experience for your Early Career Teachers. 

Complete this form to tell us that you would like to use the National Institute of Teaching Early Career Framework Programme with your Early Career Teachers and mentors.

You can also contact us by email for more information about the Early Career Framework programme.


Teachers are eligible for funding if they:

  • have obtained Qualified Teacher (QTS) status
  • started induction on or after 1 September 2021

Teachers who have obtained Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, are not required to take part in this programme and do not qualify for funding.

Contact us

Please get in touch to find out more about our programmes and find out where we are delivering them near you.

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