The Early Career Framework (ECF), introduced at the start of the academic year, has already been called into question with both new teachers and mentors found to be struggling to manage their workload.
A report on the first term of the ECF, published by the Department for Education, reveals that 45% of Early Career Teachers (ECTs) found it difficult to spend time on provider-led training alongside their teaching workload, while 54% of mentors found it difficult to spend time supporting their ECTs alongside teaching.
The two-year ECT induction replaced the old one-year Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) induction, giving ECTs extended access to support from a dedicated mentor plus time off timetable for training and mentor sessions.
The changes are part of the government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy, which aims to improve the training and development opportunities available to teachers.
However, the latest findings suggest the reforms might not be having the desired effect, with the pressure of the changes potentially leading to schools taking on fewer ECTs.
In a separate survey, nearly half of primary heads said they were considering taking on fewer ECTs because of issues with the flagship reforms, with new mentors working at weekends to complete training.
A study by Teacher Tapp found just 14% of ECTs and 9% of mentors thought the training was a good use of time. Most of the respondents reported it had added “a lot” to their already sizable workload.
Despite many findings pointing to the contrary, the DfE insists there are "high levels of enthusiasm" for the programme, with 65% of mentors and 54% of ECTs rating their enthusiasm between 7 and 10 out of 10.