Julia is headteacher of Park End Primary School in Middlesbrough. This year, she is welcoming 5 NQTs to her school. Julia explains how they are supporting their training by signing up to an early roll-out of the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms, and the benefits they hope that mentoring and further support will have on their staff.
At Park End Primary School we are committed to supporting the professional development of our teachers.
At the beginning on this academic year we employed five NQTs all of whom trained at some point during their ITT placements at our school. We already work closely with teaching colleges to offer placements and actively support the development of trainees who apply for posts at our school. To further support them this year we have decided to sign up to the early roll-out of the ECF reforms.
Through the ECF reforms, which will be rolled out nationally in 2021, the government is funding a two-year entitlement to professional development. This will include support from a dedicated mentor. The aim is to make sure new teachers focus on learning the things that make the most difference in the classroom and their professional practice, and help them feel more confident and in control at the beginning of their teaching career.
The disruption to 2019/2020 teaching placements meant that unfortunately all of our NQTs have missed their opportunity to complete a final placement. I feel it is my responsibility as head teacher to ensure they have access to continued professional development of a high standard and, as a school, we should prioritise this training to ensure they become as effective as possible, as quickly as possible.
After a discussion with all NQTs, they were extremely positive about engaging with further training opportunities. Miss King, our trainee said:
If there is any training available that will support me to become a better teacher, I would leap at the opportunity to access it. It is reassuring to know that the ECF reforms provide two years of support. I want to be the best teacher I can be as early in my career as possible, so I am confident in the knowledge I am doing my best for the children in my care.
We want to make sure our new teachers can learn from more experienced teachers and feel protected and supported by their teams. We carefully appoint mentors who understand that our school needs happy, confident, positive, well-trained teachers if we are to meet the needs of our pupils. I will also act as a mentor for an NQT which will give me the opportunity to review the training content and the impact on the new teacher. The ECF reforms will mean that, from 2021, every new teacher in England will be entitled to this kind of support from a mentor.
We have decided to work with Ambition Institute due to previous links through successful programmes (Teaching Leaders and NPQEL) and our deputy head teacher will co-ordinate the programme, which is designed to bring about lasting change in teachers’ understanding and practice. It takes a recurring weekly approach to study and coaching. Each week includes:
- concise summaries of the evidence with optional further reading, so teachers can gain understanding quickly
- short videos of experts talking through the most important insights so new teachers can see what these look like in practice
- sessions for mentors that link closely with the summaries and videos so they can conduct effective coaching
At Park End we are committed to ensuring we provide our staff with CPD of an outstanding level so that our NQTs become part of our school family and as such, we ensure they grow, achieve and succeed.
More information on the Early Career Framework reforms
The ECF reforms will be rolled out nationally in 2021.
Schools in the North East, Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster have until 31 October 2020 to sign up to the early roll-out of the reforms. You can find more information on eligibility, the four providers that offer this support, and how to sign up.
In light of disruptions to Initial Teacher Training this year, the Department for Education has made high-quality resources and materials based on the ECF available to all schools and early career teacher. Teachers can use these to continue their training and development and help build their confidence in areas that they may have missed.