What is an ECT Teacher?

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn: 

  • What an ECT Teacher is
  • How to transition from trainee to ECT
  • Induction programmes to help support getting into an ECT role
  • How to apply for the latest ECT Teacher jobs

In 2021, the UK government changed the guidance on the induction process for new teachers. Firstly, the term ‘Early Career Teacher’ (ECT) replaced the old terminology ‘Newly Qualified Teacher’ (NQT), along with a number of other major changes to the process.

In this article we’re going to review the ECT role, and provide some tips and guidance for an ECT transitioning into a full time teacher

What is an ECT Teacher?

An ECT is a newly qualified teacher, who has completed teacher training and is now undergoing their induction programme in their new career. 

Like any new career, the initial stages require training and development time to build confidence and ability. The induction period for an ECT changed from one academic year to 2 in 2021. This induction period is mapped out by the Early Career Framework (ECF), to give new teachers the best possible chance of succeeding in the role. This mentor-led support system for new teachers has been designed to support early career teacher development in 5 core areas:

  • Behaviour management
  • Pedagogy (Methods of teaching) 
  • Curriculum 
  • Assessment 
  • Professional behaviours

The ECF is a fully funded package of structured training and development for ECTs designed to give them the best support and learning during the early stages of their career, where it is needed most. 

Transitioning from trainee to ECT

The transition from trainee teacher to ECT can be challenging. You will have worked long and hard to gain qualified teacher status, and still your journey is very much just beginning. It’s important to keep focussed on your development to make sure you continue your personal as well as professional development in the most beneficial way possible. 

Keep learning

You’ve just gained ECT status only to find that there’s a two year induction process to work through. While this is undoubtedly the best available way for you to become the best teacher you can be – you may understandably feel humbled by it straight away. 

Try not to lose sight of the fact that a good teacher is constantly learning at every stage of their career. Maintain the culture of learning by taking a look at the best teaching books, to help your ECT induction, or join a subject association to stay on top of any relevant developments in your chosen specialism.

Keep a balance

Your lifestyle will change as you transition from trainee to ECT.  There are a number of reasons for this, such as earning better pay as a qualified teacher or working longer hours now that your responsibilities have increased. 

It's important that you maintain a healthy work-life balance as a Teacher during this transition. Yes, you may have less free time or feel more tired by your job, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your hobbies or social life completely as an ECT. In fact, including certain hobbies on a Teacher CV can enhance this. Find a balance and work hard at maintaining it, right from day one. 

Keep a record

You will probably feel busier than you’ve ever felt before. It’s important to take the time to reflect on this and make sure you’re not burning out. Consider keeping a journal to record your progress as well as what you want to develop and work on. It can help you focus your learning and acknowledge your achievements too. Remember to celebrate your successes! 

Induction programmes to help support getting into an ECT role

To complement the ECT induction period, there are a number of induction programmes available that an ECT can purchase to supplement their development. They are designed to work alongside a school’s programme to give ECTs further support and resources over the induction period. Different programmes will offer different features, so it’s a good idea to do your research to find the right one for you. Many of them will offer: 

  • Independent assessments of your progress 
  • Access to learning resources 
  • Online support
  • Mentoring and coaching  
  • Tutoring and training sessions

It is also possible to take induction programme courses that can accelerate the ECT induction period significantly. These courses are designed to quickly help you develop the skills and experience required to pass your statutory induction as an ECT. 

Teacher’s standards

The Teachers’ Standards are used to assess all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status, which includes ECTs completing their statutory induction period. They are split into two key areas: 

  • Teaching. This relates to the practical teaching standards in the classroom. It includes assessing lesson structure, knowledge of the curriculum and pupil’s progress. 
  • Personal and professional conduct. This relates to an ECTs behaviour, ethics and tolerances both in and out of the workplace. 

These standards set out the minimum expectations for qualified teachers and are used as a benchmark for assessing trainees and ECTs completing their induction period. 


Latest teaching jobs at Spencer Clarke Group

If you’re searching for your next teaching job, why not take a look at all the vacancies currently available in schools across the UK now? 

We work with hundreds of schools across the country on a range of different contract types. Love to discover more? Upload your CV or contact our Managing Consultant, Jamie Heath on 01772 954200 now. 

Preparing your CV for your next teaching job? Check out our education & SEND career hub now for practical tips and advice to help you in your job search. 

Meet Jamie Heath

Who is Spencer Clarke Group? 

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

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