Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a deadline by which ECTs must start and finish induction?

Any individual with QTS who has not started statutory induction by 1 September 2021 will be required to undertake a two-year statutory induction period and has an entitlement to the Early career Framework (ECF).

NQTs who have started but not completed statutory induction by 1 September 2023 will complete a two-year  statutory induction period. They do not need to begin induction again but will undertake a pro-rata two-year induction based on the remaining time they have to complete. They will be entitled to the ECF during this time.

Do supply teaching posts count towards induction?

If an early career teacher takes up a supply teaching placement contracted for a term or more, this forms part of the induction period and they should be registered with an Appropriate Body. They have the same obligations and entitlements as any other ECT. The post must involve regular teaching of the same classes and the Headteacher must agree, at the start of the period, to take responsibility for the ECT’s induction programme.

ECTs should not be offered a supply placement that lasts for a term or more involving only day to day cover of absent teachers.

If an ECT begins a supply teaching contract lasting for at least one term in a school where they have previously taught on a short-term supply basis, the induction period cannot be “backdated”. It will begin from when the ECT’s contract for a term or more was confirmed and the ECT is registered with the AB. The start of the induction period does not have to coincide with the start of the term.

With effect from September 2012 a qualified teacher, who has not yet completed an induction period, can undertake short-term supply work of less than one term in a relevant school for a maximum period of 5 years from the point of award of QTS. This is a fixed time limit with no discretion to extend.

Can an ECT undertake induction in an age group and subject they have not trained in?

Yes. When an ECT has qualified teacher status (QTS) they can teach any age range or subject, irrespective of training. However, teaching outside the age range and subject for which they trained is unlikely to offer the best context for induction. An ECT in this situation is likely to need additional support to meet, and demonstrate they are meeting, the Teachers’ Standards, the employing school should be aware of this.

Do part-time posts count towards induction?

Yes. If an ECT takes up a part-time position they can still undertake induction. Any part-time post will need to last for a term or more for it to count towards the induction period. For example a part-time ECT who has a contract of employment in a school (that operates a three term year) for one term, is no different to a full-time ECT with a contract of employment for one term in the same school. A part time ECT is engaged in a minimum period of continuous employment, so their employment within that period will count towards their induction. The length of the induction period will take longer but an ECT can calculate the amount of time it will take to complete the induction period.

Can an ECT undertake induction as a one-to-one tutor?

It is unlikely that a one-to-one tuition post, on its own, will meet the suitability requirements described in paragraph 2.17 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021). The Appropriate Body and Headteacher/Principal must decide whether an ECT’s post is suitable for induction.

Can an ECT work as a peripatetic music teacher and complete induction?

Yes. The placement must offer sufficient breadth of experience to allow the ECT to meet, and demonstrate that they have met, all the Teachers’ Standards. This means that a peripatetic music teacher may wish to engage in some regular classroom teaching to aid them in meeting the Standards. The regulations on what constitutes a suitable post for induction also apply (see paragraph 2.17 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021). ECTs who are thinking about taking up this kind of post should contact EL.ECTenquiries@suffolk.gov.uk to discuss this.

Can different terms of the induction period be completed in different schools?

Yes. If an ECT leaves a school after one or two terms have been completed, the Headteacher should retain the documentation compiled so far about their support, monitoring and assessment. The Headteacher of the school in which the ECT recommences their induction period should then obtain those records from the previous school(s). This will ensure that each term of the induction period builds on what came before. When a ECT leaves a post after completing more than one term in an institution, but before the next formal assessment is due, the Headteacher must complete an interim assessment (refer to para 2.58 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021).

Can the length of the induction period be reduced?

Yes, but only for Special Circumstances – see Paragraphs 3.2 – 3.5 in Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021).

Appropriate Bodies have discretion to reduce the length of the induction period to a minimum of one term in recognition of previous teaching experience.

Schools will need to liaise with the Appropriate Body in advance so that the eligibility and appropriateness of reducing the induction period can be considered and agreed.

On what basis will ECTs teach a reduced timetable?

All ECTs, including those working part-time on a pro rata basis, should have a 10% reduced timetable in year 1 and a 5% reduced timetable in year 2. This is pro-rata for part-time ECTs.

The reduced timetable is to be used for the ECT’s professional development and ECF-based induction programme. It should not be used as unspecified non-contact time nor should it be used to cover the teaching of absent colleagues. The release time should be over and above any time assigned to teachers in a school for activities such as preparation, planning and assessment (PPA).

In calculating the reduction in teaching time, schools should take the normal contact ratio for other main scale teachers in the school who do not have additional responsibilities and use it as their baseline.

Is it important for ECTs to have a pre-planned induction programme?

The statutory guidance is clear that all ECTs are expected to have a pre-planned induction programme, co-authored by the induction tutor and ECT. It should identify objectives and the support that is planned. It is the place to map out observations, professional and progress reviews, assessment report meetings, CPD, school calendar and ECF related activities and the relevant dates. This will support the ECT to plan their workload and their time out of school.

This pre-planned induction programme should be recorded and can be uploaded to ECT Manager. The format may be one determined by the school or that provided by Suffolk Induction Service. This can be found in the resources section on ECT Manager.

What are the consequences of failure to complete induction satisfactorily?

Failure to complete the induction period satisfactorily means that the ECT is no longer eligible to be employed as a teacher in a maintained school, a maintained nursery school, a non-maintained special school or a pupil referral unit. This does not prevent them from teaching in independent schools, including Academies and Free Schools should the headteacher or principal wish to employ them.

The employer of an ECT who has failed induction must dismiss the ECT within ten working days from the date when the ECT gives notice that they do not intend to exercise their right to appeal, or from the date when the time limit of 20 working days for appeal has expired without an appeal being brought.

If the ECT’s appeal is heard, and fails, the employer should dismiss the ECT within ten working days of being told of the outcome of the hearing. See paragraphs 2.63 – 2.68 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021).

If an ECT fails their induction period, can they take it again?

No. An ECT has one chance only to complete induction. An ECT who has failed to meet the Teachers’ Standards in completing the induction period is not permitted to repeat induction. While an ECT does not lose his or her QTS, he or she cannot be employed lawfully as a teacher in a maintained school, a maintained nursery school, a non-maintained special school or a pupil referral unit.

How is induction affected by maternity leave?

ECTs who take statutory maternity leave, statutory paternity leave, statutory adoption leave, shared parental leave, or parental bereavement leave while serving their induction period or an extension to their induction period may decide whether their induction should be extended (or further extended) to reflect the number of days absent for this purpose. Any outstanding assessments should not be made until the ECT returns to work and has had the opportunity to decide whether to extend (or further extend) induction; any such request must be granted.

If an ECT chooses not to extend (or further extend) the induction period, their performance will still be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards. It is, therefore, recommended that an individual in this situation seeks advice before making such a decision.

Para 3.7 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021).

Is there a limit on the number of days missed through sickness absence or other ad hoc absences?

Yes, the induction period is automatically extended, prior to completion, when an ECT’s absences total 30 days or more in either year of induction, pro-rata equivalent for part-time ECTs. The extension period will be served immediately after the year in which the absences took place. Therefore if year 1 is extended Year 2 of induction will not begin until the extension has been served.

The induction is extended by the aggregate total of absences, for example if the ECT is absent for a total of 35 days, the extension will be for 35 days. See para 3.6 of Induction for Early Career Teachers (England): statutory guidance for appropriate bodies, headteachers, school staff and governing bodies (2021).

Is there a minimum period of continuous employment that can count towards induction?

Yes, the minimum period which can be counted towards completion of the induction period (for both full-time and part-time ECTs) is one term. This applies to ECTs with a permanent or fixed term contract and supply teaching posts of at least a term. It reflects the need for an ECT to work in a stable environment and to be in post long enough to enable a fair and reasonable assessment to be made of their performance. It would be difficult to do this against all of the relevant Standards over a period of less than one term.

What is Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)?

QTLS is the badge of professionalism for post-16 education and training. Society for Education and Training (SET) members are awarded QTLS after successfully completing professional formation.

On 1 April 2012 the Department for Education (DfE) changed the law to add QTLS status to the list of qualifications and statuses equivalent to QTS. This change followed a recommendation from Professor Alison Wolf in her Review of Vocational Education published in 2011.

Since April 2012, teachers and trainers holding QTLS who are also members of SET have been recognised in legislation as equivalent in status to teachers with QTS in schools. They are permitted to teach across all subjects and all ages on equal pay and conditions.

Individuals who have QTLS status, and current membership with SET, are eligible to work as qualified teachers in schools in England. Having undertaken professional formation individuals with QTLS are exempt from statutory induction

Individuals who hold QTS via QTLS, can teach in primary and secondary school provided the headteacher/principal is satisfied they have the knowledge, skills, and competence to execute the role.

Is QTLS equivalent to QTS?

In some circumstances yes, it is. Professional formation is a post-qualification process that enables an individual to demonstrate effective use of skills and knowledge gained during initial teacher training qualification and applied in their current professional practice. To achieve QTS via this route the individual must have undertaken professional formation through SET and be a current member of the society.

QTLS status is kept current by maintaining membership of SET remaining in good professional standing, completing effective CPD, and adhering to the SET Code of Practice. If membership of SET lapses the individual’s details will no longer appear on the Professional Register and they will no longer be legally qualified to teach in schools.

Headteachers/principals should contact SET to enquire if their employee or prospective employee is included on their Professional Register and therefore eligible to teach in schools on the same terms and conditions as those holding QTS.

A SET member who holds QTLS is also able to use their QTLS certificate and up-to-date SET membership card as evidence of QTLS status. If the membership is not maintained the individual is no longer considered to hold QTS.

Link to SET: https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/professionalism/qtls/guidance-for-headteachers-and-initial-teacher-educators/guidance-for-headteachers/

Link to SET FAQs: https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/professionalism/qtls/qtls-faqs/

Is the Early Years Teacher (EYT) qualification equivalent to QTS?

This qualification is not included in The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations, or any amendment of them. Therefore, an individual with the EYT qualification does not hold QTS. The DfE requires maintained schools to have school teachers responsible for the education of pupils in nursery and reception classes. An individual with EYT qualification can support in nursery and reception classes and may carry out specified work with the class or groups. The responsible person is the individual with QTS.

Teachers who trained in Wales and are beginning, or continuing, their induction in England

The systems in England and Wales are significantly different. The minimum period that can count towards induction in England is a term, either full-time or part-time. The Welsh system allows individual days to be counted, provided they are validated (in writing), by a Regional Adviser, the school, or the Appropriate Body. As soon as an ECT begins induction in England they will be judged under the English system for the remainder of their induction, or for as long as they teach in a school in England prior to completion of statutory induction.

Your school will need written evidence detailing the number of days completed and signed off, as being able to be counted for induction. Suffolk Appropriate Body will then be able to calculate the length of time still to be served to complete statutory induction under the system in England.

The systems in England and Wales also use different standards. These have recently changed in Wales and you will need to establish which standards the ECT has been using. The Welsh Standards are different in many respects to those used in England and the ECT must now meet these Teachers’ Standards, consistently over a sustained period, as per the statutory guidance para 1.5.

It is likely that the ECT has been tracking their progress and gathering evidence against the Welsh standards in an online passport, this will give guidance about strengths and areas for development. The Suffolk Progress Review and Tracking Tool can be used to support the transition between systems.

Teachers from the Irish Republic

If you intend to employ a teacher from the Irish Republic please contact the Appropriate Body to discuss the regulations.