The ECF recognises that teaching must be evidence-based

TES | January 29, 2019

Yesterday, the Department for Education launched the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. I'd like to focus on what many are calling "the heart" of the proposals: the Early Career Framework (ECF).I believe that the ECF is perhaps the most important education policy since The Importance of Teaching White paper in 2010. It offers an evidence-informed way of strengthening early career retention, development and ultimately the quality of the teachers in the education system in England.Importantly, the ECF is not – and should not be used as – an assessment framework. The assessment framework for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in their induction year remains the Teachers’ Standards. Rather, the ECF is the entitlement to a professional learning curriculum in those crucial early years.Statutory induction is the bridge between initial teacher training and a career in teaching, although there is no legal requirement to complete an induction period if an NQT intends to work solely, for example, in the independent sector, an academy or an FE institution. But, in practice, almost all academies do require an assessment of the NQT against the standards.It has always seemed a little odd to me that an assessment of NQTs is made with no verifiable curriculum framework in place. It is surely the case that curriculum comes first, followed by assessment and then finally qualifications.

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