Early Career Professional Development Programme

Exceptional Professional Development for Early Career Teachers

Investing in early career teachers has never been more important. Following Initial Teacher Training, our Early Career Professional Development Programme offers the essential specialist support needed to improve practice, build confidence and resilience, leading to better job satisfaction and retention.

ECTs learn valuable skills they can use in the classroom straight away and get the structured support needed to help them be the best teachers they can be during this period of change and disruption to normal school life.

Funded by the DfE, this programme is part of the early rollout of the Early Career Framework, with the full national rollout starting in 2021.



Programme content

As with everything that we do, this programme is designed around what works. We use evidence-based professional development models that are the most effective in improving teacher practice and student outcomes.

Space for early career teachers to Learn, Practice & Reflect

Early career teachers need time and space to reflect on and challenge their own practice. This programme is centred around developing the mentor relationship, and includes a carefully constructed programme of webinars, face-to-face training, and self-study activities which support this.

Each of these activities will provide opportunities to Learn the theory, put the theory into Practice, and Reflect on personal and professional development with the support of their mentor. 

Excellent mentoring is key to the success of an early career teacher

The relationship between an ECT and their mentor is critical to driving improvements in classroom pratice. It rests on creating the right conditions to establish a constructive professional relationship, with optimal levels of support and challenge. 

Mentors will develop a range of essential skills and knowledge that they will use throughout their careers. They will become confident with their knowledge of the Early Career Framework, and develop their mentoring skills so that the ECTs they work with get the very best from the programme.

Mentors put forward by schools will benefit from a comprehensive programme of development that includes regional face-to-face sessions led by expert facilitators, and local peer-coaching sessions with a 'buddy' mentor.

A high-quality, blended learning experience 

Our unique, blended learning experience provides ECTs and their mentors with high-quality, evidence-informed professional development. Each topic includes rich and relevant examples from expert practitioners, accessible insights from research, and frequent opportunities to put knowledge into practice. 

The online platform will enable this journey throughout the programme, providing access to self-study materials, videos, webinars, and where participants will book their training sessions. 

Partnering with schools and expert organisations

We are genuinely commited to working with schools to ensure all our programmes are compatible with school life – providing outstanding professional learning with the reality of a teaching timetable and school commitments in mind.

Our Early Career Professional Development Programme is designed with schools and our expert partner, Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield Hallam University is one of England’s largest providers of initial teacher education and is recognised for their excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. They invest in expertise and resources in a wide range of education studies.

Their work is embedded in practice and delivered by working in partnership to respond to the needs of educational employers. Everything they do is informed by broad, cutting-edge research by leading academics and expert practitioners, across many related disciplines.

Delivery areas

As part of the early rollout of the Early Career Framework we are working with schools to deliver a two-year programme in Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster, and across the North East (ONE area) which began in autumn 2020.

We are also working with other schools across England to deliver a one-year programme as part of the expansion to the early rollout

In early roll-out areas

Northern Lights Teaching School Alliance – Bradford
Yorkshire Inclusive Teaching School Alliance – Bradford
Ladywood Teaching School Alliance – Bolton
Astrea Academy Trust – Doncaster
St Bedes School - Durham & North East
Star Academies - Greater Manchester

Across the rest of the country

Tykes Teaching School Alliance – Barnsley
Redborne Teaching School Alliance - Bedfordshire
Arthur Terry Teaching School Alliance – Birmingham
Star Academies - Blackburn
Derby Teaching School Alliance - Derby City
Altius Derbyshire TSA – Derbyshire
LETTA – East London
Lyons Hall (Working with Sigma Trust) – Essex
Saffron Teaching School Hub – Essex, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk
Pioneer Teaching School Alliance - Hampshire
Inspiring Leaders – Leicestershire
KYRA Teaching School Alliance – Lincolnshire
St John Bosco TSA - Liverpool
Inspiring Leaders – Nottinghamshire
Chorus Education Trust – Sheffield
Painsley Teaching School Alliance - Staffordshire
Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance - Wiltshire


The DfE is funding all training, at no cost to schools.

Schools participating in the early rollout areas, Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster, and the North East, benefit from funding for 5% off-timetable in the second year of teaching for their early career teachers, in addition to the existing 10% timetable reduction in the first year. They also benefit from funded time for mentors to support their early career teachers in their second year of teaching.

Schools outside of these areas participating in the one-year programme do not benefit from additional funding, but receive all training free of charge.

Read more about funding in our FAQs.

Latest news

WEBINAR: Essential support for new teachers through the Early Career Framework

Find out everything you need to know to get started this term, including details of the vital support and development our programme of training for ECTS and mentors provides. You can sign-up in 10-minutes, then let our central and Delivery Hub teams take care of the rest. (Please be aware that programme registration for the early rollout has now closed.)

Watch the webinar recording here.

BLOG: Top tips on how to ensure your NQT’s thrive through the Early Career Framework

Read some top tips from Sam Twiselton and Star Academies.

UPDATE: DfE announce expansion of the early rollout.

Read more about the expansion of the early rollout.

WEBINAR: Supporting NQTs and mentors to thrive through the Early Career Framework

Expert panel discussion with Professor Samantha Twiselton, OBE, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education and Linda Thompson, Executive Director, Star Institute.

Tuesday 19th May, 2020 - watch the webinar recording.

UPDATE: How we are working differently to ensure continuity.

Read our Covid-19 update.


About Education Development Trust

Education Development Trust is an international not-for-profit organisation that transforms lives around the world by improving education.

As part of our charitable mission, we invest annually in a major programme of education research which informs the projects we deliver, as well as influencing policymaking and supporting practitioners.

When you work with us, you’ll be joining thousands of teachers and other education professionals around the world who benefit from our support.