Early Career Professional Development Programme

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

In a recent webinar, Professor Sam Twiselton (Sheffield Hallam University and Chair of the ITT core content framework group) and Linda Thompson (Director at Star Academies) joined us to discuss supporting teachers through the Early Career Framework.

7 July 2020

Star Academies have previously developed a programme based on the ECF for early career teachers in Blackpool, so they know first hand how to ensure it works well in schools. Star Academies are one of our delivery hubs and are working with us to develop and deliver our Early Career Professional Development Programme in their area.

To ensure your school and staff get the most out of the Early Career Framework, Linda and Sam suggested the following top tips:

1. Get all your staff on board early.

Make sure they understand the potential of the programme. Early career teachers need to see this as something that is going to support them and not just another ‘bolt on’ on top of everything else they have got to do.

2. Get it on peoples’ agendas from the outset.

Alert early career teachers and mentors to the fact that they will be involved in the programme and what their role will be. This will ensure they can properly engage from the beggining and be prepared. 

3. Consider how they can make best use of the programme.

One of the most powerful things about this programme is the Learn, Practice, and Reflect cycle and that there is a real opportunity for teachers to get to grips with the theory that underpins what happens in the classroom, and then have the opportunity to practice with support, and reflect on the way their practice is developing. 

4. Think about connecting it to other professional development.

By connecting it with what else is happening in the school, it will help teachers at the beginning of their career to make more sense of it and how it well help them not just now, but will set them up for further devleopment in the future.

5. Think about how those early career teachers could themselves contribute to training.

Some of Star Academies’ early career teachers got involved with training sessions in their own schools, which they loved and was a massive opportunity for them.

6. Choose your mentors carefully.

The ones who will have the most impact, will be the ones who understand the pedagogy as well as possessing good mentoring and coaching skills. This programme will help create great mentors, through a dedicated learning pathway where they will develop their understanding of the ECF, as well as developing their coaching skills.

7. Think about how to prepare your mentors.

And how to support them. Why not upskill your mentors ahead of the roll out of the programme by allocating some of the ECF elements to research and look at in detail and so they can get ahead?

8. And finally, think about the learning culture in your school.

There is a real opportunity to establish a culture where it is the norm to continue to study and to research from your own classroom, at any stage of their career.