Episode 2

The ‘golden thread’ helping to retain ECTs with Sam Twiselton OBE & Dr Nicky Platt

In recent years there’s been a shift in how we nurture teachers at the beginning of their career journeys, so how has a ‘golden thread’ approach to training Early Career Teachers helped solve the teacher retention equation?


Two experts driving the Early Career Framework that’s providing support to new teachers join Tony McAleavy on Brighter Futures this week: Samantha Twiselton OBE, Director of the Sheffield Institute of Education, and our own Dr Nicky Platt, Lead Education Advisor.

We break down the discourse around research that’s informing these vital frameworks, how to encourage more mentors to engage with the Early Career Framework programme, and where international schools can implement a similarly effective ‘golden thread’.

This episode covers:

  • The ‘Golden Thread’ that’s keeping teachers engaged throughout their entire careers
  • Extended training schemes for teachers, and how they’re improving teacher retention
  • How research documents are continually evolving the framework by which we induct Early Career Teachers
  • The role of mentors, and how their needs must be addressed to nurture mutual professional development
  • Which aspects of the English system serve as a useful learning tool for educational establishments internationally

'Teachers would get a bit fed up in the middle of their career and leave the profession, taking with them all that incredible experience and expertise that they built up. So a major driver was to try and stop this happening by creating what the DfE calls a golden thread. That golden thread is a teacher development system that goes, if you like, from cradle to grave of a career.'

5:00 - Dr Nicky Platt

'To be an effective practitioner, you need to be aware of these debates, you need to be aware that the evidence doesn't normally give you one definite conclusion, that actually education is so complex, with so many different variables. It can point you in some general directions, but it can't give you the precise answer for the class in front of you with all the particular variables that day.' 

13:45 - Samantha Twiselton OBE 

'It's so important that mentors have a really in-depth knowledge of the evidence base behind the Early Career Framework. They understand what the whole point of this is, so they're completely bought into it, and that they see being on the ECF Programme as a professional learning opportunity of their own.'

23:05 - Dr Nicky Platt

'If you're lucky enough to work in a group of schools then you can actually replicate your own ‘golden thread’. I know quite a lot of groups of international schools are doing this already. In fact, some of what's happening in England is learning from the good practice that existed elsewhere already.'

33:55 - Samantha Twiselton OBE