Ofsted reports on success of Early Career Framework

Ofsted has published the findings from phase 2 of its independent review of teachers’ professional development in schools.

The report finds that the Early Careers Framework (ECF) is generally being implemented successfully, with teachers agreeing that their training is having a noticeable impact on their career, particularly in the areas of pedagogy and behaviour management. 

High quality mentoring and investment from their school and from Trust leaders were found to be essential factors in an early career teacher’s success.

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are also largely seen as relevant and high-quality. 

In the most effective schools, the learning from NPQs is being used more widely as a tool to improve staff retention and make whole-school improvements. 

Teachers and leaders value the new range of available NPQs and leaders told Ofsted that they are keen for the funding to continue so that more staff can have access in future.

However, Ofsted found that less than half of those surveyed who were not on an ECF or NPQ pathway thought they were benefiting from a high quality and relevant teacher development programme. 

In several schools visited for the research, the teacher development offer was piecemeal and not strategically aligned with school improvement or teacher development priorities. 

School leaders told Ofsted that workload pressures, and the cost of providing cover while teachers attended training, were long term barriers to teacher development.

The report also highlights some ways that the most effective schools are providing staff with high-quality teacher development, including flexible formats and methods, and networking and partnership working.

Ofsted chief inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver said:

"I am pleased to be able to report that the Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications are providing teachers with well-constructed and effective development opportunities.

"High-quality teaching has a long-term positive effect on pupils’ life chances, particularly for children from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds. 

"So it is important that all teachers benefit from development opportunities, based on the best available evidence."

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