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Supporting early career teacher development with the Early Career Framework

Explore how findings from research and practice can help you to prepare for the Early Career Framework.

1,250 enrolled on this course

Supporting early career teacher development with the Early Career Framework

Get ready for the Early Career Framework

The Department for Education’s (DfE) new Early Career Framework (ECF) sets out a statutory entitlement for two years’ professional development for early career teachers.

The ECF will be applicable to all new teachers in England from 2021. This course is aimed at school leaders and mentor teachers who will play a part in implementing the ECF. The course will help you to understand how to plan for and support early career teacher professional development through the ECF.

You’ll learn about perspectives on teacher expertise and learning, including pedagogical methods of teacher education. You’ll discuss your own understanding of teacher expertise with peers, as well as your vision for teacher development in your setting.

You’ll explore how the ECF is designed to support early career teachers’ professional development. And you’ll consider what additional learning your early career teachers will need to prepare them fully for your setting.

Implement the Early Career Framework

You’ll be introduced to the importance of implementation planning. You’ll learn about findings from research and practice and use these to consider your approach to implementing the ECF.

You’ll explore the idea that mentoring is specialised practice and hear from mentors and early career teachers involved in the early roll-out of the ECF. You’ll begin to plan for high quality mentoring in your own ECF programme.

The course is delivered by UCL Institute of Education, a global leader in teacher education. The Institute of Education evaluated the ECF pilot programmes and led the early roll-out of the ECF in the north of England. It is an accredited provider for the DfE’s national roll-out in 2021.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introducing perspectives on teacher expertise
  • Exploring the content and purpose of the Early Career Framework
  • Approaches to supporting new teacher learning and development
  • Planning for smooth implementation of the Early Career Framework
  • Getting the most from mentoring within the Early Career Framework

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss different ways that we can understand teacher expertise and learning
  • Reflect on your personal understandings of teacher expertise and learning
  • Explain how the Early Career Framework is intended to support ECTs' development
  • Describe a range of learning activities that can be used to support ECTs’ learning, including in relation to the Early Career Framework
  • Identify the steps needed in your school or setting to support smooth implementation of the Early Career Framework, and your role in this
  • Justify your chosen approach to mentoring within the Early Career Framework and how this will foster ECTs’ learning

Who is the course for?

This course is is relevant to those working in education across subjects and phases from early years to sixth form, and in mainstream and special education provision.

It is aimed at anyone involved in meeting the requirements of the ECF in England from 2021, including:

  • School leadership, particularly those involved in teacher development.
  • Experienced teachers involved in teacher mentoring.
  • Early career teachers.

Who will you learn with?

I taught English and drama in secondary schools for ten years. My work is now researching and developing teacher education and I'm Director of the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research at UCL IOE.

I am an Associate Professor in the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research at UCL Institute of Education, where our research aims to support teachers.

I am a researcher in the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research at UCL Institute of Education. My interests include how schools and teachers engage with research and change their practices.

I'm a teacher educator at UCL Institute of Education. I design and teach pre- and in-service programmes for teachers and teacher educators in England and internationally.

Who developed the course?

UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks



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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$189.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
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  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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