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Early Career Teachers


>Why Us?




Why Choose Unity Teaching School Hub?

Unity Teaching School Hub provides a high-quality, fully-funded programme over two years in partnership with Ambition Institute, for early career teachers and their mentors.  Ambition Institute's DfE-Funded programme builds on the thinking behind the Early Career Framework (ECF) and is designed to help  early career teachers develop the skills and knowledge required to be successful in their roles.   

As a teaching school hub we are a school-led centre of excellence for teacher and leadership training and development and as ECF delivery partner to Ambition Institute, we are responsible for delivering the Early Career Teacher programme to schools in our teaching school hub area within Suffolk.   

The advantage of training with Unity Teaching School is that you can draw on our own local knowledge, making sure that the programme is tailored and relevant to your specific context and priorities.  We work within Ambition Institute's ECT programme framework to provide you with the tools for the best possible start to your teaching career.

In addition to the well-structured curriculum, ECTs will benefit from Ambition's innovative Steplab platform - designed by teachers, for teachers - an accessible learning platform providing carefully structured support, to ensure that mentors can provide effective, high-quality mentoring without adding to their workload.

Through the framework, early career teachers are entitled to additional support and training, including one-to-one mentoring from an experienced colleague. Mentors are similarly offered support and guidance on how to get the most from their role and their early career teachers. 




Transforming the support and development offer for teachers at the start of their career
Teachers are the foundation of the education system – there are no great schools without great teachers. Teachers deserve high quality support throughout their careers, particularly in those first years of teaching when the learning curve is steepest. Just as with other esteemed professions like medicine and law, teachers in the first years of their career require high quality, structured support in order to begin the journey towards becoming an expert. During induction, it is essential that early career teachers are able to develop the knowledge, practices and working habits that set them up for a fulfilling and successful career in teaching.

- Department for Education, Early Career Framework, 2019 -  

Benefits for your school

  • Attract and retain staff 
    • Provide quality professional development for new teachers, encouraging them to stay in the profession.
    • Provide your experienced teacher with teacher development and leadership for participating mentors.
  • Tried and tested support – Access training materials for teachers and mentors that have developed and improved since our involvement in Education Endowment Foundation Fund pilot in 2019.
  • Evidence-informed – Ensure teachers at the start of their career have access to evidence-informed training and development.

Benefits for your early career teachers and mentors

  • Tackle challenges – support with typical problems faced by early career teachers.
  • Flexible learning – access to Ambition Institute's flexible Steplab platform.
  • Develop their practice – support early career teachers at the start of their careers to keep getting better.





Why Us?

> Curriculum




Each term ECTs will focus on a different strand of effective practice: behaviour, instruction and subject. They will also develop understanding of how pupils learn.

The key learning from the three strands is outlined below:

What they'll learn


  • Using routines to support behaviour management.
  • Creating a positive learning environment.
  • Support with overcoming low-level disruption.
  • Support with creating high expectations in the classroom.


  • Supporting pupils through instruction-based strategies such as questioning, scaffolding and modelling.
  • The importance that prior knowledge plays learning.
  • How to adapt classroom practice to meet the needs of all pupils.
  • How to use feedback effectively.


  • Creating good planning habits to support learning goals.
  • Strategies for examining and addressing the gaps and misconceptions pupils may have.
  • Considering how literacy can be developed across all subjects.

How they'll learn

  • 3 full-day conferences (focused on deepening their understanding of how pupils learn, the principles of adaptive teaching, and effective implementation).
  • 6 one-hour virtual clinics to support early career teachers to address a typical teaching problem faced by most teachers, based on their study materials and key areas from the Early Career Framework (ECF).
  • Regular modules of online learning. Self-study modules help early career teachers engage with the latest research and ideas for practical classroom implementation in a manageable and accessible way.
  • Regular instructional coaching sessions, designed to support early career teachers to apply insights from the study materials into their classroom practice. Mentors will provide teachers with a specific, bite-sized step to practice each week that responds to their own classroom context and practice.





Why Us?

> Cost


The Early Career Teachers programme is funded by the Department for Education.  

DfE funding for ECF-based training

The DfE supports schools with additional funding for ECF-based training. This is paid directly to schools and covers:

  • 5% off timetable for early career teachers (ECTs) in year 2 of induction, for induction activities including ECF-based training and mentor sessions
  • a dedicated mentor for each ECT, based on 20 hours of mentoring in year 2 of induction

If a school uses a training provider, the DfE also funds:

  • training delivered to ECTs by the lead provider or delivery partner, paid directly to lead providers
  • training delivered to mentors by the lead provider or delivery partner, paid directly to lead providers
  • 36 hours of mentor time off timetable for training over 2 years, paid directly to schools

Schools that are not eligible for funding can arrange an ECF-based training programme directly with a lead provider, but will need to fund the programme themselves.





Why Us?






The role of ECTs on the programme is to get into a regular routine of professional development – centred around engaging with weekly self-study modules and instructional coaching.

ECTs also need to attend training sessions known as clinics and conferences; these are designed to help them develop even deeper understanding of core aspects of teaching, such as responsive teaching.  

Essentially, ECTs need to put their efforts into learning as much as possible across the programme. This is what will help them have the maximum impact on the pupils they teach.


Mentors are the cornerstone of the support provided to ECTs. They lead the development of a teacher or number of teachers on the Early Career Teachers programme. Supported by our online platform, Steplab, mentors run weekly instructional coaching sessions to support ECTs to transfer their learning into changes to their classroom practice.

Mentors are responsible for the ECT(s) engaging with the programme, including the weekly self-study and attending the facilitated teacher clinics and conferences. Mentors need to support teachers, particularly in terms of contextualising and adapting content for the ECT’s own setting. Mentors on the Early Career Teachers Programme will not be responsible for assessment against the Teachers’ Standards during the induction period.


The induction tutor is the member of staff within each school with overall responsibility for putting the Early Career Teachers programme into action. This will usually be a member of the senior leadership team. The induction tutor drives engagement with our Early Career Teacher programme in their school, for both mentors and teachers.

Key to this role is supporting and protecting the new statutory entitlements of Early Career Teachers and their mentors in line with the Early Career Framework reforms and statutory guidance. The induction tutor will be responsible for monitoring engagement with the programme via the Steplab platform and liaising with the school’s delivery partner or directly with Ambition if belonging to central cohort.


Why Us?



>How to apply