Early Career Programme

Early Career Programme

Registering ECTs on the Saffron Teaching School Hub Early Career Programme

** DfE Registration for September 2023 ECTs and Mentors opens on Monday 3rd July **

The Early Career Framework has been introduced by the DfE to provide support and guidance to Early Career Teachers (ECTs) throughout their first two years of teaching. The framework is structured to further develop ECTs' professional practice through online learning, virtual training and the support of a fully trained mentor.

Saffron Teaching School Hub is working in partnership with Education Development Trust to deliver the Early Career Framework programme. This DfE-funded programme is open to all schools in Braintree, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford with ECTs.

How do I register for the Saffron Teaching School Hub Early Career Programme?

Dfe Registration for September 2023 ECTs and Mentors opens in the week commencing Monday 3rd July. As part of the DfE Registration process, you can register your ECT(s) for our Early Career Professional Development Programme.

Further information on DfE Registration (which includes registration for our Early Career Programme) will be provided in due course.

As well as registering your ECTs with the DfE, you also need to register your ECTs with the Saffron Appropriate Body Service. This is a separate process and is not part of the DfE Registration process.

Registering ECTs with the Saffron Appropriate Body Service

All ECTs must be registered with an Appropriate Body

The appointment of an Appropriate Body is a statutory requirement for the Early Career Teacher (ECT) induction period.

Saffron Teaching School Hub (the Saffron AB Service) is a designated Appropriate Body within Braintree, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford. We provide Appropriate Body services as well as the full induction programme for the Early Career Framework. All qualified teachers who are employed in a relevant school in England must have completed an induction period satisfactorily, subject to specified exemptions and confirmed by an Appropriate Body.

To register your ECT with the Saffron AB service, click here.

Introduction to the Early Career Framework (ECF)

The ECF sets out what ECTs are entitled to learn about and what they should learn how to do when they start their careers, focusing on the key areas of: behaviour management; pedagogy; classroom practice; subject knowledge; assessment and questioning; and professional development. It underpins a new statutory entitlement to receive two years of high quality training and in-school mentor support. 

This entitlement includes:

  • Two years of new, funded, high quality training available either as a Full Induction Programme (FIP), Core Induction Programme (CIP) or School-based Induction Programme.
  • Funding for 5% time away from the classroom for teachers in their second year.
  • A dedicated mentor, with support for these mentors including access to high quality training.
  • Funding to cover mentors' time with the mentee in the second year of teaching.
  • The ECF is not an assessment tool, as ECTs continue to be assessed separately against the Teacher Standards overseen by Appropriate Bodies.

Saffron Teaching School Hub Early Career Programme

Saffron TS Hub provides the DfE Funded Induction Programme (FIP) to schools, in partnership with Education Development Trust (EDT). The Saffron TS Hub programme is for all ECTs in all schools, regardless of phase or type, primarily in the five Essex Local Authority Districts of Braintree, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

The Saffron TS Hub programme is delivered by a team of expert facilitators from across the whole Hub area to ensure we can tailor delivery to local context.

Read about the programme from the perspective of an ECT, a Mentor, an Induction Tutor and a Facilitator here.


The Saffron/EDT ECF programme is funded by the DfE so there are no costs to schools. This is known as the Funded Induction Programme (FIP).

In addition, schools will be funded for:

  • Time off timetable for ECTs and mentors in their second year
  • Training delivered directly to ECTs and mentors
  • Additional funding to back fill mentor time up to 36 hours

Payment will be received at the end of the second year. Schools will receive:

  • Per Early Career Teacher: £1,200 (£1,300 for Fringe areas)
  • Per mentor: £900

Why Education Development Trust?

The Education Development Trust (EDT) ECF programme develops a constructive developmental relationship with ECTs, using the principles of instructional coaching that also harness teachers' own experience and expertise.

To date, instructional coaching has a stronger evidence base for its impact on pupil outcomes that any other form of CPD (Sims, 2019). Mentors are trained in the principles of instructional coaching to help ECTs identify not only what needs to improve, but precisely how. This structured cycle of identify - learn - improve underpins all mentor/ECT guidance in the EDT ECF programme.

However, the EDT ECF programme also offers flexibility to include dialogic and facilitative coaching, avoiding a dogmatic insistence on instructional coaching which alienates mentors, so that they don't feel frustrated and disempowered by the lack of room to use their professional judgement. The flexibility of the EDT ECF programme opens up space intellectually and practically for mentors to tailor their approach to the ECT, working with them on a daily and weekly basis. This combination of coaching practices provides a rich and flexible model for mentoring ECTs in the first year of teaching.

Key features of the Saffron/EDT ECF programme - for Early Career Teachers

The key features of the Saffron/EDT ECF programme for ECTs are:

  • Face-to-face and webinar sessions, exploring effective classroom practice across settings, phases and specialisms
  • Regional and local training sessions delivered in schools across Braintree, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford
  • Regular mentoring sessions with a focus on learning, practising and improving
  • Opportunities for reflection and discussion through local networks

The two-year schedule for ECTs is summarised below:

Key features of the Saffron/EDT ECF programme - for mentors

The key features of the Saffron/EDT ECF programme for mentors are:

  • Specialist training and support to ensure confidence in their knowledge of the ECF
  • Opportunities to learn new mentoring and coaching techniques to strengthen essential skills to use throughout their careers
  • Access to the latest pedagogical research and evidence

The two-year schedule for mentors is summarised below:



Contact us

If you have any questions about the Saffron/EDT ECF programme, contact our ECF Lead Angela Cass at acass@efspt.org or 07793 555315.  

Early Career Programme Facilitator Recruitment

Are you interested in becoming a facilitator on our Early Career Programme? For further information and details of the application process, click on the link below:

Early Career Programme Facilitator