Early Career Teachers (ECTs), are a welcome breath of fresh air with new ideas, enthusiasm and energy for schools to harness and help develop.
The current ECTs have had a turbulent training journey; those completing a 3-year degree have had disruption to two thirds of their training due to Covid restrictions.
In this article, we explore all you will need to help your newly hired team member feel supported in preparation for their very first class in September.
There are a number of statutory policies that are required for all schools and trusts. You may choose to share the pertinent policies with your ECTs before their induction begins in September. It is worthwhile sharing these policies on a central location such as an online hub area, so they can then be regularly referred to.
It is likely your Autumn term will begin with an inset day or two, to get your team back into a creative mindset. ECTs are unlikely to have attended inset days previously due to university timetabling and may be unaware of the routines and expectations. Manage expectations proactively by sharing the location, timings of the day and if lunch is provided. A simple expectation such as dress code for inset days can be a source of anxiety for new starters.
Many new teachers will visit the school during the summer holidays to prepare their first classroom, although encouraging staff to have a relaxing holiday away from school should be a priority. Ensure all possible classroom display resources are readily available for your ECTs: backing paper, wall stapler and staples, correct classroom equipment and furniture as well as any display policies you may follow school wide.
We have created a non-exhaustive checklist to help make your ECT transition as smooth as possible:
- ECT Mentor’s contact details.
- Organised contact days (if possible).
- Classroom environment resources.
- Inset Day information shared.
- Policies and procedures shared.
- Personal details for contract information.
- Set up on your school’s communication system.
- Organise timetable for ECT time and mentoring sessions.
You can find more information on statutory guidance on ECT induction and mentors on the government website..