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Changes to induction for newly qualified teachers

30 June 2021

On 1 September 2021 significant changes will come into force in relation to the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs). The main changes to note include:

  • the term NQT being replaced with Early Career Teacher (ECT);
  • an increase in the length of induction to two years;
  • a 10% timetable reduction in the first year of induction and a 5% timetable reduction in the second year (in addition to planning, preparation and assessment time); and
  • a new role of mentor being introduced.

For some schools and academy trusts this will involve changing the practice of employing NQTs on one-year fixed-term contracts. Whilst it is possible to issue a fixed-term contract for two years, at the end of the second year the teacher will benefit from more employment rights including the ability to bring a claim of unfair dismissal. Consequently, an employer will need a fair reason and to follow a fair process if they decide not to renew the fixed-term contract. In addition, schools will need to update their NQT policy and associated documentation to reflect the new ECT process.

Completing an induction period satisfactorily is required by law to teach in maintained schools; however, many NQTs complete their induction in the independent sector, academies and free schools. Therefore, this advice is applicable to all schools in the sector.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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