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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.

Training and events


Optimus MAT Summit Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London W6 8DR

Come and meet the team at Optimus’ annual conference.

View event


EdCon 2021: planning for the future Online

Our virtual conference for schools and academy trusts is back and this year it’s free!

View event

Focus on...

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021

The Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 guidance includes a number of updates, the most significant of which is the creation of Section Two of Part Five. This introduces the concept of low-level concerns raised about staff, supply staff, volunteers and contractors.


Legal updates

be connected newsletter for education - September 2021

In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.


Legal updates

Information Tribunal supports school’s position to refuse an FOI request for assessment data of other students

Following the awarding of qualifications based on determinations made by staff at examination centres over the past two years during the Coronavirus pandemic, a number of students and their parents have sought to challenge the awards.


Legal updates

Bill introduced to Parliament to enable Ofsted to have powers to inspect MATs

A former teacher and MP on the current Commons Education Select Committee, Jonathan Gullis, has introduced a bill to give Ofsted the power to inspect Multi Academy Trusts (MATs).


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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