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Developing inspirational teachers who can improve opportunities for young people

Capita’s Early Career Framework programme (ECF), designed in partnership with the University of Birmingham, is helping to develop inspirational teachers and relieve pressure on schools

Capita’s Early Career Framework programme (ECF), designed in partnership with the University of Birmingham, is helping to develop inspirational teachers and relieve pressure on schools

30 Sep 2022, 7:00

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We all remember our first nervous steps into the profession and how important it is to have people you can trust to support and guide. The experience that Early Career Teachers (ECT’s) have in those first vital years can shape the type of teacher they become and indeed their entire career.

That’s why the government relaunched its approach to early career training with the Early Career Framework (ECF) in 2019. The DfE is investing £130 million every year to support the ECF which enables schools to access a fully-funded, two-year package of structured training. The framework sets aside dedicated time for new teachers to focus on their development because as the government says; ‘There are no great schools without great teachers’.

Helping new teachers to become great is something that Capita passionately believes in, which is why they have been selected as a lead provider of ECF training. Capita have worked in partnership with the University of Birmingham’s School of Education to develop a programme that equips new teachers with the skills, confidence and experience they need to inspire their students and build rewarding careers.

Janice Fletcher, Capita’s Programme Champion, collaborates with the University of Birmingham who are responsible for its design and delivery. With a background in teaching and headship, she understands how important it is to support teachers, without putting additional pressure on them. She says; “We understand that teacher workloads only ever seem to go up. The last thing we want to do is add to that, so we’ve realistically matched our programme to the time and budget available for early career training; enabling ECTs and their mentors to successfully apply learning in the classroom. Every element of our programme is designed with the school environment in mind.”

A constant pursuit of excellence  

Capita’s lead academic partner, the University of Birmingham’s School of Education, has a world-renowned reputation for high-quality research and collaboration within the profession. The university takes the lead on creating the course content and training the facilitators who work closely with teachers in schools. This gives ECTs the confidence that they are learning from people who have had successful careers in education themselves and understand how to inspire great learning that improves the life chances of young people. 

The strength of partnership between Capita, the University of Birmingham and their Delivery Partners has been recognised by Ofsted too. During a recent monitoring visit, they commented on their ‘constant pursuit of excellence’, stating that they were; “Taking effective action towards ensuring that the ECF training is of a high standard.”

Janice Fletcher says partnership is the key to the programme’s success; “Partnership runs through our programme like a stick of rock. We have a strong partnership with the University of Birmingham and the training of facilitators , who in turn have their own strong relationships with schools. It’s a very hands-on model with close links throughout, and that ensures our training is personalised and responsive, using specialist people who understand education.”

Capita’s programme focuses on the five key areas of behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and professional behaviours. It is designed to provide Early Career Teachers with the tools they need to thrive and make the most difference in the classroom, with an ethos of continual improvement weaved in throughout.

Capita has always focused on making progress and ensuring that they continue to learn and adapt. 2022 is the second year they have been delivering the programme and they have already taken learnings from year one back to the Department for Education. Janice says; “We’re always collecting feedback from ECTs and mentors and that has informed year two of the programme. They asked us to improve flexibility, so that part-time and in-year starting early career teachers could engage with the learning in a way that reflects how they work. We were able to take that feedback to the DfE who have made changes to their approach. This continual two-way dialogue really shapes our programme, making it more impactful for teachers, which goes on to benefit young people in the classroom.”

Relieving the pressure on schools

By working with a lead provider, like Capita, schools can benefit from a wealth of experience and ready-made training materials to support their ECTs, which preserves their valuable time and resources. And, because ECT training programmes are fully-funded, they save money too.

Importantly, Capita ensure that ECT’s are not taken away from valuable time in the classroom. They use a blend of live taught and self-study sessions which require no pre-reading or additional follow up. Self-guided study requires 40 minutes a week in the first year and 15 minutes a week in year two. This means ECTs can be in front of their students more, which is much more motivating and fulfilling and helps to create better learning outcomes.

We know that Early Career Teachers thrive when they are supported by the team within their school, which is why mentorship is also an important part of the ECF. However, all teaching staff are under pressure and it’s vital that experienced teachers are also supported to become valued mentors, capable of providing weekly coaching sessions in school.

Capita’s ECF-based training programme provides mentors with a fully resourced and supportive training experience that equips them with the skills and confidence to work with all teachers. Not only does this relieve pressure on schools, but it also means that the mentors themselves have the opportunity to become highly skilled coaches, regardless of their teaching stage, and an asset for ongoing teacher development and learning throughout schools.

Specialist training for special schools

A key pillar of the government’s Early Career Framework is to support all pupils to succeed, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), and children in need of help and protection. To support this aim, Capita have developed contextualised ECT training that provides the specific support that teachers need when working within a special school or alternative provision setting. The National online training programme complements Capita’s ECF programme and is delivered by facilitators who have experience of providing education in complex needs settings.

Janice Fletcher from Capita says; “Our additional training for teachers within special schools follows a successful pilot last year. It provides specific support to help them apply their learning in a specialist environment, so they can provide amazing opportunities for all young people. We are continually developing the course materials for our programme to match different phases of education, types of school and subjects. We always have an eye on personalisation and contextualisation to meet the needs of teachers and help them improve opportunities for their students.”

The new Early Career Framework is designed to become the cornerstone of a successful career in teaching. By utilising an experienced and successful lead partner like Capita, your school can ensure you are providing the right environment and support to help your ECTs thrive, while also preserving valuable time and resources. To find out more about Capita ECF training programme visit our website.

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