Support and guidance for schools during COVID-19 (Newly Qualified Teachers)


To provide advice to schools regarding Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) statutory induction during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This year has been uniquely challenging. Virtually all early career teachers starting this autumn had a disrupted initial teacher training (ITT) experience. It’s therefore more important than ever that they start their careers receiving high quality support.

Partial school closures from January 2021 – 5 March 2021

The DfE aimed to limit any disruption to the regular process of NQT induction. As far as possible normal procedures therefore applied.

School closures should not have impacted on the timing of the completion of the NQT induction period. Normally 30 days or more of absence automatically extends induction, however, any absence related to the COVID-19 outbreak (including school closures, sickness or self-isolation) will not count towards this limit.

During the school closures: 

  • mentors and NQTs should have maintained frequent contact
  • regular NQT mentor meetings should have taken place so that mentor meeting forms could still be completed and targets could still be reviewed
  • observations should still have taken place and therefore lesson observation forms should still have been completed
  • evidence collection against the standards should still have taken place
  • there may have been opportunities to strengthen curriculum knowledge and expectations of different year groups.

Please note: all of the above should have taken place in an appropriate format i.e. a mentor may have joined a remote lesson to carry out an observation.

Induction for newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus outbreak should still be referred to regularly. The DfE provide updates and guidance directly to this site.

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Early Career Framework (ECF)

The DfE has published information on the national roll-out of the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms and planned changes to statutory induction arrangements that will take place from September 2021. 

Further information, including detail on early career assessment and the role of the appropriate body (AB) in a two-year, ECF-based induction, can be found in the changes to statutory induction guidance.

Changes to statutory induction arrangements will ensure that all early career teachers (ECTs) undergoing induction are entitled to a 2-year training and support programme based on the ECF. There is no action for ABs, schools, or their ECTs to take at this stage. Key changes will include:

  • The extension of the induction period to 2 school years;
  • ECTs will be entitled to a programme of training based on the ECF, as well as the support of a dedicated mentor;
  • Additional funding for 5% time away from the classroom for teachers in their second year.

ABs will have a role in ensuring that a suitable ECF-based programme of support is in place.

The end of the induction period will continue to be marked by a decision about whether performance against the Teachers’ Standards is satisfactory. Given the extended length of induction, the DfE will amend guidance on the process for monitoring progress against the Teachers’ Standards during induction. To reduce burdens on ECTs, induction coordinators and ABs, the department will also outline that two formal assessment points should take place during induction: one midway through induction, and one at the end of the induction period. The DfE also intends to advise that these formal assessments should be supported by regular and collaborative progress reviews to enable ABs to quality assure the induction process.

The DfE is aware that, as the sector increasingly begins to prepare for upcoming changes, additional detail on these changes will be needed. They plan to provide further guidance for schools and ABs in spring 2021.

If you have any queries about the ECF, or the changes to statutory induction arrangements, please contact the DfE at

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MKC Appropriate Body (AB) Service

For schools subscribed to the MKC AB service, there will be regular updates on NQT Manager. For personalised support from the AB and/or AB admin service please contact

This Service Level Agreement (PDF, 199KB) provides information about the MKC AB Induction Service and more information can be found on the MKPDC website.

Please also refer to the following DfE guidance:

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Last Updated: 8 March 2021