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Explainer: the new teacher training framework

The government will combine its two flagship teacher training frameworks to “create a more coherent journey” for those joining the profession.

The change is among several announced today after a review of the initial teacher training core content framework (CCF), rolled out in 2020, and the early career framework (ECF), which was introduced nationally in 2021.

From September 2025, they will be replaced with the initial teacher training and early career framework (ITTECF).

Other changes focus on improving content to help teachers support pupils with SEND, measures aimed at cutting workload for mentors and providing more subject-specific training.

Here’s your trusty Schools Week explainer on the five key changes …

1.    Single framework to help cut ‘unnecessary repetition’

The review found the two framework’s “similar but separate nature sometimes meant that there was unintentional repetition”.

Combining the two “recognises that we now have a three or more year introduction to the core body of knowledge, skills and behaviours that define great teaching”.

The ITTECF will include “new wording on progression … to reduce unnecessary repetition”.

There will be a new requirement for early career lead providers to create “diagnostic tools” to “appraise teachers’ expertise”.

Mentors will also get “greater flexibility to focus on the aspects of self-study most needed to support” their early career teacher’s development, with providers to develop “high quality resources” to support this.

2.    Oak academy to help boost subject-specific training

The DfE said the new framework “does not include increased subject-specific content. The CCF and ECF were designed to work for all teachers, across all phases and subjects – and this is an important principle.”

But lead providers will now “develop enhanced subject-specific materials, designed specifically for their programmes”.

The Oak National Academy will also work with support providers “to enhance their existing provision with more subject-specific content”.

Further details of what this would look like have not been published.

3.    ‘Significantly more’ SEND content

Sector feedback revealed a demand for “further support” for teaching pupils with SEND.

In response, the new framework will now have “significantly more content related to adaptive teaching and supporting pupils with SEND”.

Changes have also been made to “existing statements to improve inclusivity for SEND throughout the framework” and enhanced requirements for providers when created special needs exemplification materials.

Writing for Schools Week, sector leaders have said the changes “create the space for better opportunities to explore SEND practice and develop greater understanding”.

4.    Changes to ease ‘too high’ mentor workload

The increased workload of mentors – experienced teachers who support their new colleagues – was a key issue reported by the sector. Schools minister Damian Hinds admitted today mentor workload is “too high”.

To support ITT, a new “lead mentor role” has been introduced with “up to £25 million” funding available to schools and providers in 2024-25 academic year to allow mentors time off timetable to access “high-quality” training.

ECF mentors will see their training shortened from two to one year under a new provider-led programme aimed at combining the “elements mentors found most valuable” while also removing “unnecessary workload”.

From 2025, providers will also support mentors with “more detailed resources for use in preparing and delivering one-to-one sessions” with new teachers.

5.    ‘We’ve listened to the sector’

The ITTECF’s contents are based on responses to a call for evidence from the sector in spring last year.

Alongside the SEND focus, other key changes include on oracy and early cognitive development.

A new statement has also been added to “the body of the framework to address trainees’ and ECTs’ evidence literacy”.

Hinds said the “review has enabled us to listen to what teachers, mentors and schools think”.

“These improvements are not just policy changes; they’re a pledge to back our teachers for the long term.”

What the sector has said

Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation charity (EEF) said the updated framework was an “important step” to realising teaching “deserves to be built upon a core body of knowledge and skills that describe best practice”.

The EEF has independently assessed and endorsed the framework to make sure “the claims it makes accurately reflect the evidence from which they were drawn”.

Professor Samantha Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education and who sat on the external steering group, said the new framework “strikes the right balance between avoiding too much disruption while ensuring these important areas are given attention”.

Hilary Spencer, chief executive of Ambition Institute, one of the lead providers, added the changes “will help make learning and professional development for new teachers better and more streamlined”.

However James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) said the framework “should be developed by relevant professionals from across the education sector rather than being imposed by government”.

Margaret Mulholland, ASCL’s inclusion specialist, added while there are “no ‘quick fixes’ for teachers or children”, the ITTECF does provide “more specific focus to developing the knowledge and skills to support pupils that need the most help is welcomed”.

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