Early Career Framework

Astra TSH works in partnership with Best Practice Network to deliver the DfE-funded Early Career Framework (ECF) programme for Early Career Teachers (ECTs) in Buckinghamshire. Best Practice Network is a Lead Provider delivering the ECF nationwide. Astra TSH is a Delivery Partner for Best Practice Network. Further details on the Best Practice Network ECF programme can be found at

If you have any questions please email the Best Practice Network ECF participant support team at who will be happy to help. Likewise, you can contact Amanda Timmington ( or Jules Montgomery-McCullagh ( at Astra for further information. 

What is the ECF?

From September 2021, the government is funding an entitlement for all ECTs in England to access high-quality professional development at the start of their career with a view to greater teacher support and retention. New teachers will now receive developmental support and training over 2 years as part of their statutory induction, underpinned by the DfE’s Early Career Framework reforms. The ECF covers training on behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours. 


How much does the ECF Programme cost?

For schools choosing the DfE-funded programme (such as with Best Practice Network), it is freely available for all maintained schools and academies in England. As well as full access to the programme (which covers all training and delivery costs), schools will also receive an additional backfill payment to cover the cost of release-time for the Mentor training (36 hours over the 2 years).

Schools choosing to deliver or design their own ECF-based programme will not receive any additional funding from the DfE as outlined above. All costs associated with delivering and training will need to be funded by the school. 

What does the ECF Programme look like with Best Practice Network?


23 24 ect programme structure


23 24 mentor programme structure

How do I register my ECTs and Mentors for the ECF Programme with Best Practice Network?

1. Access the DfE online service to input your ECT and mentor details and select Best Practice Network as your Lead Provider and Astra Teaching School Hub as the Delivery Partner. Best Practice Network will then get in touch with your ECT and Mentor to get them registered on the programme. Upon completion of the registration form the ECT and Mentor will be sent a welcome pack which includes preparatory information about the ECF programme, a handbook and a list of links to register themselves for their Induction Conference.

Schools do not need to re-register ECTs and ECMs moving into the second year of their ECF programme (unless they are transferring from another school, in these instances register them in the same way as a new ECT for the correct academic year they started their ECF training).

If you have any problems in accessing the service please email Step by step guidance on how to use the service can be found here.

2. If your school has not used Best Practice Network before, or you are changing Lead Provider to Best Practice Network, you will need to register with Best Practice Network as well

Schools already working with Best Practice Network do not need to re-register with BPN.

What is the Schools Dashboard?

The Best Practice Network Schools Dashboard is a user-friendly way for Headteachers and Induction Tutors to find and view key information about their ECTs and mentors during the programme. Key benefits include:

  • Monitor ECT/mentor registrations and information
  • ECT/mentor programme schedules to support with engagement, workload planning and staff cover
  • Access the latest newsletters, policies and guidance
  • Monitor ECT/mentor progress and attendance

Induction Tutors are also granted access to the BPN Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas) which provides a detailed and interactive view of the programme. Further information on Canvas can be found here 

To find out more about the Schools Dashboard please visit

What if my ECT is not following a standard 2-year induction?

Best Practice Network has published a document linked here regarding how they are making the ECF accessible to those ECTs not following the standard 2-year induction (part-time ECTs, reduced induction, ECTs transferring schools and ECTs starting induction part way through the academic year).

What if I need to make changes to Induction Tutor, Mentor or ECT details during the programme?

Any changes during the programme need to be recorded via the DfE online service. These could include:

  • Mentor replacement
  • ECT or Mentor withdrawal 
  • Change of Induction Tutor
  • New ECT joining part way through the year
  • ECT moving to another school
  • ECT Changing Leader Provider

The DfE online service will give advice on whether Best Practice Network also needs to be updated by the school or whether this will be done on behalf of the school by the DfE.

Please remember that your Appropriate Body will also need to be updated on any of the above changes as well!