Funding and eligibility for ECF-based training

How DfE funding for training based on the early career framework (ECF) works, and which schools, early career teachers and mentors are eligible for funding.

Applies to England

DfE funding for ECF-based training

We support schools with additional funding for ECF-based training. This is paid directly to schools and covers:

  • 5% off timetable for early career teachers (ECTs) in year 2 of induction, for induction activities including ECF-based training and mentor sessions
  • a dedicated mentor for each ECT, based on 20 hours of mentoring in year 2 of induction

If a school uses a training provider, we also fund:

  • training delivered to ECTs by the lead provider or delivery partner, paid directly to lead providers
  • training delivered to mentors by the lead provider or delivery partner, paid directly to lead providers
  • 36 hours of mentor time off timetable for training over 2 years, paid directly to schools

Schools that are not eligible for funding can arrange an ECF-based training programme directly with a lead provider, but will need to fund the programme themselves.

Year 1 funding for ECF-based training

Schools receive their core funding through the dedicated schools grant (DSG). We calculate this using the national funding formula (NFF). This funding is primarily based on pupil numbers and characteristics and is allocated by the local authority.

Funding is not ‘earmarked’ for statutory induction. It’s up to headteachers to manage the funding they receive.

Headteachers should use core funding to cover the cost of 10% off timetable for ECTs in year 1 of induction.

Year 2 funding for ECF-based training

We pay this funding directly to schools in the summer of year 2. It covers the cost of giving each ECT:

  • 5% off timetable in year 2 of induction
  • 20 hours of mentor support in year 2 of induction

We calculate funding using the average hourly rate for mentors and early career teachers, split by region.

Year 2 funding England (excluding the London Area) Inner London Area Outer London Area Fringe Area
Rounded cost per ECT £1,400 £1,700 £1,600 £1,500
Rounded cost per mentor £1,000 £1,200 £1,000 £1,000
Total £2,400 £2,900 £2,600 £2,500

Read more about funding for time off timetable for ECTs and mentors.

We collect data on ECTs and mentors through the school workforce census to minimise the administrative burden on schools.

Backfill payments for mentor training

Read the separate guidance document on backfill payments for time off timetable for ECF mentor training.

Proportionate funding

DfE makes proportionate funding payments for ECTs who:

  • are on a reduced induction period
  • are serving a part-time induction
  • move to a new school or withdraw from induction during year 2
  • take parental leave

We will identify these ECTs using school workforce census data collections over the period.

Eligibility for funded ECF-based training

Eligible schools and establishments

Schools and establishments eligible for DfE funding include:

  • state-funded schools, colleges, sixth forms, children’s centres and nurseries
  • maintained and non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools that receive Section 41 funding

Eligible early career teachers (ECTs)

ECTs should be eligible for DfE funding if they both:

  • hold qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • start their induction on or after 1 September 2021

ECTs who started their 1-year induction before 1 September 2021 and did not complete it by 31 August 2023 are now required to serve a 2-year induction. They’re eligible for DfE-funded training and mentor support for the remainder of their induction period.

ECTs with qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS) are not eligible for DfE funding, because they are exempt from statutory induction.

How DfE checks the eligibility of ECTs and mentors

If a school uses a training provider or accredited materials, we have to make sure that everyone taking part is eligible for funding and access to materials.

The school must also register their ECT with an appropriate body, who must then register the induction with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). When school induction tutors register ECTs and mentors with DfE, we check the teacher’s details in the TRA records.

We check that the ECT:

  • holds qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • has not completed statutory induction before
  • has not started an induction before 1 September 2021

We check that the mentor:

  • does not have any prohibitions, sanctions or restrictions on their record
  • has not received funded training for ECF-based mentoring before

The school induction tutor can sign into DfE’s service to see the status of these eligibility checks.

Published 13 April 2022
Last updated 28 March 2024 + show all updates
  1. Edited the 'How DfE checks the eligibility of ECTs and mentors' section to make the process clearer.

  2. Added funding information for early career teachers from the pre-September 2021 cohort.

  3. Table showing the year 2 funding rates for ECF-based training has been updated.

  4. We have made clear that establishments including colleges, sixth forms, children’s centres and nurseries are eligible for funded ECF-based training. DfE no longer emails teachers to request their details when checking the eligibility of ECTs and mentors – these are now entered directly into the registration system. A link to guidance on backfill payments for time off timetable for ECF mentor training has replaced previous details on those payments.

  5. First published.