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When was the last time you learnt anything new?

11th October 2021

Many of you might be aware that schools no longer have NQTs but that a new group of Early Career Teachers have emerged in schools up and down the country. The Early Career Framework is a significant investment in teacher development, training and retention at a time when it is needed most; in this regard, it must be applauded.

Alongside senior colleagues from George Abbot School (Joe Omar and Matt Goulborn) I have had the privilege of working with over 60 secondary ECTs and their mentors from schools across Surrey, inducting them into this new framework of development support.

We have already led modules on establishing classroom routines as part of those foundations on which to build high quality relationships. These high-quality resources should remind us all that the science of learning and leadership is ever-changing. The fact that these resources are research-informed also reminds us that they are not only different but better.

Underpinning the model of support and feedback for ECTs is Instructional Coaching and the provision of coaching support through the identification and mentor modelling of a small number of precise changes which would improve practice. This is not a soft approach, rather one that makes demands on both the mentor and teacher.

The mentor needs to be able not only to identify what could be improved, but model it also. No longer is talking the talk OK; it is a clear case of having to practice what you preach. The teacher also needs to commit to change, respond to feedback and commit to their own development and learning.

As we approach half-term, perhaps this is a reminder to us all about the need to reflect on our own response to feedback and for us to be more receptive to our own professional and personal development and learning. It is a clear expectation for our new ECTs; perhaps this should be an expectation for us all.

When was the last time you learnt anything new?

Can I extend a warm welcome to all our Early Career Teachers (ECTs) who have joined Athena-GEP. We hope that the support provided by our colleagues and schools enables you to become confident teachers who are able to support our pupils and school communities for many years to come.

Andrew Roach, Director of Education, Athena-GEP



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