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23rd January 2009 at 00:00
A new masters qualification and regular support could fuel your early teaching career, says the Training and Development Agency for Schools

As a teacher in the early years of your career, you have specific development needs that may differ from those of more experienced teachers, and you may take on new responsibilities for the first time.

This is the early professional development phase of your continuing professional development, undertaken in the first three years of your career. It is designed to be useful and support you. For more information, visit

This is the first national guidance for early career teachers in England and was launched in March 2008. The guidance aims to help you build on what you have learned during induction by preparing for performance management and taking on new responsibilities.

Your review

All teachers should benefit from a high-quality induction experience. Most newly qualified teachers complete their induction in the summer term and are set final objectives in their induction review.

The end of your induction review provides an opportunity for you and your induction tutor to review your professional development during this time and take stock of what has been achieved in the first year. The review should also focus on your early professional development needs and prepare you for your involvement in the school's performance management arrangements.

All teachers go through this for the first time after their induction period. This is a process of continuous review and improvement through professional development.

Research by the TDA shows that the priority areas of development for many teachers in their second and third years include:

- ensuring the first experience of performance management builds consistently upon their induction.

- preparing to take on additional responsibilities.

- expanding subject knowledge and pedagogy.

- developing behaviour management skills.

You may have different priorities to those listed here, but this guidance will help you identify and plan your development needs, review your professional development and build your confidence and skills. This will be crucial to you in your career after induction.

What professional development can I expect after my induction period?

The professional standards for teachers underpin performance management and set out what is expected of teachers at each stage, including how much professional development you will undergo.

Setting objectives for your second year of teaching

To ensure continuity in your second year, some induction objectives may be carried through to your performance management meeting. Making this link between induction and your second year in the job will give you a sense of consistency in your development and career progression.

You could bring the objectives set during your induction review to your first performance management meeting - this may help you to build these into training and development planning for your second year.

Some of the areas to consider when thinking about setting your second year objectives are:

- elements of induction that you would like to build on further.

- your personal development priorities, such as enhancement of subject or curriculum knowledge.

- objectives that focus on the teaching and learning of your (possibly) new class or groups of learners.

- aims that relate to pedagogy, issues or initiatives that you have not encountered before.

- objectives that relate to the core standards, where you feel the need for greater knowledge and understanding of practice.

You could request a joint discussion with your performance management reviewer and induction tutor before setting new objectives for the second year.

Extra responsibility

Research by the TDA in 2006 found that 86 per cent of teachers in their second year and 90 per cent of teachers in their third year take on additional responsibilities or roles.

You and your school or local authority can work together to prepare you for a new role. This should begin as soon as possible, preferably during induction. This can be covered in your performance management discussion. Further advice on practical support before taking on additional responsibilities is contained in the EPD guidance.

Masters level

The masters in teaching and learning is a new professional qualification for teachers.

The programme aims to raise standards, narrow gaps in attainment and give children better life chances. The masters qualification should give the profession more status.

From September 2009, all newly qualified teachers recruited in the North West and newly qualified teachers recruited to National Challenge schools across the country will be entitled to take up the masters offer.

The masters will be practice based and should progressively build on your initial training and induction. The desired result is more support for teachers through a more structured approach to their early professional development. They will be given the opportunity to develop higher levels of professional skills and expertise in the workplace with the support of a trained in-school coach, as well as a tutor from a higher education institution.

It is expected that participants will complete the masters programme in three years.

There will be funding to provide time for the teacher and the coach to work together, for input from the tutor and for training the coach.

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