Early Career Teachers: FAQs



The transition from teacher training to working in a school as an Early Career Teacher (ECT) is one of the most important point of an educator’s life. Your first job as an ECT will test the limits of everything you’ve learned on your training course. Education is one of the most popular pathways for those straight out of university, attracting 13.5% of all new graduates.


Whether you’re just getting into teaching or are starting your job hunt, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to provide clarity and support as you embark on this rewarding path in education.


Explore our FAQs below to gain valuable insights and guidance as you navigate the exciting world of early career teaching. If you still have questions about working on supply or are looking for a job in education, get in touch with our team today!


  • What is an Early Career Teacher (ECT)?

    An Early Career Teacher is an educator who has recently completed their initial teacher training and is in the early stages of their teaching career. You’ll be known as an ECT for your first 2 years in teaching. The term Early Career Teacher (ECT) has replaced Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).


    As ECTs are in their first few years of teaching, they often have limited classroom experience and will often require more mentorship and support, so we are here to guide you along your journey! Get in touch with our ECT team today by emailing ect@affinityworkforce.com.

  • What qualities and skills are essential for ECTs working with children?
    Working as an Early Career Teacher with children requires a unique set of qualities and personality traits to effectively engage and support young learners. Here are a few:


    • Patience: Ability to remain calm and composed when faced with challenges or disruptive behaviour.
    • Adaptability: Willingness to adjust teaching methods and approaches to meet the diverse needs of students.
    • Empathy: Capacity to understand and connect with students on an emotional level, fostering a supportive learning environment.
    • Communication: Strong verbal and written communication skills to effectively convey concepts and instructions to students and parents.
    • Organisation: Skill in managing time, resources, and lesson plans to ensure smooth classroom operations and effective teaching.
    • Creativity: Ability to develop engaging and interactive learning activities to capture students’ interest and promote active participation.
    • Flexibility: Readiness to embrace change and adapt to unforeseen circumstances in the classroom or school environment.
    • Collaboration: Aptitude for working collaboratively with colleagues, parents, and support staff to promote student success and well-being.
  • Why would I work on supply instead of choosing a permanent teaching position?

    Supply work is perfect at the beginning of a new teacher’s career if you are unsure on what path you want to take. Here are a few reasons Early Career Teachers choose to work on supply rather than a permanent position at a school:


    • Flexibility: Supply teaching offers ECTs the flexibility to control their schedules, allowing them to balance work commitments with personal and professional development opportunities.


    • Diverse experience: Working on supply exposes ECTs to a variety of school settings, age groups, and subject areas, providing valuable experience and broadening their skillset.


    • Reduced administrative burden: Supply teachers often have fewer administrative responsibilities compared to permanent positions, allowing ECTs to focus more on teaching and less on paperwork.


    • Professional growth: Supply teaching presents opportunities for ECTs to enhance their teaching practice, develop classroom management skills, and gain confidence in different teaching environments.


    • Networking opportunities: By working in multiple schools, ECTs can expand their professional network, connect with experienced educators, and potentially discover new career opportunities.


    • Trial period: Supply teaching allows ECTs to “test the waters” before committing to a permanent teaching position, helping them determine their preferences and ideal teaching environment.


    • Work-life balance: With the ability to choose when and where to work, supply teaching can offer ECTs greater work-life balance, reducing stress and burnout commonly associated with full-time teaching roles.


    • Exposure to best practices: Working in various schools exposes ECTs to different teaching styles, strategies, and best practices, enriching their professional development and helping them become more adaptable educators.
  • Does working on supply count towards my ECT induction period?

    Yes, it can! Many of our the roles are for a minimum of one term and with schools that support Early Career Teacher induction.

  • Can I get a permanent position at a school?

    Working as an Early Career Teacher on supply can be a valuable stepping stone towards securing a permanent position at a school. Supply work is a great way of building relationships with different schools and it is common for ECTs to be offered a permanent role after they have worked on supply.


    We work with schools to facilitate permanent placements and work with Multi-Academy Trusts across the country, which widens the scope and options of permanent work for our teachers.

  • What pay rate will I receive as an ECT?

    Rates of pay vary depending on location and school budget for day-to-day work. Long-term work will take into account extra responsibility involved and from week 13 of your placement your pay would be a guaranteed minimum £154 per day, in line with National Teacher pay scales.

  • Will I have regular/full time work?

    With Monarch, candidates will have the flexibility to select their workdays based on their weekly availability.


    We offer a Guaranteed Pay Scheme, ensuring we secure work for you every day. We are so confident that this is the case that should we fail to provide you work, we will pay you anyway.

  • Will I still have a mentor?

    If you are completing your ECT induction period, the school will assign you with a mentor. You will have have to work at the same school for a minimum of a term to get access to a mentor.


    Your mentor will:

    • Provide one-to-one support and feedback
    • Arrange mentoring and coaching around specific subject areas
  • What training is available for ECTs?

    Monarch Education provides ongoing CPD opportunities for all candidates, covering topics such as Supply 101, Behaviour Management and Lesson Planning. We work closely with a former Head Teacher who provides specific ECT support including frequent ECT Q&A sessions. When working regularly on supply, schools often include you in there training calendars.


    Click here to learn more about our training opportunities.

  • What support and guidance do you provide to ECTs?

    Our expert teams are dedicated to providing support and guidance to all ECTs to help them excel in their careers. Upon registering with us, every ECT will be paired with a dedicated consultant who serves as their primary point of contact.


    ECTs can reach out to their consultant with any questions, concerns, or requests for assistance. Our consultants offer personalised guidance and support throughout your teaching journey. 

  • What qualifications are required to become an ECT with Monarch?

    To become an ECT with Monarch, we require candidates to hold a UK recognised teaching qualification, also known as Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). QTS is a legal requirement to teach in primary, secondary and special schools in England and is considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools. You can get QTS through undergraduate or postgraduate teacher training.


    To train to teach in primary and secondary schools in England, you’ll need GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths (and science if you want to teach primary). Schools may also have specific criteria. For example, some may ask that you have a bachelor’s degree class 2:2 or above.


    Candidates will need the the legal right to work in the UK, which may include British citizenship, indefinite leave to remain, or a valid work visa. They will also need to pass an enhanced DBS check to ensure they meet safeguarding requirements and provide a minimum of two suitable references covering the last two years.


    It can also be desirable to have a degree in a relevant subject, evidence of involvement in relevant CPD training and relevant teaching experience in employment or training. 

  • What are the benefits of becoming an ECT with Monarch?

    There are several benefits of registering with Monarch. Here’s just a few: 


    • Ongoing CPD support and training 
    • Vacancies leading to permanent roles 
    • Interview preparation and CV writing support 
    • Induction and ongoing well-being support 
    • Jobs in several sectors – Primary, Secondary and SEN 
    • Access to Affinity Extra, our exclusive discounts and cashback offers 
    • Competitive pay rates 
    • Earn £200* when you refer a friend 
  • Got a question for our ECT Specialist Team?

    Please email it to ect@affinityworkforce.com.