Trainees in 2020-21: 

The DfE has confirmed the following:

For ITT courses starting from September 2020, they have suspended the:

  • expectation that trainees train to teach in at least 2 schools
  • requirement for a trainee to have met the standards across the full age and ability range of training
  • expectation that training programmes cover no fewer than 4 school years
  • requirement for 120 days in school experience –training providers should exercise discretion as to whether the trainee has shown they meet the teacher standards

The DfE is expected to lay legislation before Parliament in due course to allow ITT providers to pass teacher trainees in Summer 2021, and award them QTS, as long as they were making adequate progress towards meeting the teacher standards, and would have met them if their teaching practice had not been disrupted. Further details are yet to be confirmed, along with guidance for situations where trainees were not making sufficient progress and therefore cannot be passed.

Details here

For those who gained or were due to gain QTS Summer 2020

Support for NQTs

For NQTs in 2020-21 (second year teachers in 2021-22)

The government has recently announced the funding for schools with second year teachers (having already passed induction) in the academic year 2021-22 to support them with 5% off timetable time to spend on professional development, which could include using materials available under the Early Career Framework (ECF). The NEU welcomes this as we have been calling for extra support for those who have trained and become NQTs during the Covid-19 pandemic period. However, the lateness of the announcement means that the arrangements are not fully satisfactory for schools, their leaders or new teachers.

The time equates to 5% off timetable each week in that academic year but it is not a statutory requirement, and schools do not have to accept the funding if they cannot or will not support second year teachers in this way. They can also choose to give the 5% off timetable at various times throughout the year, not on a regular weekly or fortnightly basis. This flexibility is in recognition of the complication caused by the lateness of the announcement.

This is in addition to the normal 10% PPA time you and all teachers should receive.

This cohort of teachers is not subject to the ECF and this provision falls outside of the ECF.

Those who have an NQT job starting in the autumn term

Robust support for NQTs in the next academic year must be provided, to ensure they are not disadvantaged by the current situation, but that they are fully equipped to become good teachers and pass induction. We are working closely with the DfE to ensure that professional development and support for new teachers is prioritised, as schools will face challenging circumstances when they reopen.

The NEU has several publications aimed at NQTs.

The Early Career Framework (ECF) is due for national rollout for those starting induction in September 2021. NQTs and RQTs this September will not be entitled to its provisions, apart from NQTs in schools participating in the early rollout. For more information visit here

For those who have not yet got a job starting in the autumn term

It is difficult for schools to recruit in the current climate; the NEU is working with Government to ensure continuity for schools and teachers for when schools reopen. In Scotland, a scheme is being introduced to centrally employ all NQTs who have yet to find employment and place them in schools where needed.  The NEU would be in favour of a similar scheme for England, although it would need to fulfil certain criteria, such as counting towards induction, in a suitable location, and for a guaranteed period of time.  We call on the DfE to consider such a scheme.

Supply teaching or working as an higher level teaching assistant offers some more classroom experience but neither counts towards your NQT induction or offers the pay and conditions of an NQT post in a school.


Schools are keen to fill their posts ahead of September and are likely to be conducting interviews remotely. Clearly an interview lesson is not possible, but they might replace it with questions about how you would teach certain aspects. Before going for an interview, ask what will be expected of you during it.

Ask how the school will support you as an NQT in these very difficult circumstances. What arrangements does the school they have for mentoring? How can they support you in the first long and stressful term of qualified teaching? 

Accepting a job at a school it has not been possible to visit

Visiting a school over the summer holidays won’t be possible but you can research it online. Exploring the school’s website and their social media presence are not a substitute for personal experience but they can give you some insight to the school’s ethos. As with all new jobs, you will not know exactly what a school is like until you work there but you will gain valuable experience from any school you teach in, which will provide you with great development for future roles.

Gaining a job when lacking in direct experience

All those gaining QTS this summer are in the same position this year, having missed a considerable chunk of their teaching practices, especially as the teaching hours increase during the year. It is not ideal for schools or new teachers but there will be positions to be filled.

At interview, make sure you explain what you have been doing in this term of the course; what work has been set and how you have remained engaged and proactive in your subject learning and your interest in teaching. You might have watched online lessons and seen things you thought were good and could use in your own teaching, as well as things you could constructively (and professionally) critique.

Also consider what other jobs and experiences you have had; you will have lots of transferable skills that you shouldn’t overlook.

Those on induction 2020-21:

Changes to statutory induction during national roll-out - GOV.UK (

This relates to the Early Career Framework and covers those who might pause induction this year. If you complete a year’s induction before 1 September 2023, you will not need to do a second year’s induction. If you haven’t completed induction by this time, you will need to complete two years’ induction (six terms) in total. For example, if you had previously completed two terms, you would need to complete a further four terms. Further information about the ECF is available here. Newly qualified and trainee teachers | NEU

Induction for newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus outbreak - GOV.UK (

In a continuation of the provisions from summer 2020, Covid- related absences in the 2020-21 academic year will not automatically trigger an extension to your NQT induction period. However, if you are deemed not to be on course to meet the standards, your induction could still be extended.

For those on NQT induction 2019-20

Covid-19 related absences must not automatically trigger an extension of an NQT’s induction period and schools were asked to pass an NQT’s induction if they have met the teacher standards. 

It is the NEU’s view that you should have been passed unless serious concerns about your ability to meet the teacher standards were already been raised with you, before schools closed in March. 

If you were not been on track to meet the standards and consequently pass induction, the Government's position is that head teachers and appropriate bodies should recommend an extension. This would give you further opportunities to demonstrate that you meet the standards. Your school should still be offering you the full package of NQT support during an extension including ten per cent enhancement on PPA time, an induction mentor and regular feedback and support. See the NEU’s publications for NQTs.