Core Induction Programme deep dive

Research into how the core induction programme is performing to understand what improvements could be made. Early career teachers and mentors who are doing this training programme can access DfE accredited materials on the Support for early career teachers service.


In this round of research we conducted a deep dive (quantitative and qualitative) into how the CIP is working for users (SITs, mentors and ECTs) so we can understand what improvements we might make to the service and/or materials.

User needs, hypotheses and what we tested

User needs

As, a school induction tutor,
I need, the flexibility to run my own programme based on the DfE materials
so that, I can make use of existing resources in my school and design the programme to fit around our school’s setup.

As, a school induction tutor/mentor,
I need, to know how to access the DfE materials
so that, I can use them to design my training/mentoring

As, a Mentor or Early career teacher,
I need, to know how to access the DfE materials
so that, I can use them to complete my training

Who we tested with

For the qualitative research we conducted one hour online video calls with school induction tutors that are also mentors (SIT-mentors) that work in schools running the core induction programme. These were chosen to represent a variety of school types, sizes, locations and numbers of ECTs.

What did we want to learn

  • How many schools were using the ‘Support for early career teachers’ service and how they were finding it
  • How schools found setting up the CIP at their school, the amount of time taken and overall how they felt about it
  • Feedback on how schools were finding the CIP
  • How many schools were changing programme and the reasons why
  • Users’ expectations when they complete the CIP
  • How users feel about the current methods of progress tracking for ECTs
  • Whether the school provided any additional CPD in addition to running the CIP


  • Schools weren’t using the support for early career teachers service.
  • There are improvements we can make to the accessibility and usability of the materials.
  • Schools using the DfE-funded training provider route will want to change to CIP to gain flexibility.
  • There are improvements we can make to how ECT progress can be tracked on the service.
  • CIP schools feel more positively about the ECF than schools using a DfE-funded training provider (FIP). This builds on the findings in the interim evaluation.

Key findings and what we changed

Key findings

Through a combination of quantitative research looking at the service data analytics and qualitative research speaking with previous teams that worked on the CIP and SIT-mentors at schools running the CIP, we found that:

CIP gained a more positive response from users

  • Overall, users of the CIP had a more positive response to the training.
  • Comparing interviews with CIP schools and those using DfE-funded training providers, the CIP interviews have been overwhelmingly more positive. This is likely because of the greater ownership by the SIT/school and the flexibility CIP allows.

Reasons for changing programme and the number of schools making the change

  • When this research was completed (20/07/22) only 94 schools in total had registered that they were going to change their programme: 55 FIP to CIP/DIY, 39 CIP/DIY to FIP.
  • This number was increasing quickly due to more schools registering prior to the summer holiday but overall it wasn’t predicted to be very high this year due to school saying they would like to run a full 2 year programme before making a decision.
  • The main reason for schools moving from FIP to CIP/DIY was increased flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of their ECTs. They can set up the programme in line with the specific context of their school.

Participants weren’t using the support for early career teachers service

  • Only around 28.5% of CIP ECTs use the DfE site.
  • They are instead using the early roll out site and provider portals.
  • Users were using their own terminology to refer to the materials, terms such as: ECT materials, self study materials, ambition materials.

Improvements that could be made to the CIP

  • ECT materials are too wordy; ECTs are hit with blocks of text and have to click through multiple pages to find the answer they want.
  • Participants want access to the materials indefinitely, so when they complete ECF they can still come back and reference them.
  • ECT networking is difficult in schools running the CIP.
  • SITs are creating their own progress tracking including for completion of the self study materials.
  • SITs haven’t got access to year 2 materials to be able to plan ahead.

Next steps

  • We redirected the NERO site to the Support for early career teachers service to ensure all schools are using our service to access the materials.
  • Longer term recommendations to be prioritised by the team:
    • How might we improve the naming of the service and therefore the navigation names e.g ‘manage your training’ ‘support for ECTs’?
    • Better tracking on the service so we understand usage better. We only have the sign ins and google analytics to be able to track the CIP service, there is currently no tagging in place to be able to better track the service.
    • Can we enforce that year 2 CIP materials are made available to all schools sooner?
    • How might we help SITs track the progress of their ECTs?
    • Can we give SITs the same access as Mentors and ECTs so they don’t give ECTs the wrong links?
    • Can we conduct research with CIP ECTs and appropriate bodies?
    • How might we ensure the schools that would be better doing the CIP actually do the CIP?