Managing multiple intakes in the same year

How might the ‘Manage training for early career teachers’ service deal with participants starting at different times throughout the academic year?


In this round of research with school induction tutors we aimed to test the ‘SITs adding participants and selecting the start term’ journey. This allows SITs to distinguish which term a participant would be beginning their induction so that the DfE service can represent these correctly. It also adds context for the manual validation process.

These features were developed with the expectation of being built on with additional functionality in future. We were thinking ahead about things like: how we might manage changes of circumstance and what would happen if a school changes which programme or provider for the next academic year.

User needs, Hypothesis and what we tested

User needs

As DfE,
I need to know when a participant starts their induction.
So that I can ensure they are validated at the correct time - after they have QTS and before they start their induction, and, I can define which cohort they are in and start funding them at the correct time.

As a school induction tutor,
I need to know how and when to register participants that start their induction at different times.
So that I can ensure all of my participants are funded to receive the correct induction at the correct time, whenever they join my school.

As a school induction tutor,
I need to register all my participants as soon as I know they will be completing an induction at my school.
So that I don’t forget and I can feel that this part of the job is done.

As an ECT,
I need To be able to start an ECF induction at any time in term 1, 2 or 3 of the academic year as this is when I got a job at the school.
So that I can still complete an ECF induction without falling a full year behind.


  • School induction tutors will be able to use these new designs to add participants at any time as soon as they know they will be completing induction training with them.
  • School induction tutors will be able to define the term in which that participant is going to start their induction.
  • School induction tutors will be able to see their different cohorts on the dashboard screen to manage their participants and manage/view any updates.

What we tested

The ‘start term’ question page in the ‘add an ECT or Mentor’ journey.

Initially the three terms were labelled as September 2021, January 2022 and April 2022. School users reported that they refer to the terms as Autumn, Spring and Summer so this was iterated quickly.

The second iteration, shows the draft content and 3 terms listed.
We wanted to find out if users understood the content (question) and whether the choice of terms made sense to them and they would know which to choose for each participant.

Key findings and what we changed


From testing this prototype we found from the policy team that participants could start their induction at any point in the academic year, it wasn’t just defined by the term dates. This finding didn’t result in the changing of the prototype but did lead to a full restructure of the data model for the service.

What we changed

Changes to the choose your term page

Content updated in the question and terminology changed from ‘training programme’ to ‘induction programme’ as this was more consistent with the language used throughout the service and guidance and better understood by users.

Participant dashboard changes

As a result of these changes the participant dashboard was updated to reflect the start term of each participant’s induction.

Expected start - iteration 2

Screenshot of Expected start - iteration 2

Expected start - iteration 3

Screenshot of Expected start - iteration 3

Participant dashboard charges

Screenshot of Participant dashboard charges