SITs can enter validation information for ECTs and mentors

As part of the launch of cohort 2 on the Manage training for early career teachers service, we gave school induction tutors (SITs) the ability to enter validation information for participants.


At launch of the service in autumn 2021, we included a feature to validate the eligibility of participants registered on the service as an ECT or mentor.

If a school uses a training provider or delivers their training using accredited materials, we have to make sure that all the ECTs and mentors taking part are eligible for funding and access to materials. We do this by checking ECTs and mentors’ details in the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) records.

We check that the ECT:

  • holds qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • has not completed statutory induction before
  • has not started an induction before 1 September 2021
  • does not have any prohibitions, sanctions or restrictions on their record

We check that the mentor:

  • does not have any prohibitions, sanctions or restrictions on their record
  • has not received funded training for ECF-based mentoring before

Problems registering ECTs and mentors

For the initial launch, when school induction tutors registered an ECT or mentor on the service, we sent each ECT and mentor an email asking them to:

  • sign into our service
  • use the service to tell us their teacher reference number (TRN) or National Insurance number, name and date of birth

Induction tutors (and others) tried to provide the personal information on behalf of ECTs and mentors using the support email. However, this wasn’t possible and led to frustration.

It felt like we were adding to the administrative burden of some teachers and leaders. One user said:

“I do have all of the information you need, but am unable to supply this on her behalf through the system as I have no access to the sign in link on her email. Is there a way that I could provide this to you please?”

Many users experienced problems getting the sign in link or email invitation to validate. This was for a number of reasons including:

  • that their email address was incorrect or not yet set up at the school (as they hadn’t started yet)
  • that they tried to use a different email to the one which was inputted by the SIT
  • user error
  • filtering by their school or IT network

Some ECTs and mentors tried use the service but hadn’t been registered. They didn’t receive a link to sign in and were unable to provide their details. One user said:

“I have been trying to register with the early career teacher training - but it will not let me access the system using this email. I have tried several times over the week and it does not recognise my email address. I am not sure if my tutor has signed me up/put in my details.”

We also had many instances where participants were registered multiple times, with different email addresses in the service (particularly when moving schools). This resulted in duplicate records being created on the service, which is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult issue to rectify.

What we did

Now when SITs register their ECTs and mentors, we allow them to add validation information for each participant if they have this information to hand. This means we no longer have to email every ECT and mentor to invite them to enter their information in the service.

SITs are asked to enter the participant’s:

  • full name
  • Teacher Reference Number (TRN)
  • date of birth
  • induction start date

Many SITs who participated in user research said that they had this information. Often when an ECT is employed at a school, they receive this information as part of their application and it is collected as part of the onboarding process.

However, some SITs don’t have this information to hand, so we also included an alternative journey where we can still send an invitation to validate to the ECT or mentor.

Next steps

We’ll be monitoring participants registered on the service to see how many SITs take up the option to enter this information on behalf of participants. As long as there are no barriers to ECTs and mentors being registered and validated on the service, and no delays to them being able to start their ECF-based training, we will deem this to be a successful feature.

If take-up is high among SITs, we might consider how we use this new journey in registration to tackle other issues like preventing duplicate user registrations on the service.

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