In a context in which local authority support has been largely removed from schools in England, this article examines the needs of early career teachers (ECTs) in English schools and colleges, the extent to which these needs are met through professional development activities and the nature of that professional development. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey data from 275 ECTs shows that these ECTs need emotional support and help with behaviour management, ideas for interesting classroom activities and reflective conversations about teaching. These needs are addressed (but not fully met) primarily within their employing schools, largely through informal conversations with colleagues, within-school continuous professional development and mentoring. ECTs also find help from social media and the Internet. The analysis suggests that employing schools could do more to develop ECTs as reflective individuals, using a range of long-term, planned and deep approaches to development.
- Professional needs
- early career teachers