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Joint statement from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Authority Early Career Teacher Appropriate Body Services and Teaching School Hub

You may recall that the Department for Education (DfE), published a consultation on the role of the Early Career Teacher (ECT), Appropriate Body (AB) in the summer term 2022. In this consultation, the DfE announced that Local Authorities would no longer be able to provide AB services from September 2023 and that only Teaching School Hubs would be able to provide this service from that point onwards. The DfE primarily consulted with schools and organisations on the challenges that may be presented with this change to AB services, as well as asking some questions regarding the effectiveness of ABs and the value of the formal assessment process within induction.

Following on from this consultation, the DfE have now published the response. You can read the full response here:

The consultation response states that 'Across all aspects of the AB role, most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that ABs are effective in their role. This level of agreement was high across almost all aspects of the role consulted on.......Responses were clear that strong relationships are at the heart of successful AB services and that some ABs, both TSHs and local authorities, do this exceptionally well.'

We are pleased that the DfE have acknowledged that many Local Authority ABs provide a high-quality service and that their relationship with and knowledge of schools, expertise and support, especially with ECTs facing challenges, are valued by schools.

Other key highlights from the consultation response:

  • Local Authority Appropriate Bodies will not be able to register new ECTs from Sep 2023. All new ECTs will need to be registered with a Teaching School Hub Appropriate Body from Sep 2023 onwards.
  • Teaching School Hub ABs will receive support from the Teaching School Hub Council to enable them to build capacity to run ABs for all ECTs from Sep 2024.
  • Schools value the progress reports and formal assessments within induction and the independent verification of a pass/fail provided by ABs. The DfE will not be removing these aspects of induction.
  • Appropriate Body services will remain independent of Early Career Framework professional development programmes. Schools will still be able to choose an ECF professional development programme which suits their context (either a funded programme, using accredited materials or designed and delivered by the school/trust).

In response to this information, the Local Authority has decided that it will not be viable for the LA Appropriate Body service to operate from September 2023. Therefore, both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Authority are working in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub regarding the transition to a Teaching School Hub Appropriate Body service. We will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition for schools and ECTs. Our aim is to ensure there is continuity of the service provided, including the systems and personnel involved.

We will provide you with further details of the transition in the spring term. For the time being, please read the briefing document below which the DfE have asked us to send out to schools.

Many Thanks, Rachel Minett, Cambridgeshire County Council ECT Adviser, Claire Drake, Peterborough City ECT Manager and Lynne Birch, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub Lead.