What is an ECT/NQT Pool? And Why You Should Use One

When you’re coming to the end of your teacher training, especially in the last 6 months or so, your mind should be turning to getting your first teaching job.

As a newly qualified teacher, which under the new framework is called an ‘early career teacher' or ECT for short, you’ll be looking for an ECT or NQT position.

Under the new Early Career Framework (the ‘ECF’) you’ll have a two year induction period (with specific training) as an early career teacher.

That’s all great and most of the profession have welcomed the ECF, but knowing the new system isn’t the same as knowing how to get your ECT job.

How to Get Your ECT Job

Getting your first teaching position as a new teacher can be time consuming, confusing and even daunting.

But there’s a lot of schools and local authorities working to make it easier.

Obviously, you can scour teaching job boards and the TES for ECT positions, and there is nothing wrong with that approach at all.

Of course, that means applying to numerous jobs and tailoring your application to each one. That’s going to be time consuming but could be the best route to the right job for you.

And, you could approach a recruitment agency that specialises as an NQT/ECT agency, but we’ve written before about why that has downsides for you and the schools.

But, the other option, and the one that many local authorities and schools prefer, is for you to join an ECT/NQT pool.

What is an ECT/NQT Pool?

An ECT/NQT Pool is a programme that is set up by an education service (usually a local education authority as part of a local council initiative) where newly qualified or early career teachers can register their interest in being invited to apply for jobs through the pool.

Generally, you’ll fill out one application and write a personal statement to join a pool.

Then, all the schools using the pool can look at all the people registered in the pool as they look to hire NQT/ECTs.

There might be different steps from that point on as the schools call you forward to apply for their specific positions. They may need you to fill out some supplementary forms and, of course, there are going to be interviews.

But, the idea of the pool is that a single application submitted to the pool makes you available for hundreds of ECT/NQT positions rather than just one at a time.

And, as should be clear, once you’ve submitted to an ECT/NQT pool, it’s the schools that do the running.

They sift through the list of registered trainee teachers and look for those that might be a good fit.

Meanwhile, you can be off doing something else entirely!

Sure, you could pursue other pools as well, or keep submitting one-off applications at the same time if you choose to, but, by being in a pool, you know that there are people looking at your profile and thinking about whether you might be right for a job in their school.

In short, joining an ECT/NQT pool that offers jobs in an area of the country where you know you want to work covers a lot of job seeking ground for you.

It’s the proverbial no-brainer!

Why You Should Join an ECT/NQT Pool

Now you know what an ECT/NQT pool does, we’ve already made it pretty obvious why it’s in your interests to join one that covers the part of the country where you want to live and work.

But, let’s just give you a few more bullet points:

  • It’s quick and easy - one application can lead to hundreds of job opportunities coming your way;
  • You only have to register once!
  • Hundreds of potential employers and job roles
  • Employers do the running, not you!

Now, we’re not saying that you should apply to a single pool and leave it at that.

You should really keep looking for other ECT/NQT roles that might fill your criteria that might not reach you through the pool or pools you’ve joined.

And, if the pool you join has an associated job board (as Lambeth's ECT/NQT pool does), then you should keep checking that too just to make sure that you know of the ECT/NQT roles being offered in that area so you can take a more proactive approach if you feel the need.

But, in the current job market, there’s a very good chance that the demand for ECT/NQTs outstrips supply, so there should be opportunities coming your way from the pool you join.

You've got to be in it to win it right?

Why You Should Join the Teach Lambeth ECT/NQT Induction Pool

Recognising that the simplicity of the pool appeals to trainee teachers looking for their first job, and seeking to simplify the process for ECTs and NQTs, Teach Lambeth developed a new and innovative type of pool.

All trainees seeking to find an ECT or NQT position in the Borough of Lambeth must apply

through the ECT/NQT Induction pool and all applicants are added to the pool - there is no pre-screening or pre-interview process.

We believe that’s the fairest approach for all applicants - every school in Lambeth can then have access to all the applicants who have joined the Induction talent pool where they can view

applications, shortlist candidates and then invite for interview and school tours - all through the

online Induction pool.

Of course, this means that applicants to the Induction pool are not guaranteed a teaching position in Lambeth, but being in the pool gives you better access to ECT and NQT positions in all the schools throughout the borough.

As ECT and NQT teaching positions become available, Lambeth schools will consult the Induction pool database and you will be contacted about those positions that are most suitable for you.

If you wish to apply to our Induction Pool, the application process is very simple - you can upload your details by completing a full Induction Pool submission so that schools can look for applicants like you and then approach you directly through the pool and this site. You can also search and apply for posts and keep up to date with regular job alerts.

There are two stages to the Induction Pool application - firstly, you register your interest and will be sent a pdf of information and some follow-up emails as well as creating a Teach Lambeth profile and access to the full jobs dashboard and then, secondly, you submit a full application to the Induction Pool.

Once you have completed the first step, you have a profile on the Teach Lambeth website and

access to your jobs dashboard where you can search for and apply for jobs using your profile, even before completing your full Induction Pool submission.

When to Apply to the Lambeth ECT/NQT Induction Pool

The simple answer is now!

Most trainee teachers get stuck into their job search in the period from January to May/June of the year they complete their course.

But, the sooner the better because that way you’ll be in line for the maximum number of job opportunities before they start to get filled.

The early bird catches the worm!

Lambeth schools recruit ECTs and NQTs all year round, but usually at the beginning of each term.  

As with most areas of the country, the majority of ECTs and NQTs are recruited at the beginning of each academic year in September, although some schools may be keen to start their ECTs and NQTs early and may offer a position from as early as February and through to July.

Therefore, it is important that you make your full Induction Pool application submission as soon as possible and make sure you keep your contact details up to date at all times.

Hopefully this has sold you on the benefits of the pool approach and you’ll want to join the Lambeth ECT/NQT Induction Pool.

If so, click below, download the info pack and get your submission in.