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Early career professional learning

If you’re a current physics NQT or will be starting an NQT role in September, you may be eligible to join our ECPL programme. This includes networking and small-group mentoring opportunities during your NQT year. Current NQTs (NQT year 2020-21) may also be eligible for support during your NQT+1 year from September 2021.  

We can help you get the most from your #FirstTwoYears of teaching.


If you’re currently a physics NQT or trainee teacher, you may have missed out on several weeks of school placement experience last year due to COVID-19 and may be finding that your current school environment is bringing new unexpected challenges (and we know that any “normal” NQT year is challenging enough!).

To support you, the IOP is providing early career professional learning (ECPL) for physics NQTs. We want to help you get the most from your #FirstTwoYears of teaching.

The ECPL programme includes mentoring in groups of four to eight, group discussions and opportunities for networking with your peers. We’ll cover physics pedagogy, subject knowledge and practical work. There are options for independent study if this fits better with your schedule. All the activities are regionally based, which means you’ll also build a support network of teachers from your local IOP region.

Some one-to-one mentoring may also be available.

There is no cost to you or your school. The time commitment is likely to be one to three hours each half-term.

During the programme, you’ll build a subject-specific Record of Achievement that you can share with your head of department and add to your CV. It can also be used to support your application for future qualifications such as CPhys or CSciTeach.

How can I get involved?

If you’re a current physics NQT* working in England, or a trainee physics teacher expecting to start an NQT position in September, register your interest and we’ll get back to you with more details.

* If you are an NQT with a different specialism but your timetable includes at least 50% physics, please register your interest as you may still be eligible to access some support from the IOP.

A bit more about the project

The Department for Education started to roll out its Early Career Framework in September 2020. This project investigates various models of subject-specific support that could be incorporated into the Framework. The ECPL project is jointly funded by the IOP and the Gatsby Foundation and will be evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University.

If you have any questions, please get in touch: [email protected].