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Transcript: ECF Staffroom S03E05

‘Giving ECTs springs to run a marathon’: Louise Dwyer’s enthusiasm for UCL’s ECF programme

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You're listening to an IOE podcast. Powered by UCL Minds.

Elaine Long 
Welcome to the ECF Staffroom. I'm Elaine Long.

Mark Quinn
And I am Mark Quinn.

Elaine Long 
We are programme leaders for the UCL Early Career Teacher Development Programme. Why are we in the staffroom? We are here because this is where the best professional learning conversations always take place. This is where problems can be aired bluntly and where solutions can be explored.

Mark Quinn
Over the course of this series, we will hear the voices of different colleagues as they come in the ECF Staffroom. We will hear from early career teachers themselves and from the mentors and induction tutors who support them. We will talk about all things ECF, the challenges and the joys. So, why don't you enjoy a coffee with us, perhaps even grab a biscuit and sit down to half an hour of ECF Staffroom chat.


Mark Quinn
Welcome to the ECF staffroom. Louise Dwyer. Louise, it's absolutely fabulous to have you in the staffroom with us today. I know you've had a really, really busy day in the classroom today, so we're inviting you into our staffroom. We want you to sit down, we want you to take the comfortable seat, put your feet up, grab a coffee and a biscuit.
It's my job to get the coffees organised. So what can I make for you?

Louise Dwyer
Well, actually, I started this academic year with every intention of not drinking tea and coffee while I was at school. Well, good intentions. I probably went round school, so I haven't had a cup of tea or coffee since training day or only had one. That lasted until, it didn't even last until the end of September.  So, it is a coffee with a cheeky spoon of hot chocolate powder and a bourbon biscuit on the side. Thanks very much.

Mark Quinn
Well, I was going to say everyone loves a smug assistant head teacher, but a coffee with a spoonful of hot chocolate did you say? 

Louise Dwyer
Outrageous!

Mark Quinn
I'm not even sure our cupboard has such a thing, but I'm going to have a look. The bourbon biscuit I know we have. So, I'll go and find one of those few while Elaine kicks off.

Elaine Long 
I want to congratulate on that choice of drink. That's one of the best drinks I've ever heard of. It’s like sugar on top of caffeine. You can tell it's getting to the end of term. I know our listeners will be really keen to get to know the person behind the hot chocolate powder and coffee drink order, and I probably am very curious now to know what lies behind that.
So please could you introduce yourself for our listeners and briefly describe your role and what you enjoy about it?

Louise Dwyer
Well, I'm an assistant headteacher at the Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, which is an all girls school in West London. I've been here for just over 20 years. So, putting, putting in putting in the years. I've got a fancy title here which nobody ever uses, which is Director of Teaching and Learning. But essentially anything teaching and learning is me plus CPD and of course the ECTs as well.

The thing I love most of it, apart from stopping in classrooms, which I will also I'm sure we'll talk about lots. The thing I really love doing is delivering training. So, I've got a team of a team of lead practitioners who work with me and we deliver training. I think why I like that so much is the challenge of it, so teachers, our teachers in particular here, very proud of our teachers here.

They are so hard working, so dedicated, wonderfully dedicated, and that means they're exhausted. So, at the end of a long day, the challenge of being able to engage teachers in a CPD session, a twilight session is it is a real challenge. And I find that really, really rewarding. Then the best bit, of course is when you can see the ideas that you've shared in those sessions come to life in the classroom, and those hard working teachers are actually really very generous about sharing that they will come back to us and they will say when they try things and I can be having a really stressful, busy day and I'll suddenly get a text message from the head of PE about a literacy activity that she's tried in her lesson. And that's so uplifting for me. Of course, facilitating training for ECTs across all schools for the Teach West London Teaching School Hub as well is a fabulous part of my role.

Elaine Long 
Wow, in 20 years you must have seen some changes in teaching and learning approaches in 20 years. I will be interesting to talk to you about that later on.

Mark Quinn
You got invited into the staffroom Louise because Elaine saw you in action not so long ago, because you're a facilitator on our programme, as well as all those other jobs that you listed and apparently, I wasn't there. Apparently, you said something in that session, you were facilitating a session on the curriculum and you said something which really sparked Elaine's interest, which was that early career teachers these days seem to know more about how to plan and teach an effective curriculum than they may have done in the past.
So that definitely is really intriguing comments. I wonder, you know, can you elaborate upon that? Tell us why you think that? Even, you know, what evidence you have for suggesting that's the case? And, you know, drawing upon all those years’ experience you have of course? 

Louise Dwyer
Yeah. I mean, obviously, it's a long time since I trained. And, you know, some of that comes from my you know, I probably should say more from my own experience of that, but also being very open about having trained NQTs for a while and knowing that when I started doing that job, it was nothing like the way I do it now as well.

I think, you know, so I'm holding my hands up to that completely. I think that the early career framework itself is really the key to why I feel ECTs know so much more and are able to put in place so much more as well. If you think about the learning that and the learn how to statements. you know that framework around everything they do is so clear when I trained pedagogy was something that happened at university, you did your reading you listened to things, you tried to understand what that might be like, and then you went to your placement schools. You wrote, I mean, literally hand wrote your lesson plans and your schemes of work. And we still call them schemes of work, of course, and didn't really think about the learning in the same way. Then we tried to get through the lessons in the classroom and that's what we did and then the NQT year was, was pretty much more of the same.

You know, the thought of reading or engaging with pedagogy sort of went out the window, really. But now the ECTs remain fully immersed in understanding teaching as an evidence informed profession. So they go beyond their initial training and that connection between the learning that and the learning how is made reality in the classroom, they can still, they can do that. They still got time and space. 

Mark Quinn
That's so interesting, isn't it? Do you think that, I mean, is that a change that you think you've seen gradually over the years or is that something you see as quite a kind of rapid noticeable change with the last couple of years under the ECF for what would you put, are you putting this down to the ECF?

Louise Dwyer
I think the ECF has cemented it. So, I think the world of education, you know, is evidence informed, is a lot more awareness out there. The ECTs are now we're entering the position of the profession at a time when technology means we've all got access to each other. And we can share, you know, there's far less hierarchy about being able to share ideas.
So that was already happening. You know, we were already able to see what people were thinking about education. We're already able to access that more than certainly we were years ago. And, you know, so I think that was happening. I think I said in the session that Elaine was at, that what we were doing in school and the key approaches we have to learning here.

Then when the ECF was published, it very much matches in what we were doing. So, it was out there and people were thinking, very much thinking in that way, but it's just been so neatly framed by the framework. 

Mark Quinn
Yeah. So, the framework is kind of like the next stage in what was already a growing movement of evidence informed practice, which was happening elsewhere in the profession, maybe through grassroots events or through, as you say, electronic means of sharing or maybe chartered college and the likes of that and people coming into that space.  You hear the teachers coming into your school, the trainees coming into your school or the ECTs talking in a much more evidence informed kind of way.

Louise Dwyer
You know, I mean, we just would have had the headspace for that, certainly when I when I was a NQT and even, you know, even earlier in my career. But when I was starting to think about training other people in various things, the language that we use for CPD, for all staff now very often comes from the ECF, because that's the world I'm immersed in it.

It gives me that language to be able to, to use. So, you know, the idea that ECTs now need to be focusing on things like where foundational concepts fit into the sequence of their teaching, that comes from the ECF and, and, you know, and we do expect them to, they're able to think not just about getting through a lesson plan, but think about those deeper concepts and things like using, assessing prior knowledge and all of that, all of the languages and everything that we do.

I think, you know, I said about hierarchy being removed as well, you know, because of the high expectations that come from the ECF, I think we can expect a lot from our ECTs. So, if I if I'm going to use material like Dylan Williams principal curriculum design in middle leader CPD, I'm going to use it in ECT training as well.

Mark Quinn
Sure. I wonder actually, if what the ECF has done is more to do with, you know, elongating that period of training that new teachers get from the one year, which they always did get mainly in university based initial teacher education, but increasingly not solely that. And that you know, teachers always had that one year of, you know, high octane pedagogical input, but then they moved into schools where that wasn't, you know, where pedagogy might have been an absurd word to use.
You know, almost, you know, the unspoken thing. And now they're moving into schools where that language is shared, you know, because we've got the framework on that. We've got mentors, many others able to speak this language and of course it's understood. But now have a greater language for it and so our ECTs are becoming more confident in, they realise that this is a, these are words that they can use in their ECT years.

Louise Dwyer
They can teach us a lot as well.

Mark Quinn
But I think that's so interesting, isn't it? So, it's, well it's meant to be a three year process and not a one year process, right? So that's really good.

Louise Dwyer
I think that works.

Elaine Long 
I was reflecting as you were speaking as well, Louise, in a similar way that it's almost like it's given ECTs this meta language to reflect on their practice is a shared language, but a nice side effect of that I was picking up as you were talking, it's increasing the voice of ECTs in your school as well, which is really nice and giving them a platform because often, you know, ECTs in a school can be seen as having a deficit.

You know, they’re the teachers have got to train up. They don't know anything. But actually it's kind of reversing that power imbalance a bit. They're the ones that are maybe have a greater knowledge of this new language than other teachers, that you've got some of those nice instances of people sitting side by side and learning as well, which is really great to hear.

And on the subjects of enjoyment, one of the things I really noted in your lessons, in your not your lesson, your facilitated session, which you really modelled and enjoyment of teaching as a profession, you really modelled your enjoyment of that as well, and you celebrate it and you championed the profession as something that is sustainable and enjoyable.

Why do you think that that's so important?

Louise Dwyer
Well, I mean, it's a bit of a cliché, isn't it, that we all remember a great teacher, but we remember the ones that didn't want to be there as well, don't we? And, you know, I mean, I don't know whether they thought that they were hiding it well, but there were always those teachers that very clearly didn't want to be in in the classroom, and I do. You know, I still absolutely love being in the classroom. I want to share that, and I want that to be very clear to the ECTs and even though that might sound crazy, but, you know, that's the long game. 

But I think we need to be demonstrating to ECTs. If we want to keep them in the profession, let’s be honest, that's really what I'm talking about here, keeping them in the profession. I want them to see that they will hopefully get such joy, you know, even 20 years in and, you know, the way retirement ages are going, I'll probably be doing this in another 25 years as well. There will still be that joy to be found in it, and you know, I mean, you talk about modelling it. I'm obsessed with them with the idea of modelling. We have an approach, as Ellen Wilkinson called learning aloud and which I created a couple of years ago, and it sounds really fancy, but it's essentially the Education Endowment Foundation's guidance on metacognition amongst other things and guiding this idea that we should articulate everything we do for our pupils.

I just see that training staff, training ECTs in particular is exactly the same. It's just an extension of what we do in the classroom. So, I'm trying to model those realities, you know, the realities of being in the classroom. I try to deal with behaviour with ECTs if necessary and try to activate prior knowledge, being reflective, using praise, all of those things, because it does show, you know, the wide ranging experience that we have as teachers. I want them to see all of that. 

A couple of my colleagues and I ask them, you know, what is it that I do in training sessions? They love embarrassing me. They gave me a list of Lou speak. I'm generally known as Lou. They gave me a list of Lou speak and apparently, I do say things like I'm really impressed by a lot so I'm really impressed by the way ECTs can so actively participate in reflective pedagogical discussion.

That’s the kind of thing that we want from our ECTs, but also, it's the kind of thing I need to be telling other people. You know, that there are high demands from the ECF training programme. I know that that might mean that heads are perhaps reluctant to employ ECTs, but our ECTs are the ones putting their hands up first in training sessions.

They're the ones that are absolutely, I’m going to get mushy, but they are they're the ones that are the future of the profession. And so, we should be championing the profession for them, so, they feel valued, but also, you know, championing this idea that they have an awful lot to offer.

Elaine Long 
I mean, you talk about Lou’s speak and it's sounds like, you know, it's a bit more than Lou’s speak. It's the way that you very deliberately shaped a culture around that. And you know that's what I really picked up on your session that it really fitted in with our high quality outcomes as well for UCL because we think it's got to be more than just developing knowledge if we want teachers to stay in the profession.

That's hugely important. The pedagogical knowledge, the fact they have the language, but it's also got to be about value and enjoyment and creating a safe, sustainable, thriving workplace for them. It sounds like there are things you probably do very unconsciously, and you doesn't even realise you're doing them or how good you are. But it, you know, I think we're going to move on to try to unpick those things a bit and think about how you create that culture.

Louise Dwyer
Well, somebody described it as me having unbridled enthusiasm in everything I do, but I think that just makes me sound a bit like a Jane Austen character.

Mark Quinn
Yeah. You don't want a bridle. So, Louise or Lou, you might be aware of this that Qing Gu, who is the Director of our centre at UCL, she's been leading a longitudinal study into the effects of the ECF programme, in particular effects on work and wellbeing and retention of early career teachers. We've published some interim reports on that and we've found two things at least there’s two tentative conclusions that we can make at the stage.

One is, that the programme does seem to be having a positive impact on our early career teachers, on their learning and on their ability to translate their learning from the programme into their classroom. So that that's obviously a big win if that turns out to be sustained. The second thing is that the programme by itself does not have the ability to completely transform ECTs professional development.

It requires at least one other special ingredient, and that other special ingredient is the school leadership, the organisation of the school and the cultures that they develop, or they create around professional learning. So those two things. So, the programme does have an effect on teachers’ knowledge and on their development, but that it won't be transformational unless school leaders can make it so through the cultures that they create.

So, there's a big question in there. Louise, particularly in your role as Assistant Head and responsibility for CPD in teaching and learning. First of all, have you seen those benefits in your own early career teachers? And secondly, which I think is probably a tougher question, how do school leaders create those conditions for ECTs to thrive?

Louise Dwyer
I've said already that ECTs are immersed in pedagogy in a way that they weren't before, and I think that has a huge impact as we said. I think, you know, in terms of a sort of real-world example, if you like, if you imagine the rich conversation that you can have with an ECT who you've observed, if they've already read a case study about scaffolding.

So, instead of feeling like there's something they're just not quite getting right, they know that they want to do something for their struggling writers, but they just don't even know where to start. If they've already read a case study about scaffolding, then they're already thinking about that. They're already using that. And in fact, the conversation you're having is evaluating what they've been doing in their lesson for that, rather than three steps back before that, if you like, which you know, which is a position you might have been in.

So, I think using the ECF is a little bit like giving our ECTs springs to run a marathon. It’s still a real slog to get through everything that they've got to do. But if they've done their reading and they've had those rich discussions with the mentors with their induction tutors, then actually, might sound silly, but they're bouncing into the classroom, aren’t they?

English teacher, I've got to go to throw in some extended metaphors there. But they are, they’re bouncing into the classroom rather than sort of wading through the tough induction years. I think that's infectious as well. I think the enthusiasm, the hope a lot of ECTs have, because they feel well supported by the induction programme and by, you know, also by the fact that this is centralised now, you know, this is about making sure, although there are different providers, it's about making sure that the induction programme or the induction process, however it's happening, is happening in a in a really validated way is really reassuring to them. 

So, they feel supported, they feel buoyed up by what they're doing and so they can have all of that enthusiasm. So, they are, you know, they're really valuable members of staff because they're enthusiastic, because they have so much to offer and that really does rub off on people around them. I think what's even more joyous is that impacts beyond the ECTs, they’re informed, confident practitioners, albeit, you know, at early stages of their careers with a lot to learn already but they are informed, they are able to go and try things with the with the background behind them to do that.

But it does rub off on people around them. So, the mentors in particular, I think the mentors with a greater emphasis on training for mentors, that been really, really valuable. But the mentors working with the ECTS, mean that the mentors become much more reflective about their own practice as well. One of the biggest things I've seen, the mentors and is it okay if I read a quotation from one of my one of my mentors, Tony Manley, who's an English teacher here as well, in the same department.

She's been one of our VCT mentors, and she said, “I felt very aligned with the adjective mentoring approach whereby the relationship is about being collaborative and equal rather than hierarchical. It means that both of us have been truly reflective about our practice and co thinkers as well as co learners. I think these kinds of conversations will really help to ensure that my ECT will make this type of reflection integral to their practice and it is a welcome reminder for me to do the same”. 


Mark Quinn
Listeners, I want you to know that we didn't provide that quotation for Louise to read out over the airwaves this afternoon. 

Louise Dwyer
I mean, its gold, isn't it? You know, it does exactly what we want to any training, but any teaching to do. You know that people are truly thinking about what they're doing and our mentors are doing that, you know, and more and more, ECTs, the mentors use the materials that they're getting for the induction program and share those in their department and use it, as you said Elaine, the meta language, that's going to have a greater impact on everything. I use the language as I’ve said much more in my CPD and I know I'm a better teacher for having immersed myself in the ECF. I was teaching tone to my year 11 class last week and lots of different words to use to describe tone.

Then the next I tested their recall on them and noticed in a way that I don't think I would have noticed before that the ones, the words they remembered were the ones that I had very clearly used analogies, demonstrations for which come straight from ECF, it's the language of the ECF and, you know, lo and behold, it is real in the classroom. It actually happens in the classroom. I don't think I would have been attuned to seeing that happen in front of me without me being immersed in the ECF as well. So, , I think it has a huge, huge impact and it was really positive for schools. 

Mark Quinn
So yeah, I mean, I mean, I think we could pause there for a second because you've said so much. I know you want to say a bit more about how you've helped create those conditions and maybe other leaders will be listening very carefully to that part as well. But actually, you've just described a huge amount of professional learning going on.

I did ask the question about how it benefited teachers. And you are quite rightly, you expanded upon the meaning of that word “teachers” and you've involved the mentors and the other members of their departments as well. I mean, it is incredible, actually, to think about that. The potential of a professional development programme, which is, you know, call it what it is, that's what it is, and it's imposed upon schools nationally. You got to do something a bit like this, but what it can do is have this massive, as I was going to say, ripple effect, Elaine. It sounds more like a tsunami going through the Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls. I can use metaphors as well and you know, because and a very positive wave, a series of positive waves through practice.

Even if it's just about as you were saying before, Louise, that it's giving people confidence to use a language to describe what they've already been doing, possibly, to better understand how they've always been teaching. You said something else which I thought was really, really interesting and maybe you can say more about, which is this idea that your ECTs know the other ECTs in other schools, even using different programme, not all using the UCL programme, but other programmes which are out there are all doing a similar thing.
Therefore, though they're part of something, the part is something much bigger than perhaps they ever would have felt before when you were an NOQ or when I was an NQT or whenever, when Elaine was an NQT. I thought that’s a really interesting, intriguing thought, isn't it, Elaine? 

Elaine Long 
Yeah, it fascinates me and the sort of generational aspects of training in that, how that shapes your character, because obviously, you know, back in the day when I was trained, there wasn't any sort of formal programme and if you had a problem, you had to rely on the, you know, the kindness of someone down the corridor to come and help you and they often did. That kind of happened informally. And there certainly wasn't such a focus on evidence informed practice or pedagogy. So, it’s interesting how this is going to sort of shape teaching and shape this generation of teachers who feel much more confident to perhaps talk to something and hopefully within the second year of the programme are much more confident to experiment with their own practice.


The bit I found really interesting, what you were saying was, was about you’re noticing things that you weren't before, and people are noticing things they weren't before. Actually what it's doing is it's facilitating just excellent conversations about teaching and learning. You know if you’ve got a school culture, if you got a school culture where that excellent dialogue is happening around teaching and learning, then you've got a self-improving culture and that is an incredibly powerful thing. I think.

Louise Dwyer
I think it's about the impression of the profession, isn't it? You know, let's face it, low recruitment, and retention, such a huge issue. We do need to be pulling people in and saying, look at what a fantastic profession this is. You know, we are talking about highly skilled professionals. We are talking about people who are so incredibly well trained and that's the image that that people need to have. 

If we're going to keep pulling people into the profession, we need the ECTs to have that fantastic experience, that they will talk to other people who are considering, you know, considering the profession that they will share, that it is such a positive experience going through that induction. Yes, it is longer than it used to be, but for good reason, because that shows the value in doing it well.

I think it is very much about putting that on that national podium, if you like, and saying that we believe so much in this profession that we are going to make sure that everybody who comes to our door as a teacher, gives our children the best experience that they as teachers have a good experience as well.

My Deputy Head talked about us being the gatekeepers of the profession when we were in a role like mine and like yours, working with the ECTs. I think that that's a good, a really good phrase, you know, and we love what we do. 

Mark Quinn
Yeah. And of course, I mean, gatekeeping is a good word for it, but you're doing, I know you're doing much more than that. What you were describing before was this kind of organic process of impact upon ECTs and mentors and others. I'm sure that a large part of what you think you were doing in your school as a leader is kind of just making way for that, allowing that to happen.

So, allowing those conditions to create themselves automatically, if you like, or organically. But I'm wondering if there's more you want to say about that Louise, about how you engineer a culture or conditions for great professional learning to take place?

Louise Dwyer
I think for the ECTs, I mean, you know, in order for ECTs to thrive, there were all of the practical considerations, aren't there? Making, you know, very practical answers to that question, making sure that they've got appropriate classes to teach, that they’ve got well-chosen and well-trained mentors, that we're respecting the timetabling expectation for ECTs, making sure that they can attend training.

But I think it comes down a lot to values and respect doesn't it, you know, it's very much about valuing the contribution that the ECTs give and I think that's what we can do as leaders is create a culture where actually everybody is valued. Everybody on any school staff, but particularly thinking about ECTs coming through and valuing the offer that they have. I'm really proud of the confidence that our ECTs have to, as I say, you know, be the first ones to put their hands up in training sessions. 
I'm not shy about pointing that out and say, you know, actually we should all be raising our game here because look at what the ECTs are doing. I think that's the kind of culture you have where you absolutely praise what is being done well, no matter where, it's no matter where it's coming from. 

I also think as well, with schools focusing a lot more on staff wellbeing, we are seeing environments created where I hope ECTs might feel less overwhelmed by a challenging, you know, it’s no secret that teaching is challenging it's hard. But if you've got an environment where staff wellbeing is high on your agenda and ECTs know that, then they will feel supported and things like that.

I also think that conversation at all levels is really important. We talk a lot about informal conversations that you might have. So, for the enquiries in year two, the conversations in the staff room counts as evidence and I think, if you're saying that people and pointing out just how valuable those experiences are and making sure that you've got an environment where teachers have the time to talk to each other, I think that's hugely important as well.

Talking about pedagogy through your teaching and learning bulletin, true examples, we have teacher talk Thursday where a different department will share an idea, things like that, that tie into the ways ECTs are working. I mean that they feel like what they're doing fits into a wider professional learning culture as well and giving them the chance talk to each other. I think the cluster, the way the cluster is of working for us is really positive as well. I know when Elaine and Nancy came to watch the session, they were thinking about how we could make more time for revelatory moments.  I think that's something for school leaders to think about as well. ECTs need time to talk to each other, whether that's in person or online. You have to you have to enable that. You have to free up that time to go and attend the training to network with other people and have those opportunities as well.

Mark Quinn
Well, that’s about the fullest answer I've ever heard to that question Elaine.

Elaine Long 
Yeah, I know.

Louise Dwyer
Is that a way of saying I talk a lot, Mark?


Mark Quinn
No, no, not, not, not one bit of it. Louise. Not one bit of it, No, no, really. I think you were talking about really about making space, aren't you? Sometimes it's physical spaces, making sure that people are actually in physical spaces so they can talk to each other. Those spaces might be a bulletin so that they can share things.

Conversation was a word that Elaine dropped into this conversation. But it's really important, isn't it, that the conversation is a place where you get to test an idea where a colleague might gently suggest to you that it's a very silly idea or it's a great idea, or that they've tried it themselves or, you know, whatever, but, you know, they can challenge you on it,  support you on it or gently suggest you try something different.

You don't know how good or bad an idea is unless you've got somebody giving you feedback on it, right? Like a colleague. And if you can sit down beside them in a staffroom, to have that conversation, then so much the better. But there are other ways of doing it. So as it as you were describing and I'm sure, I'm sure that's it, if you actually want, if this programme is to have the impact beyond just the ECT and I use the word just carefully here, if you want it to have an impact beyond just the ECTs, then you've got to make those spaces available and allow those relationships, if you like, to develop across networks, to develop across school, within a school and across schools. 

It's just it's really, really lovely to hear you say all of this, Louis.

Elaine Long 
Yeah, and it reminds me of when we were thinking about the title for the podcast called The Staffroom, ECF Staffroom. But you know, we were thinking about actually that the staffroom is a space where some of the best conversations about teaching and learning take place and some of the best professional learning isn't always formal and delivered, but it happens sort of spontaneously when colleagues have the sort of relationships where they are genuinely sharing best practice and that a staffroom is not often physical place in school anymore, sometimes it isn't, but it is kind of like a culture or a mindset and that really links to what you are saying.

Speaking of staffrooms, staffrooms have noticeboards, and we like to give every guest on our podcast the Post-it note to write some advice on and you don't have to stick it on the staffroom noticeboard. You can stick it anywhere. And so, we would like to know who would you like to give your Post-it note to or where would you like to put your Post-it note on display and what would you write on your Post-it note?

Louise Dwyer
I thought about that and I thought, how brave am I feeling about this? I don't want this to appear too flippant, but I think really what I would like to write on my post is simply to tell any headteacher who is worried for whatever reason about employing an ECT. The ECTs really do represent such a bright future for our profession with the right training and support of course. 

You know that the time is needed for it, but any headteacher thinking of employing an ECT should go for it. That would be my advice if I'm allowed to be a little bit cheeky about that one.

Elaine Long 
You are, so, employ an ECT and we will stick that on headteacher’s desks all over the country. That's been done for you, Louise. Consider that done.


Mark Quinn
We are in the Ellen Wilkinson staffroom, and I can hear your bell ringing. That means it's time to leave the staffroom. I hope you enjoyed that lovely hot drink that I made you with all of those sticky grains chocolate that I dragged up from the bottom of that tub. I hope the biscuit wasn't too mouldy.

You can take the rest of the packet with you on your way out. It's been really, really, really lovely meeting you today, Louise. I have a feeling we might be calling upon you again sometime in the future because you've got much more to tell us, I'm sure.

Louise Dwyer
Anytime.

Mark Quinn
But thank you ever so much.

Elaine Long 
It's been absolute delight, Louise, thank you so much.

Louise Dwyer
Thank you both.

Mark Quinn
Our thanks go to Louise Dwyer, a UCL Facilitator, an Assistant Headteacher at the Ellen Wilkinson School for sharing coffee and hot chocolate and a chocolate biscuit with us this week in the ECF Staffroom.

Elaine Long 
Please do get in touch with us if you think you would like to chat with us about your ECF experience. In the meantime, join us soon for a biscuit and a chat with another colleague in the ECF Staffroom.

Mark Quinn
If you've enjoyed this episode, there's more where that came from. Search IOE Podcast from wherever you get your podcasts to find episodes of the ECF Staffroom as well as more podcasts from the IOE.

Elaine Long 
And a quick favour before you go. If you are listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, we'd really appreciate it If you could give the IOE podcast a rating, five stars would be nice if you're enjoying the show, and that will help us to reach more people who are interested in hearing what the ECF staffroom is all about.

IOE announcer 
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