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New flexible working and coaching schemes announced for teachers

06/11/2017 Joanna

The government has announced the launch of a new pilot scheme that aims to bolster support for flexible working in the teaching profession.

Presented at the recent Flexible Working in Schools summit, the pilot programme will examine how schools are already bolstering the careers of part-time teachers in order to enable recruiting best practice to be shared, while the Women Leading in Education coaching scheme will be expanded to provide female teaching staff with more professional development support.

Additionally, the existing guidance on flexible working will be updated to help make it easier for schools to know what works, with a mythbusting guide answering any questions school leaders may have around recruiting for roles with flexible hours.

Education secretary and minister for women and equalities Justine Greening said: "Flexible working and part-time opportunities for teachers and school leaders has the ability to not only improve their work-life balance, but also has the potential to attract former teachers back into the profession, addressing significant supply problems."

These moves come as part of a wider government effort to bolster rates of flexible working across all sectors, in order to support female employees and close the gender pay gap. These efforts will also help to ensure that schools are more able to recruit and retain the teachers they need.

For example, steps were recently taken to introduce 30 hours of free childcare, shared parental leave and support for returners, in addition to requiring all employers with 250 or more staff to report any gender-based gaps in pay and bonus rates.

Additionally, prime minister Theresa May has called on all employers to advertise jobs as flexible unless there are established reasons not to do so, in the hope that this will further normalise flexible working in the education sector and elsewhere.

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