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Flexible Working in Schools

Embracing Flexible Work in Schools

Date posted : 05 May 2023

There is little doubt that school leaders across the country are facing a recruitment and retention crisis. It is a simple yet frustrating equation; fewer people are entering the workforce than are leaving. 

On the face of it, increased flexible working requests would seem to be fuelling the problem. However, wise school leaders should look at increased flexible working as an opportunity, not a threat, to building a workforce capable of meeting the needs of their pupils. 

Here are 5 reasons why school leaders should embrace flexible working:

  1. Staff retention: Part-time and flexible working arrangements can improve staff retention. When teachers are given the flexibility to balance their work and personal lives, they are more likely to stay with the school for longer periods, which reduces the cost and time associated with recruiting and training new staff.
  2. Improved wellbeing: Part-time and flexible working arrangements can improve staff wellbeing. Teachers who have more control over their work schedules can better manage their workload, reduce stress, and achieve a better work-life balance.
  3. Enhanced performance: Part-time and flexible working arrangements can lead to enhanced performance. Teachers who can work in a way that suits them are likely to be more productive and engaged, which can lead to better student outcomes.
  4. Diverse and inclusive workplace: Part-time and flexible working arrangements can help create a diverse and inclusive workplace. It allows for a more diverse range of people to join the profession, including those who require flexibility due to caring responsibilities or other commitments.
  5. Building workforce resilience: flexible work gives you the opportunity to add people with additional skillsets and responsibilities to your workforce. Teachers covering a .5 class teaching role can offer PPA time to other staff, provide in-house cover across the school, add additional subjects to the curriculum or just be more likely to stick as an ECT than covering a full class teaching role.

Of course, schools, like all employers, have a legal obligation to consider requests for flexible working arrangements under the UK's flexible working regulations. If a request is reasonable and cannot be accommodated, the school must provide evidence to support its decision.

Embracing part-time and flexible working requests from teaching staff can lead to benefits for teachers, schools, and pupils. Flexible work improves the retention, well-being, and performance of experienced staff and creates opportunities for less experienced teaching staff to take on roles within the school. All this and making your school a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Find out how Teaching Personnel are helping schools accommodate flexible working, via TP Flex


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