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Developing a whole-school approach to flexible working

Our 16-month Teaching Pioneers Programme saw us partner with eight secondary schools, within three multi-academy trusts, to explore how best to champion and deliver flexible working within the profession.

Science lesson

It’s no exaggeration to say that the teaching profession is in the middle of a staffing crisis. Research from the National Education Union suggests the 44% of teachers are planning to leave within five years, and that it’s getting harder to fill vacancies, with a knock-on effect on workloads and wellbeing for remaining staff.

Introducing flexible working in teaching is less straightforward than in office-based roles, for a range of reasons. Complications around timetabling and culture, the frontline nature of the role and the intensity of the school day all play their part.

But all the evidence suggests that the positive impact it has on staff retention and recruitment makes it well worth the investment. The reasons why schools should implement flexible working are clear; what’s been less certain, until now, is how do it well.

Our Teaching Pioneers Programme sought to close this knowledge gap. Working with eight secondary schools, within three MATs, we spent 16 months exploring how best to champion and deliver flexible working within the profession.

Our learnings from the programme, and the implications for schools, academy trusts and policymakers, are set out in a full report, which you can download below. You can also download a guide, based on what we learned, which provides practical support for headteachers.

Published June 2022

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