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Supporting DfE’s recruitment and retention strategy by training school leaders in flexible working

We’ve been appointed by the Department for Education to train school leaders in flexible working. Here’s why it matters.

By Muriel Tersago, Principal Consultant, Timewise

Here at Timewise, we have a long-held interest in supporting schools to become more flexible. In 2019, we produced a report on building flexible working into schools, in association with Now Teach. More recently, we have produced a set of flexible working resources for school leaders and staff. And we are mid-way through a project with three multi-academy trusts to determine what a proactive and whole-school approach to flexible working looks like for leaders and classroom teachers.

So we are delighted to have been appointed by the Department for Education to use our experience and expertise to support their approach to teacher recruitment, retention and wellbeing. We are offering free, national training on flexible working for school leaders, through a series of live and recorded events.

View our webinars now:

Our webinar series, “Implementing Effective Flexible Working Practices for School Leaders” took place throughout October 2021. Please view the webinar that is relevant for you:

1. Webinar for Head Teachers/MAT Leaders

2. Webinar for School Business Professionals/HR

3. Webinar for Governors & Trustees

Why flexible working adds up for schools

Of course, there’s no question that making teaching roles more flexible is more complex than in some other sectors. Complications around timetabling, budget constraints and the student-facing nature of the role all play their part.

But there is evidence that some teachers leave the profession because they can’t access flexible working, and that many secondary school teachers who do leave reduce their hours when they do so. Whereas, when teachers are able to work flexibly, the benefits are clear. In research carried out for DfE in 2019, 89% of teachers working flexibly stated that they were able to maintain a good work-life balance and manage their workload more effectively. Additionally, 85% felt their wellbeing had improved by working flexibly.

And with the pandemic having shifted the dial on flexible working, it’s important that schools do what they can to incorporate it into their roles. They are, after all, competing with other sectors, not just other schools, for the best talent.

Our hope is that, by supporting and encouraging more schools to implement more flexible working, we will boost the profession’s ability to attract and keep the teachers on whom its success rests. We’ll keep you posted.

Published July 2021

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