Reflections on the Flexible Working in Schools Summit (updated)

31 Oct

On 30 October 2017, Voice General Secretary attended the first Flexible Working in Schools Summit, which aimed to “boost support for flexible working in the teaching profession”.

Speaking at the ARK All Saints Academy in Camberwell to representatives from the teaching unions, Teach First, and businesses, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced new pilot programmes to “look at ways of supporting and employing teachers flexibly, and enhancing coaching schemes for women working in education”.

The Government will be “working in partnership with the unions and leading organisations from across the education sector to promote flexible working across the profession”.

The plans announced at the summit include:

  • a pilot programme to look at how schools are already bolstering the careers of part-time teachers, so recruiting best practice can be shared;
  • a pilot to strengthen the Women Leading in Education coaching offer, so women can continue to get the professional development support they need; and
  • update existing guidance on flexible working, to help make it easier for schools to know what works.”

Commenting on the event, Voice General Secretary Deborah Lawson said:

“Reflecting on the DfE Flexible Working Summit I attended today, it is refreshing to note the positive vibe in the room. Having, in the dim and not so distant past, attended similar events, which were billed as ‘come and hear about’ only to find it was more – come and give us your ideas, there was more a feeling of constructive collaboration between the DfE and those present. Everyone knows the recruitment and retention crisis requires urgent attention to meet government aspirations for our education system.

“It was good to see and hear, briefly, from ministers – and even better that the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, came to listen and engage with the profession, joining discussion groups, however briefly, but engaging with all. A welcome sign of the importance she places on, not only flexible working, but the role it can play in alleviating the recruitment and retention crisis.

“Of course, flexible working alone will not crack that particular nut totally or quickly, but as part of an overall strategy to retain qualified and experienced teachers in the education workforce and attract new entrants to the profession, it is a positive start.”

Tweets from the summit:


More videos from the summit:

Further information:

DfE blog post/further information

TES article and DfE ‘myth buster’

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Tag: Flexible working

Tag: Workload

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