Flexible Working

Flexible Working

What Is Flexible Working?

  • Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. (https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working)
  • Flextime (also spelled flexitime [British English], flex-time) is a flexible hours schedule that allows workers to alter workday start and finish times. The working day outside of the "core" period is "flexible time", in which employees can choose when they work, subject to achieving total daily, weekly or monthly hours within the "bandwidth" period set by employers, and subject to the necessary work being done. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flextime#Empirical_evidence)
There is a range of ways that teachers can consider working flexibly:
  • Part time working – the most common form of flexible working across all professions, including teaching. Usually characterized by working less than fulltime hours and/or working fewer days;
  • Job sharing - two or more people do one job and split the hours. Increasingly popular option for teachers and schools, particularly where individual teachers are able to organize and propose their own job-sharing arrangements;
  • Compressed hours - working full-time hours but over fewer days. A useful option when it may not be financially convenient for a teacher to take on a reduced number of hours. However, can have increased workload implications for the reduced number of days that an individual teacher does work;
  • Staggered hours - the employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers (this would be dependent on each individual application and situation). Useful for teachers with caring/childcare responsibilities who may need to drop off or collect children but who don’t want or need to work less than five days a week.
  • Remote working - there are other forms of part-time work, such as working from home, that are increasingly popular in other professions, but which don’t lend themselves so easily to teaching. However, while regular home-working may not be practical for most teachers in most schools, there are many schools which do offer ad hoc working from home opportunities where appropriate.

The Diverse Educators’ Flexible Working Toolkit

We are collating a growing bank of resources to support you in reflecting on the following questions:
  • How can we recruit more teachers through flexible working?
  • How can we retain more teachers through flexible working?
  • How can we reengage more teachers through flexible working?
  • How can we change perspectives on flexible working?
  • How can we create school cultures and ethos to enable flexible working?

Articles

Schools Week Oct 2017

WomenEd invites flexible working ideas for schools.

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Schools Week Oct 2020

£500k to boost flexible working and drive staff retention.

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Schools Week Feb 2019

Ministers look to heads to transform flexible working opportunities.

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Schools Week Dec 2020

No more excuses for failing to adopt flexible working.

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TES Dec 2018

Flexible working teachers – what are your options?

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TES April 2019

Flexible working is possible if schools focus on outcomes not hours.

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TES May 2020

Flexible working for teachers is truly possible.

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TES Nov 2018

Will Covid force schools to rethink flexible working?

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Blogs

Department for Education – Emma Turner

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Department for Education – Sue Plant

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Education Support

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Innovate My School

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TES

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University of Buckingham

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Books

Dale, Gemma. Flexible Working: How to Implement Flexibility in the Workplace to Improve Employee and Business Performance

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Kelliher, Clare (Menezes, Lillian). Flexible Working in Organisations: A Research Overview (State of the Art in Business Research)

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Lake, Andy. Smart Flexibility: Moving Smart and Flexible Working from Theory to Practice

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Turner, Emma. Let's Talk about Flex: Flipping the flexible working narrative for education.

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Podcasts

Flexible Working for Parents (TeacherToolkit)

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Flexible Working Requests (XPertHR)

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Future of Flexible Working (CIPD)

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How to Apply for Flexible Working (Mothers Who Work)

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The Pursuit of Wellbeing – The Power of Flexible Working

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Wellbeing Podcast: Flexible Working (Optimus)

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Making Flexible Working Work (The Key)

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Resources

Flexible Working in Schools (DfE)

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Flexible Working in Schools Summit

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Flexible Working (CIPD)

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Working Families

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Videos

Flexible Working Schools - Headteacher Job Share (DfE)

Flexible Working in Schools – How to Make it Work (NFER)

How to Normalise Flexible Working in Schools (CCT)

#LDEduchat – Flexible Working

Flexible Working Virtual Meet Up

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