The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: flexible working

In the second episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, we look at why some schools see flexible working as a challenge, the potential benefits of allowing staff to work flexibly and advice on making it work in your school.

An increasing number of people are working flexibly. Amongst many other reasons, flexible working allows people to meet family commitments, have more time for personal obligations and have more control over their work-life balance.

Around 42% of women and 13% of men work part-time. However, these statistics are considerably lower for teachers, with only 8.6% of male and 26.4% of female teachers working part-time. 

According to the DfE, 'This is not just a problem for equality in the teaching workforce, it is also a factor in attracting and keeping high quality teachers.' (DfE, Flexible working in schools

In this episode, we'll be looking at:

  • why teachers want to work flexibly [1:53]
  • the impact that flexible working can have on teacher workload [3:55]
  • the research on flexible working [6:27]
  • how flexible working can benefit pupil outcomes [8:10] and additional benefits to allowing staff to work flexibly [9:59]
  • why some schools see flexible working as a challenge [13:25] and how to overcome these challenges [15:33]
  • problems with timetabling [16:43]
  • supporting teachers who have returned after a leave of absence [19:02]
  • advice for leaders on managing flexible working requests [21:06] and advice for teachers wanting to work flexibly [22:09].

Our Supporting Staff Wellbeing conference takes place on Wednesday 25 March in Manchester.

This event will equip you with invaluable guidance and easy-to-implement strategies to create a whole-school culture that priorities staff wellbeing.

Secure your place.

Meet our speakers!

Liz Murray 

Having some downtime really improved my efficiency and reduced my workload

Liz has worked in education for 20 years, as an accredited advanced skills teacher, pastoral and curriculum leader, SENCO and assistant headteacher. She has worked across both mainstream and independent sectors, and also the founder of Spotlight Education Support.

Jonathan Taylor 

You've got to be innovative and think outside the box 

Jonathan is the Principal of the Cognita owned, International School Zurich North.  

He is a firm believer in a flexible approach to educational provision and has featured in the national press for pioneering a 10am start time for sixth form students at his previous school, North Bridge House.

Lucy Rose 

Every situation is different. You need to listen to the needs of the person

Lucy is a secondary school teacher with experience in senior leadership roles. She is also a mother to small, sticky children and co-founder of Flexible Teacher Talent

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