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School Staffing Challenges – could flexible working be the answer?

School Staffing Challenges – could flexible working be the answer

School Staffing Challenges – could flexible working be the answer

flexible workingThe Department for Education (DfE) School Workforce Data figures for 2018 are not due to be released until June 2019, but the last ones published in 2017 showed a slight fall in teacher numbers, with 451,900 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers working within state funded schools in England compared to 457,200 in 2016. The statistics also reported that the total number of FTE qualified entrants to teaching had decreased since 2015 from 45,500 to 42,400 in 2017.

The worrying fact here is that the number of people entering into teaching is only just covering the numbers of teachers who are leaving the profession. If this trend increases, we are going to see a shortfall on an already stretched resource.

Is flexible working the answer to staff retention?

The DfE has stated it is committed to promoting flexible (also known as agile) working among the teaching workforce within schools as they see this as a potential solution to not only retaining teachers, but also encouraging previous teachers back into the workplace.

We implement many flexible working solutions into private business and it is with great interest that we examine the DfE’s recent report, “Exploring flexible working practice in schools” which was compiled from reviewing various literature sources from around the world.

Its research concluded that there were a number of reasons employees gave for taking up flexible working patterns, which included:

  • Improved productivity, performance and engagement, and more creativity and innovation.
  • Better work/life balance, positive impact on wellbeing and happiness (including reduction in stress and pressure, and ability to pursue or integrate other activities into daily life).
  • Improved ability to manage care responsibilities for children/other family members.
  • Improved job satisfaction.
  • Reduced travel time and costs.

 

Having the right tools to implement flexible working

People are one element to agile working, but technology plays an important part. With the right technology in place, you can implement a flexible working culture that works for you.

Connectivity – Having access to a powerful and fast internet connection is vital to the success of flexible working practices as this opens up the opportunities to hosted applications, freeing up your staff to work away from school premises.

Hosted Phone System – A good internet connection will then allow you to move away from your traditional ISDN phone system and enable you to install a hosted or VOIP phone system. Alongside the ability to make and take calls from anywhere as though you were in school, an upgrade to VOIP will also give you access to a powerful feature-rich phone solution which includes zero call billing.

Cloud Servers – The foundation of a robust internet connection really does make the world of difference. It means you no longer have to rely on storing data on local machines. A cloud-based server will allow you to manage files and data securely from any location.

Upgrade and save

Upgrading your internet and phone system may seem a costly exercise, but the evidence from the projects we implement with most of our education client shows that an upgrade is cost-neutral when you consider the on-going monthly savings.

We appreciate that upgrading your connectivity and phone system is a big job and we are here to help and support you every step of the way. We provide a free review to audit your current situation and talk you through the options to making your school more agile in its working practices.

Book your review today by calling us on 02476 867 422, or
if it’s more convenient, request a callback and one of our team will be in touch. 

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