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More than 60 organisations pledge action to boost flexible working for teachers

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘More than 60 pledges to encourage schools to introduce more flexible working practices have been made in a bid to tackle the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

    The promises follow a DfE summit on the issue in October, where education secretary Justine Greening said that more flexible working would enable schools to keep valued teachers in the profession.

    The pledges, announced this morning, include:

    • The National Education Union will promote the advantages of flexible working in schools and encourage them to extend its availability – using social media to gather and promote case studies;
    • WomenEd will work with the Association of School and College Leaders and the Chartered College of Teaching to develop cases studies of successful working practices that they will share with the sector…’


    How do you feel about the commitment made by certain organisations to take action to try to boost flexible working? Do you think this will help to make a real difference to teachers wanting to reduce their hours? Does the government need to do more to encourage schools to allow teachers to work part-time?
  2. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Crisis!, what crisis? Surely not...really? The DEF won't agree! Guess there's comes a point where the elephant in the room is so badly decomposed that nobody can ignore the smell.... I am actually cancelling my NEU memebership because I'm out of schools now and frankly, it's boring to read them say, in the magazine, week after week, how exploited and maltreated teachers are and yet they never call a strike action or do anything. I like Mary Bousted and I think she writes a good column, but Nothing Is Actually Happening to make a teacher want to stay in the job at present. Is this work two hundred quid a year? It is like a business...academies blare out lies and get away with serious blunders and failures .....and carry on. The NEU depresses the bejesus out of teachers by agreeing with us that conditions are poor and regularly, tells us so in their magazine...and yet, things carry on as they are. Teachers despair and confide in colleagues, friends and family, then grab a drink or just quit because Nobody Can Do Anything. The retention bleeed out just...carries on. Buzz words and social media campaigns may boost a profile but they do not solve the problems facing teachers. We don't need flexible working, we need a fair amount of cash per hour and fixed hours per day. You can be on £40k a year but do the unpaid equivalent of £55k a year and they still bully you for 'capability' issues because the want as much work as they can get outbof teahers for as little as possible. No wonder so many are quitting.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Are any of the 60 organisations schools, LAs or Ofsted?

    Thought not.
    No point in writing about it then.
  4. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    So teachers can flexibly work their 65 hour weeks?
    Don’t teachers do this already ?
    I would have thought it’s the amount of work which needs addressing rather than getting to schools to ‘allow’teachers to work late in the evening or at weekends.
    Errrr...........this already happens Justine)

    Did she just pick 10 non-myths to refute? I know of schools which have been doing (refuting in practice) these for years.
    Of course the govt (and school leaders) are happy for you to work part time. You do a full time job for part time pay because it’s the workload that’s the problem

    I went part time when my workload reached 70 hrs per week.
    Down to 3 days I was doing 40-45 hour weeks.
    It helped my sanity (and I was happy to do it for a short time) but it was still F/T.
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes indeed, my sentiments exactly.
    drek likes this.
  6. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Quite agree, I did one year of part time and the mental input, preparation, planning and meetings were not very different at all. Just slightly fewer books to plough through. Terrific. I still don't know why they don't have more part time bargain staffvin schools...presumeably its to do with the fragmentation of staffing, coupled Get and less able HODS quitting sooner and sooner. That or extra pension costsbecause more staff would pay into the TPS?
    drek and phlogiston like this.
  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Mind you, I can vouch for the fact that we teachers already excel in flexible working. whilst waiting in hospital for surgery, I became a fan hand at answering the increasingly psychotic emails from my SLT and HOD, setting cover, and, yes, even marking books. Because I was bullied and stupid. Teachers seem to have a mass case of Stockholm Syndrome. We already do the extra unpaid hours. Were so blooming flexible that our marriages, home lives and health have suffered. Let's start a thread on it, shall we? Bendiest teacher doing flexible hours...
    mrajlong, drek, phlogiston and 2 others like this.
  8. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Ah, love the terms, 'promote the advantages of' and 'develop case studies.' Typical DfE carp to make it look like they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing of impact. Still, a few consultants will get paid to write the case studies, DfE staff will QA them and there'll be a project board with nice lunches to sign them off.

    Who says the DfE aren't busy :)
  9. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

  10. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Lead commenter

    Of course the govt (and school leaders) are happy for you to work part time. You do a full time job for part time pay because it’s the workload that’s the problem
    I went part time when my workload reached 70 hrs per week.
    Down to 3 days I was doing 40-45 hour weeks.
    Before I finished I was regularly working 65 - 70 hours per week. I thought about going part-time, but I guessed that it would have been part-time money for a full-time workload.
    Open ended hours are the real problem. Pay teachers by the hour and the workload issue would vanish in an instant.
    Salaried professionals my aarse.
    silkywave, needabreak and Mrsmumbles like this.
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    It would help if teachers could literally just teach... no meetings, no exam entries, no data management and presentation, no exam results analysis, no break duties, no lunch duties, no training other teachers, no managing other teachers, no admin whatsoever including photocopying, no reinventing the wheel and limited curriculum/spec/grade changes in any given period of time, no registers (tech should have that covered), but using cross school sharing (like tes resources but free to all teachers nationally... if tes can do it so can gov't... link to minimal prep), no staying onsite before school or after lessons (learning should be completed in allocated time) no weekend work unless teacher initiated educational trips etc... there should be no indefinate call on our time, parents consultation held on a school day (parents have responsibilities to sacrifice one day per year per child to do this), reports automatically correlated using admin gathered data using the traffic light system (rolled out nationally via a single government designed and paid for sim that gathers the information they seek... cutting out the need for staff to identify suitable sims and purchase them since most snr school staff waste time and money on ones that turn out to be inadequate), reports only checked by staff and presented by them once per year but read only accessible to parents and students at all times with the option to add notes by teachers at any time that trigger push notifications to parents/students each time and a monitor on how often data is accessed by students/parents and an automated flag text if parents do not read a notice or miss a teacher alert... all on ONE homework, attendance and performance montoring sim (possibly different for primary).

    What I have described here would rely on several things, adequate admin support for teachers, adequate tech support for schools, slt and ht's doing what they are paid to do but currently delegate to others using financial/cpd incentives or not doing it at all, i.e. schools are not really the best place to teach teachers (it's a false economy) they are the place for trainees to get some experience once trained, our children are not guinea pigs to be experimented on termly by often inexperienced and sometimes incapable trainee teachers, nor are all teachers capable of managing or training other teachers it is not what they were trained to do and is no doubt why they just repeat what was done to them, sometimes with dire consequences... also they simply do not have the time, nor do they have the time to manage staff whose mistakes are time sapping.

    Ultimately flatten the structure (everyone else can do it) broaden the management and support remit it would automatically lessen the need for meetings and allow teachers to teach.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
    emerald52, oldsomeman and Mrsmumbles like this.
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    How on earth can you do flexy time when school classes are held at a certan time.Or is is parents wantin us to say work till ten at night, so they can work then pick up their kids ready for putting to bed?..and what of those at home who wish to have their childrn home by a set times?
    There will of course be no pressure from heads to make techers change their times or to to recognise teachers who have duties out of school such as children or relatives to look after.What next flexi holidays so the school never closes.There wont be need to work for the Chrismas holidays of course!
  13. WB

    WB New commenter

    The pledges they mention seem wonderfully vague.

    Why not pedge a working week of never more than 50 hours?

    That's a pledge that would help with retention.
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I was thinking the other day, that when I was a kid in the acceptable 80s, the highlight of my teenage week was schmooping the Saturday shops. Individual, bespoke, friendly, one to one interracyions with your town's local shops. Often owned by the parents of your friends, or other ones you or your friends worked at. Fast forward (gulp) 30 years and internet shopping is so, so powerful. With understandable reason: it's fast, often cheaper, fast delivery, reward schemes and...it can afford to undercut the high street...the online giants like Amazon have warehouses, no physical shops to pay for, no similar costs in building overheads. A lot of the character of UK high streets died as a consequence. Only the really good small businesses can survive, and must get harder every year. Well...what if...more and more top quality experienced teachers desert the cruddy academised costcutter buildings and set up as online mini schools? Online centres with affiliated tutors linked in are already serving a valuable function. In a sense, a lot of us already offer the one to one customer service formerly offered by high street small businesses. Others, admittedly, run along the lines of a drive-thru, but I doubt they will survive. Good online tuition cooperatives could easily undercut the average academy, for the simple reason that far too many academies are already underfunded, understaffed, and just sinking. Online tuition could well be the 21st century answer to our current crisis and a sharp rebuff to this related nonsense like the DFE bleating on about fantasy working hours. It might work really well, with more teachers on better hours with better or comparable pay. Faced with mass absenteeism, I wonder if a future government would allocate secondary and Year 6 kids 'online educational enrichment' vouchers? They will need to do something if they want these failing schools to become a pitiful reject pile of educational Ratners stores...oh, and if they ever want re-election.
  15. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Or you could just have the students stay at home and teacher big brother broadcasts go out to them in the comfort of their own homes in between world of warcraft or COD. :eek:

    To be fair the scenario you propose is too advanced for my mere mortal comprehension, I am not sure if would provide the desired results, although to be fair I am a bit at a loss to know what the desired results really are these days and if as I suspect I am not sure I approve of them anyway. *Sigh.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yep, it is so scary...and bleak. But Big Teacher is coming! I’m more of a fun sized version, but I bet big corporate firms will buy up and control the emerging market in the end. I hope that students will choose a sensible mixture, with worried parents topping up....should be room for most of us for the first five years!
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Interesting, this morning on the radio they were talking of peoples fears of tech and they concluded that as we know most jobs will shift to maintenance and different roles to accommodate tech as they have done recently but also that there are some roles like caring ones which will be affected very little, I wonder if teaching is in any way caring? *Tongue in cheek... how would an online classroom measure up to OFSTED with its pastoral measures? To be honest if it worked I wouldn't have a problem however I am not sure it will, and it would be another huge experiment on the countries guinea pigs... no no no I mean children and young people.

    If we focused on getting the basics right instead of trumpeting the "next new thing" our PISA scores might be a big stronger.

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