England’s schools need more teachers each year, especially in secondary schools where pupil numbers are forecast to rise by 15 per cent over the next decade. Caroline Sharp looks at how increasing part-time and flexible working opportunities could help keep teachers in the profession – and in your school...

How many teachers in your school work part-time? If it is around 22 per cent, then that is average for secondary schools in England. Now think of your staff profile – do you have many teachers in their 30s and 50s? If so, you might expect more part-time working.

But would you welcome a request for reduced hours as an opportunity to hold onto valuable teachers. Or would you see it as a complication that you could do without?

As we said in a previous Research Insights article for SecEd (2019), part-time working is less common in secondary than primary schools – and the evidence suggests that a lack of part-time work drives some teachers to leave and is a barrier to enabling some ex-teachers to return.

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