Over the last 18 months more school staff will have worked flexibly than ever before, but what does flexible working actually mean in the secondary school context? Louise Hatswell looks at employment law, best practice and offers some guidance for employers

The government defines flexible working as “a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finishing times or working from home”.

And while that is true, I think it is much more than that. There are lots of different ways of working flexibly and you could choose one, or a combination, of them. They include:

Ultimately, flexible working has three core elements: where, when, and how much?


Pre-pandemic, many education employers saw location as a barrier to flexible working, particularly for teaching staff. But we now know this is not the case.

Although teachers will usually need to be in school for teaching, most other elements of their roles can be carried out effectively from alternative locations.

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