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Many experienced teachers are quitting their jobs because flexible working requests are being unfairly refused, the Annual Conference of NASUWT-The Teachers Union has heard today.

Employers regularly deny teachers’ requests for flexible working, citing spurious “business reasons”, but this is leading to the loss of skilled teachers and exacerbating the recruitment and retention crisis.

According to the Union’s recent Wellbeing at Work Survey, more than half of teachers (52%) say that their school/college does not offer flexible working.

Nine out of ten teachers have experienced more work-related stress in the last 12 months, with more than half (52%) citing workload as the main factor.

The Conference has heard a motion calling for flexible working to be a day one right for all teachers.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Despite flexible working being widely recognised as a key way to support workforce retention and to improve morale, wellbeing and job satisfaction, many teachers face significant barriers when they make a flexible working request.

“There is a great deal of evidence showing that some schools continue to believe that flexible working is not compatible with delivering high educational standards for pupils. This is patently false.

“Teachers across the UK already work longer hours than teachers in other leading economies. The culture of work until you drop is the biggest risk to the teaching profession and to the education of children and young people.

“If the Government is serious about promoting diversity within the profession, then it must make it a priority to strengthen legislation to outlaw outdated employment practices and to make the right to access flexible working a day one right for all workers.”


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