Flexible working support: a programme for Multi-Academy Trusts and Schools

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About the programme

Capita, funded by the Department for Education (DfE), are delivering a programme to promote flexible working practices in Multi-Academy Trusts and schools, which includes a series of free training and support webinars.

Webinar and resource topics will include, amongst others, implementing flexible working, best practice and case studies, diversity in the workforce and co‑leadership and job sharing.

Alongside our partner Flexible Teacher Talent, and in partnership with Flexible Working Ambassador Multi-Academy Trusts and Schools (FWAMS), we are delivering a programme to support schools to adopt flexible working.

The programme will support school leaders to design flexible roles, adopt a proactive approach and navigate the challenges flexible working can pose in schools.

The programme will increase awareness of the benefits of flexible working and the full range of flexible working practices available, which can include part-time working, job sharing, home or remote working, phased retirement and personal/family days.

Flexible Working Ambassador Multi-Academy Trusts and Schools (FWAMS) have been appointed by the DfE to provide bespoke peer support to school leaders to assist them to establish a culture of flexible working in their schools. 

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Future courses

Online webinars and workshops

The benefits of flexible working in alternative provision
Join us for this one hour session where we will be exploring the benefits of flexible working for staff recruitment, retention and well-being especially when working in challenging environments.

This webinar will be particularly useful for school leaders, business/HR leaders and governors/trustees in alternative provision contexts, however anyone with an interest in this session is welcome to attend.
School leaders, Business/HR leaders, Governers/Trustees in AP co
25/04/24
10:00
Online
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Flexible job design: how to make flexible working the default
This one hour workshop will detail how to provide a flexible job design process that enables all staff to flex without affecting their pay. By the end of the session, leaders will have a clear, workable process that can both meet the needs of staff and the operational running of the school.
School leaders, Business/HR leaders, Governers/Trustees
24/04/24
15:30
Online
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Making a flexible working request (flexible returns)
Are you currently on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave and thinking about making a flexible working request? If so, this is the perfect session for you. Join us for this 90 minute session to learn about your legal entitlements, current best practice and how to prepare to negotiate to find a flexible working pattern that mutually benefits both you and your school.

This webinar will be particularly helpful for teachers currently on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. It may also be of interest to teachers who have taken any period of extended leave, or teachers who are making a flexible working request but are currently back at work.
Teachers with an interest in making a flexible working request.
23/04/24
09:30
Online
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Flexible working and the menopause
This one-hour session will help to build your understanding of flexible working in schools in relation to the menopause. The different ways of working flexibly beyond part-time working will be covered.

The need to work flexibly is something that we are all likely to need at some point in our working lives and this webinar will highlight this, alongside reducing the stigma around the menopause.

Support for women in managing their menopausal symptoms, as part of supporting teacher retention in mid-life, will be discussed.
Teachers, school senior leaders, school HR professionals
17/04/24
10:00
Online
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Using flexible working to attract and retain local talent
This session aims to support you in attracting and retaining talent in your local context and to create a sustainable workforce that supports your community.

You will hear from two schools working in areas of high disadvantage who have actively sought to diversify their workforce to enable and encourage more employees from their local community to gain employment with them.
School leaders or HR managers responsible for recruitment.
21/03/24
10:00
Online
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Learning to lead flexible working – effective mindsets for new school leaders
Supporting new and established leaders, this one-hour session will focus on learning to lead the implementation of flexible working.

After exploring the wider context of flexible working, the webinar will consider how the flexible working toolkit can be used to bring about positive change. During the session we will discuss practical tips and strategies through two unique case studies. The first of which considers the unique experience of an experienced headteacher, now working flexibly, and the second on leading change as a new school leader in a large secondary school.

The session will then outline different mindsets towards cultural change and how these can be understood and challenged. You will leave the webinar with not only an understanding of two case studies, but also practical advice and strategies to bring about change.
New school & established school leaders along with HR colleagues
20/03/24
15:30
Online
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Supporting career-changers to work and train flexibly
What are the various options for flexible initial teacher training? Why may career changers need/want flexibility? These are just of couple of the questions we will be exploring in this one-hour session focused on supporting career changers. We will be providing practical guidance for requesting flexible working and encouraging you to think creatively about flexible working patterns which benefit schools and your needs.

This session will be helpful for school leaders that are keen to attract more career changers, as well as career changers themselves. Anyone with an interest in this area is welcome to attend.
School leaders, business/HR leaders, career changers
14/03/24
10:00
Online
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Flexible working: helping to recruit and retain staff
A session for Governors/Trustees to develop understanding of how flexible working can help to recruit and retain staff in primary schools.

There will be an opportunity to look at how flexible working can happen in practice, through sharing effective examples.
Governors/Trustees
05/03/24
11:00
Online
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Flexi-timetabling: does everyone need to be off on Fridays?
In this hour-long session join Michael Scott, Flexible Working Ambassador from Newport Girls' High School Academy Trust, to learn different ways to best align staff flexible working requests with staffing, curriculum and timetabling models. There will be lots of practical hints/tricks provided irrespective of the software you may/may not use.

Often cited as the reason why flexible working is 'not possible', the timetable can be adapted to meet new requests for flex and Michael will show you ways to achieve this. Follow-up support may also be possible through the Flexible Working in Multi-Academy Trusts and Schools Programme.

This session is ideal for Timetablers, Curriculum Deputy/Assistant Heads and other School/Trust leaders. It is focused more on the secondary/special/middle school sectors but principles will apply to larger primary schools, too. An awareness of timetabling principles is helpful, but not essential. If you have any questions ahead of the session, please contact fwams@nghs.org.uk
Timetablers, Curr. Deputy/Assistant Heads, School/Trust Leaders
26/02/24
16:00
Online
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Flex your way to the top: working part-time and flexibly at middle leadership level
Join us for this panel discussion where we hope to “bust” key myths around flexible working at middle leadership level.

Our panellists of middle leaders, all work flexibly or part-time and they will share their practical tips to overcome the challenges, based on their experiences.

The webinar will be particularly helpful for current and aspiring middle leaders. However, anyone with an interest in this area is welcome to attend.
Current and aspiring middle leaders
22/02/24
10:00
Online
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Managing flexibility in a Trust central team
This hour-long session will focus on how flexible working can sustain academy trusts and help them to develop and grow.

Find out how to effectively manage a central team who work flexibly and how flexible working helps with Central Team recruitment and retention.

Hear from our FWAMS, Athelstan Trust, on the lessons they have learnt in their team.
Trust CEOs, COO, CFO and HR managers
Online
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Introduction to the Flexible Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Delivery Network
This one hour and fifteen minute introductory webinar is comprised of a series of short talks by ITT providers highlighting how they have successfully integrated flexibility into their delivery of teacher training.

At the end of the webinar there will be an opportunity to ask the providers questions about their ITT delivery. If you're looking to compliment your ITT programme with flexible options, want to learn from other providers' experiences, or need guidance on getting started, this introductory webinar session is for you.
Any provider of ITT and anyone with an interest in this area.
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Resources

Flexible working legislation changes from 6 April 2024
12/02/24
From 6 April 2024, employees will be able to request flexible working from their first day in a new job. From 6 April 2024, employers will need to make a decision within 2 months of getting the request. From 6 April 2024, employees will be able to make 2 applications for flexible working in any 12-month period.
Flexible Working Podcast
28/11/23
Flexible Working Programme podcast
Overcoming the challenges of flexible working in schools
21/11/23
The urgency for schools to adopt flexible working policies has never been greater. With the upcoming employment law changes in 2024, driven by the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act of July 2023, schools must adapt. The Department for Education is investing significant resources to guide schools towards flexibility, through a funded programme of support.
Transforming flexible working in education: Insights from Flex Fest
21/11/23
Flex Fest, a webinar series funded by the Department for Education, was delivered in partnership with Capita, Flexible Teacher Talent and Flexible Working Ambassadors in Multi Academy Trusts and Schools (FWAMS), to promote the Flexible Working Multi-Academy Trust and Schools programme.
Flexible Working Bill - Royal Assent.
23/07/23
The Flexible Working Bill has now received Royal Assent. Included within this article is a consultation on informal flexible working.

Register for free access to live webinars, workshops, on demand training, resources and to send questions directly to our flexible working experts.

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This programme is funded by the Department for Education but this website should not be interpreted as Governmental policy. Please see here for Department for Education Policy.