Part time teaching roles could bring teaching talent back


A new survey shows a rising demand for part-time and job-share teaching roles in England as teachers look for better work life balance. This suggests that more flexible working could have a positive impact on retention and in attracting more lapsed teachers back to the profession at a time of shortage.

The majority of full-time teachers are tempted by, actively seeking or have already tried to go part-time, while 77 per cent of those that have left the profession would only consider returning to teaching for a part-time or job-share role.

Nearly one in four teachers already work part-time, but there is clear demand for more opportunities to work flexibly. A better work-life balance remains a key driver, with 73 per cent of full-time teachers strongly agreeing that this would be their main reason for going part-time.

There is also evidence that demand is outstripping supply of roles as schools look to overcome the hurdles of introducing more flexible working for teachers, with 49 per cent of full-time teachers believing that part-time roles are very rare in their local area.

Official data suggests that teaching is beginning to lag behind other professions in supporting part-time working. Office of National Statistics (ONS) statistics show that 27 per cent of the UK workforce now work part time, while the most recent Department of Education (DfE) school workforce data shows that just 23 per cent of teachers worked part-time in November 2014, down from 24.7 per cent in 2013. Primary school teachers are more likely to work part-time compared to secondary school teachers.

Amongst the total school workforce, part-time working is much more established. Eighty-five per cent of teaching assistants and 56 per ent of school support staff currently work part-time.

Rob Grimshaw, CEO of TES, said: “Retaining our current teachers and successfully tapping into the wealth of lapsed educators in the country is crucial if we want to tackle the shortage in specific areas and subjects.

"Teachers are clearly demanding more part-time roles. There is a big untapped pool of talent out there at a time when schools are looking to fill crucial positions ahead of September and the new school year.”