Managing staff absence in schools and academies

This article is sponsored by Strictly Education

Staff absence costs, however, you can take action, implement the right measures and take back control. The team at Strictly Education delve into absence and its management

Staff absences cost Britain’s schools and academies more than £1bn every year. It’s the biggest cause of budget overspend, but the cost goes beyond supply teacher wages; staff morale, recruitment and retention, continuity and pupil progress are all adversely affected.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that if management teams take action and put the right measures in place.

The most common causes of absence from work

Staff absences are usually either for personal reasons, or rooted in workplace problems. These are some of the most commonly reported reasons for absenteeism in the UK workplace:

  • Stress
  • Childcare needs
  • Accident injuries
  • Sickness
  • Bullying at work
  • Lack of working hours flexibility
  • Poor leadership at work
  • Bereavement
  • Changes made in the workplace
  • Commuting difficulties
  • Uncomfortable working environment

Management measures to reduce staff absences

Maintaining a healthy and safe teaching environment, improving staff motivation and putting management tools in place can make a drastic effect on attendance levels.

Wellbeing initiatives such as staff forums, flu jabs, early detection of repeated absence and holding return to work interviews will foster a positive working environment.

Management can also negotiate favourable contracts with staff and site cover providers and budget for absences.

Strictly Education: using technology to track attendance

Strictly Education is a specialist provider of education support services to MATs, academies and schools. The company offers its clients software that can highlight patterns of absence as well as human resources services to help manage people back to work.

Through an online portal, managers can capture absence data and view attendance patterns through easy-to-read heat maps and charts. The data is then reviewed and Strictly Education can make recommendations based on individual issues so that an action plan can be formulated to manage and reduce absence in your school.

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A member of Strictly Education’s HR consultancy team can also support and train managers on-site to conduct absence review meetings. We can advise on best practice and support the on-going development of a culture that focuses on reliability and attendance.

For more information about other Strictly Education and the services we offer to schools and academies, contact 0330 123 2540 or email [email protected]