Teachers should be able to “pause” their careers to pursue life-enriching opportunities, Dame Alison Peacock, the head of the Chartered College of Teaching, has said today.
Dame Alison, the college's chief executive officer, was speaking at a Department for Education summit on flexible working.
In a video filmed by the DfE for the event, Dame Alison said that the Chartered College was very supportive of looking at ways for teachers to work flexibly.
She said: “I’m absolutely convinced as CEO that we need to find ways to enable colleagues to pause their careers should they need to, rather than talk about leaving teaching.
“We need to have colleagues to have life experiences that are enriching, perhaps engage in secondments, take some time away from the career if they need to but always be proud to say they are teachers,” she said.
The summit was convened after Justine Greening said earlier this year that she wanted flexible working practices – such as part-time working and job shares – to become the norm in schools across the country.
And Andrew Warren, chair of the Teaching Schools Council, tweeted that he thinks the barriers are cultural rather than organisational.
Earlier this year, unions revealed that there has been a rise in disputes involving members seeking flexible working and being refused.