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Winter is Coming-How to prepare for staff absences

In the words of House Stark of Game of Thrones fame … ‘Winter is Coming’.

And with it comes dragons, the night king, and most notably (from an education point of view) staff illness. 

Whilst the former remains fictional, the latter is a very real and terrifying prospect that schools face each year.

So how can schools prepare for staff absences?

Develop a good relationship with an agency

This is easy for us to say, right?! As purveyors of the finest education talent in the North West, of course we would recommend this … but hear us out, it does make sense.

When times are tough and winter illness hits, spare time for head teachers and heads of department to recruit cover teachers. is a rarity. Luckily for them, teaching agencies exist, and are able to take the heat out of the situation. Well, the good ones can of course!

So if you’ve found recruiters that you really like working with, then consult them about how best to deal with a potential staffing crisis. Or even better, pre-empt a crisis by putting a strategy in place with them.

Be understanding

Teachers are on the frontline when it comes to exposure to bugs and viruses. Children are notorious for the spreading of germs like the common cold and stomach bugs, especially during the winter months when everyone is cooped up indoors!

This is why it’s super important that you are completely understanding when it comes to the illness of your teaching staff, and to be supportive during this period.

By showing goodwill like this, your staff are likely to return to work sooner and with high morale knowing that their colleagues and heads of departments are fully aware of how necessary their sick leave was.

Stay Calm

When it comes to staffing at schools, your task tends to be thankless. When things go right and to plan, people seldom notice. If you find the right cover during staff absence and no fuss ensues, then business continues on as normal (as far as the operation of the school is concerned).

However, when things go wrong, boy do people notice!

Therefore, it’s imperative that you take your time, stay calm, and make the effort to get the right cover for any members of your team that are suffering from illness. 

Besides, its your diligence and aptitude for calmness that has made you in charge of dealing with staff absence!

McGinley Education Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 10484170. Registered office: 56 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DB.


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