We look at 12 ways to improve your school budget through better management of staff absences.

  1. Communicate the school’s Attendance Management Policy and in particular the notification procedure and associate trigger points to all employees
  2. Ensure the notification procedure includes a telephone call to a senior member of staff even where the school operates an absence management helpline/answering machine
  3. Ensure managers understand the Attendance Management Policy and Procedure and train managers and leaders on conducting effective absence management meetings – informal and formal
  4. Devolve some of the absence management process to line managers e.g. Return to Work Meetings
  5. After analysing your types of absence, consider proactive arrangements that the school could take to manage staff absence eg. stress awareness briefings, open days for staff to discuss wellbeing issues with a counsellor/life coach/health expert, regular health checks for leaders, flu jab vaccines
  6. Ensure Return to Work meetings are conducted for each and every absence
  7. Ensure that you are monitoring staff absences against pre-determined short-term and long-term triggers. Trigger lists should be run weekly and all employees hitting triggers invited to an absence review meeting as soon as possible
  8. Consider recruiting cover supervisors to provide cover for short-term absences as well as negotiating reduced rates from supply agencies for long-term absences
  9. Insurance can be costly – consider self-insuring rather than paying for staff absence insurance by setting aside a budgetary amount each year to cover unexpected costs associated with short-term and long-term absences
  10. Ensure that staff hitting short-term triggers understand that his/her absence is causing concern and that he/she could be given a warning at any stage, should their attendance not improve over that set period of time. Give them a target and monitor his/her attendance over a set period of time i.e. no more than 2 days over a 12-week period
  11. Carry out regular analyses of absences across Absence Types (Sickness, Unpaid Leave, Paid Leave, Maternity/Paternity etc.), Departments (Teachers, Leadership, Support Staff), Line Managers, Terms and Academic Years to assess trends and find ways to improve absence
  12. Regularly calculate the cost of absence and associated supply cover costs

Continue to find out further ways to better manage staff absence in schools by booking onto our free attendance management training roadshows. Email us to register your interest.

We would recommend you book a free demonstration of our bespoke absence software for schools if you haven’t already. Many schools are already seeing reductions of above 40%* year on year when effectively using the software and it saves time too. Call 01924 907319to arrange a free demonstration.

*Average reduction in absence days of 40% across 10 schools effectively using SAM since Sept 15.

Leave a Reply