An established approach to supporting staff absence in schools that keeps school funds in education, not shareholders’ pockets

    Herts for Learning continues its partnership with Education Mutual to provide Hertfordshire schools, colleges, nurseries and education providers with an opportunity to potentially save money on staff absence cover.

    Education Mutual was founded by school leaders, to give schools a real alternative to traditional providers, and their mutual status means they seek long-term benefits for member schools. 

    Education Mutual has been recognised for its exceptional cost-effective service by the Department for Education (DfE). The endorsement, which is the first of its kind, means that Education Mutual is listed as a recommended partner in the DfE’s 'Deals for Schools' website and brochure.

    Education Mutual is operated solely for the benefit of its institutions. Members pay a contribution to the mutual, which is then used to pay for claims. Any money left over, instead of going into profits, goes back to members in the form of a benefit (members vote from a choice of benefits, such as a refund, reduced fee, or enhanced services)

    Staff health and wellbeing support is at the very core of its service as Education Mutual passionately believe that staff must feel fully supported when facing any kind of health problems. The service enables staff to access early-intervention treatment for a wide-range of health issues.

    This approach means that health problems can be dealt with quickly, before escalating, and that long-term staff absence can often be averted as a result. Care delivery includes physiotherapy and muscular-skeletal services, mental health services (including face-to-face CBT counselling), and a surgical assistance programme. Together, these services, which are always delivered by expert professionals, are able to address the most frequent causes of staff absences.

    By understanding that staff are a school’s most valuable asset, Education Mutual and are committed to addressing the underlying causes of staff absence. Recent YouGov research has revealed that 53% of teachers have considered leaving the sector in the past two years due to pressures on their health.

    Education Mutual has listened to its members, including Hertfordshire schools who have been involved with membership direction and helped improve healthcare services for 2020. Education Mutual now offer:

    • School Incident Support
    • Mental Health First Aid Workshops
    • 24hr GP Helpline and Prescription Service
    • Nurse Support Services

    Many Hertfordshire schools have already benefitted from the service since launch and wanted to share their experience.

    ‘‘Northgate Primary School moved over to Educational Mutual for our staff absence cover in April of this year.  Although initially apprehensive, because we had existing claims with our previous provider, the service has been excellent and the staff that I have dealt with (particularly Amanda) have been extremely knowledgeable and very patient.  They took on our existing claims and still offered a more affordable package with less waiting days which took away a huge barrier for us. If anyone out there is nervous about moving over, don’t be!  Educational Mutual are definitely the way to go and the best part is, they are totally working for the schools that they serve and any remaining benefits that may be ‘in the pot’ at the end of the year come back to schools! It’s a no brainer for me’’

    Julie Lane - Northgate Primary School

    “We have a very happy member of staff who is more than impressed with the service she's received from you. I'm also pleased with how quickly you're processing payments.  I actually feel you want to look after people who come to you for help and that you don't mind paying out when you have to, it's a nice change!”

    Lorraine Chamberlain - St Philip Howard School

    “As a Multi-Academy Trust CEO, I’m aware of how important it is to maintain a school environment that is both sustainable and financially stable, so that pupils and staff can achieve their full potential. That is why I and other school business leaders formed Educational Mutual as an ethical membership-based alternative to the commercial staff absence covers and profit driven insurance schemes that are currently on offer to our sector.  Since the start of our partnership with HFL we have welcomed over 120 Hertfordshire schools as members, helping the mutual to become one of the largest providers of staff absence protection in the UK. Our exclusive partnership with HFL and The DFE is a superb accolade and recognition of our company’s unrelenting focus on ensuring that we provide the highest quality cover and service for staff absence (insurance) protection for all schools and academies.”

    Nick Hurn OBE - CEO Trinity Catholic MAT and Headteacher, Cardinal Hume Catholic School and board member of Education Mutual

    To find out more about how Education Mutual can benefit your school, please call Andrew Marsh, Membership Advocate for Herts for Learning on 01623 287840 / 07384 113693 or email

    Herts for Learning partners undergo a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure that schools are getting the best possible service and value for money from reliable suppliers.

    Herts for Learning partners undergo a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure that schools are getting the best possible service and value for money from reliable suppliers.

    HfL would like to remind schools that they are obligated to conduct a compliant procurement process.

    Apples partially eaten