flexi schooling banned?

(30 Posts)
julen Wed 27-Feb-13 22:06:55

Has anyone read this? It is 'Advice on chool Attendance' published by the Dept of Education, and seems to ban flexi schooling (page 22).

Does anyone know the status of this doc? What exactly does 'advice' mean?

exoticfruits Wed 27-Feb-13 22:20:39

Everything comes down to money. It has always been down to the Head and many won't-mainly to do with funding per pupil. If they don't get funding they won't take them is my guess. It looks as if funding only goes with a full time place.

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 09:06:58

But this is outrageous! Flexischooling is at school heads' discretion; it is by its nature an arrangement that is judged on a case-by-case basis, and it is run through collaboration between parents and schools.

Flexi-schooled children are registered as full-time children by schools, so they get fully funded, and the school has them and their results on their books as any other child.

WHY on EARTH do the government think they can interfere with this?
If the government says no to flexischooling, they effectively push my child out of education.

I'll be writing to my MP and whoever else needs to be written to in the Gove crowd.

mummytime Thu 28-Feb-13 09:34:23

You seem to be over reacting. Home education, and the duty of a school and LA not to try to dissuade parents from taking this route are clearly defined. I thought that language would be very helpful to HErs, asit is very clear.

On the other hand it is clear that Flexi-schooling where the other part of the time is spent at a Special School or other specialist provisionisalso clearly allowed.

It even makes it clear about part-time education as part of a return to school of a sick child.

What exactly is your situation? Do you have a school refuser? Do they have a medical condition?
From what I read, it is more to emphasis that all children are entitled to a full-time education, and it is the duty of the school/LA to provide this.

gabsid Thu 28-Feb-13 09:49:19

To me it seems the government has looked at the statistics which suggest that the more time spend in school the better DC achieve and therefore they are trying to push everyone into full time school attendance.

As so often, what's right for individual children at certain times is not taken into account, e.g. with the young school starters who often are not ready would be better off out of school or in pre-school - I have seen research that this aided achievement later rather than the opposite.

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 09:53:57

Julen, I'm very interested in this. Do you have a link?

Mummy, there are all kinds of reasons to flexi-school. It doesn't have to mean your DC has SEN or is ill. I have done so in the past (with the heads full consent) when I felt that the school wasn't providing an adequate education, and my daughter needed consolidation on basic maths and literacy, as I wanted to nip this in the bud and not have her struggle through years of primary school . In addition, we did a lot of music and cultural activities to broaden her education. And she learned to swim, very well. I took two afternoons a week to flexi-school one-to-one and it's made a huge difference.

We no longer flexi-school, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I felt it was necessary.

mummytime Thu 28-Feb-13 10:18:12

Whistle you were very lucky, I kno wof no schools where the Head would agree to Flexi school except for SEN or medical grounds.

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 10:20:43

Mummytime, I am not taking issue with the Home Ed stance - that is, as you say, clear. I am alos not talking about specialist educational provision, nor am I talking about temporary part-time education, which is allowed only as part of a plan where a child eventaully does return to school full-time.

I am talking about the flexi-schooling arrangement, where for whatever reason parents decide to home-educate their child part-time. This can only be done with the approval of the school's head. As the child is still registered at school, the school still gets funding; part of the educational responsibility is transferred to the parents, although the school eventually still is responsible with regards to academic results etc.

The reason for this choice can be all sorts - medical, social, etc. - and is irrelevant to the argument as such. THe point is that this arrangement is made on a case-by-case basis by parents and head, and is judged by these parties to be beneficial to the child. THat should be enough.

Whistleahapytune, the links is here: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/a/advice%20on%20school%20attendance%20-%20final%20cleared.pdf

I would really like to find out what the legal status of this 'Advice' is, and to what extent schools are obliged to go with it...

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 11:18:20

Really mummy? I know of five schools in my London LEA alone. I'm not being argumentative, but really it isn't that bizarrely unusual.

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 11:24:05

Julen, thanks for the link. Had a look and it does seem to very specifically seems to ban flexi-schooling. As if this is going to solve a lot of problems in the system.

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 11:27:40

The person to write to seems to be Elizabeth Truss MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State. Part of her brief is attendance, so this report will be under her responsibility. elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk

I'll be drafting a letter tonight..

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 11:29:30

Whistle - yes, quite... It seems very strange. Why ban something where parents and schools work together for the benefit of children...? Not quite sure what they think this will achieve, but I would very much like to find out..!

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Feb-13 11:33:43

I'll draft a letter as well. Thanks for the email address.

5madthings Thu 28-Feb-13 11:36:53

This is outrageous!

We flexible schooled for a while and it worked brilliantly, particularly for younger children.

I will email!

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 11:41:20

That's great, Whistle and 5madthings. Will try to spread the word and ask more people to write too..

julen Thu 28-Feb-13 11:44:30

(In the meantime, does anyone know what the legal status of this kind of advice document is?)

mam29 Sat 02-Mar-13 15:35:54

I tried to flexi school consulted lea put in good proposal with head who said no.Woudent entertain the idea.

I was sad as feel could have been good.

so we ended up ofing schools and never flexi schooling try do extra at home.

newfashionedmum Wed 13-Mar-13 14:20:13

Hi we are looking into this too - our head teacher is openly very supportive of flexi schooling and is taking advice as to how to work around this advice.

interesting commentary here http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/flexischooling/

julen Sun 24-Mar-13 13:02:48

That's an interesting link, newfashionedmum - thank you! My (LibDem) MP just toes the line in replying to my email, and have written to E. Truss as well. Off to find out if there's any news ..

Feeling very passionate about this!!!

julen Sun 24-Mar-13 14:20:28

A revised advice doc confirms flexischooling to have been banned. Here's a link to an e-petition to revoke this: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47147

julen Thu 28-Mar-13 15:40:09

I'll just post this in case anyone is interested!

The part categorically forbidding flexischooling has now been removed from the advice, but the sting is in the tail: flexi-schooled children should be marked absent, instead of given a code B in the daily class registries, (meaning that they are engaged in approved off-site educational activity).
WIth Ofsted on their backs on absence, no head in their right mind is going to approve of flexischooling if that means there absence rates are going up!

So if you have a vested interest in this, I'd say to keep writing to your MP and Ms Truss, and urge them to allow code B. Otherwise the removal of the paragraph banning flexi-schooling is meaningless - the duty to register them as absent is effectively making it impossible for any school to agree to flexi-schooling.

hugoman42 Thu 05-Sep-13 06:46:33

Our son's school terminated our ongoing two year arrangement because of this. Some much for putting the child first. At the same time Children's minister says it's great.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/407816/Students-flock-to-part-time-primary-offering-flexi-schooling-for-home-educated-children

exoticfruits Thu 05-Sep-13 07:00:25

As I said in my very first post- it is all down to money and funding.
The school in the article is a bit different because without flexi schooling they would have had to close. The current news is that there are not going to be enough primary school places so most will be fully subscribed and get funding for full time places easily.

HattyJack Tue 10-Sep-13 17:32:45

I think they wanted to ban flexi, but realised that doing so would require another act to change the Education Act 1996, so they've tried to ban it by making it very difficult to persuade a head to agree to it.

It stinks.

exoticfruits Tue 10-Sep-13 17:49:33

It is all to do with funding-these things always are.
Flexi is also very inconvenient-it puts the whole class in a straight jacket for the part timer to be flexible.
It is OK in secondary school with a set timetable but not so in primary.
I can see huge difficulties-e.g. Jack comes in on Wed mornings to do Maths, but on Tues afternoon the class are all engrossed in a history project and you want to carry on first thing on Wed morning and do Maths in the afternoon-by which time Jack has gone. You then have to stick to the timetable and waste all that enthusiasm and disappoint the class or you go with the history and Jack has no idea what is happening-you are 2 weeks in and groups are in the middle of different things-you have to give him a crash course and fit him in a group who all have their parts.
Or Jack comes in for PE because it is your hall spot but the teacher in the year above wants to swap hall spots to practise a play for assembly-there is no problem at all in this.......until you remember Jack.
Schools like flexibility too and not have things set in stone.

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