My daughter has a five year old boy and she herself was a deputy head before having her children. Although she is a great supporter of state education, she would like to take him out of school for about fifteen days per year on educational visits so that he does not become too regimented in thinking that the school approach is the only way in life and to help him understand that it is fine to have a point of view that may be different to other people's. Also to let him experience things that cannot be experienced at school or only superficially.
When she approached the Head about this, she was quite happy as she knew my daughter would give him excellent experiences as she had the experience and background to do so. These would not count as absences of any kind - he would just be marked in the register as being educated off site.
Unfortunately, the Head then thought she ought to get the opinions of other people like the Governors, the Advisory staff etc, and guess what they came back with - the very stereotypical answers that she wants her son to avoid developing:
a) Why can't she take him during the holidays? (Ans: because she wants to have the time and space to ensure he gets the very best out of these experiences when popular sites are not overcrowded)
b) This is a very popular school and if we are going to have a pupil who takes time out, we could give the place to someone else.
c)Why can't she send him to a private school (Steiner)? (Ans: because they are fee paying!)
It seems to me that if flexible schooling is legal, then no-one should object provided it is done properly. Does anyone else have any experience of this?
My eldest niece did 4 days a week at school in year 1, I think they had to sign "home ed" forms of some sort and wrote a brief curriculum of what they were doing on the 5th day. My sister was home on maternity leave for most of that year (and they could juggle things for the 3rd term). They used the day out for excursions (they're in London) that could be much more relaxed than juggling a baby and child on weekends; as well as doing a bit of more formal schoolwork first thing in the mornings. If there were particular things going on in school that were worth getting to on her usual day out then they rearranged the plans that week.
It wasn't her idea, a friend of hers was already doing a similar thing and suggested it. Obviously the head teacher was supportive. It worked very well for a small number of families in the school. The next year, my sister was again going to be on maternity leave for much of the year and it seemed sensible to continue the arrangement. Unfortunately the head teacher changed and the new one just said a flat no to everyone involved straight out. A shame.
(My sister's job involves a lot of afternoon/evening work so her girls don't see her much after school, an extra reason for making the most of time when she had it). I don't think she'd have tried to continue the arrangement past year 2 or 3 (the eldest is now year 4, next one is in preschool nursery year).
Flexi-schooling can definitely be put down as educated off-site and not authorised absence (I do this with my DD). You don't have to be a registered provider, you just have to be 'approved by the school'.
This is from edyourself.org which provides information about homeschooling/flexi-schooling and the law... educated off site - code b - is still in effect it seems.
In a flexi-schooling arrangement children are registered as pupils at the school and attend part-time, but spend other parts of the week being educated off-site by their parents. This arrangement is a matter for the head teacher, rather than the local authority, to negotiate with parents. The child will be required to follow the National Curriculum whilst at school but not whilst he or she is being educated at home. Since the child is a registered pupil at the school, this is technically NOT home education, though the families concerned may consider themselves to be in part-time school and part-time home education.
The school register should be marked Code B
Brief Description = Educated off site (NOT Dual registration) Statistical Meaning = Approved Educational Activity Legal Meaning = Attending approved educational activity Physical Meaning = Out for whole session Definition = Where a registered pupil on roll is currently being educated off-site at a supervised activity approved by the school.
"Code B Approved Educational Activity must be supervised by someone approved by the school. It must also take place during the session for which the mark is recorded." http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/k/keeping%20pupil%20registers%20-%20guidance%20on%20applying%20the%20education%20pupil%20registration%20regulations.pdf
Ooh that's interesting expansive girth. I'll go back to my LA with that. The 'approved' bit is where they said that approved = responsible for, which obviously I can't be as I am not with the child on the days s/he is at home. And thanks for the salute! I am old gimmer HT and have been inspected so many times that I have learnt to be quite ahem 'forthcoming ' with my views with inspectors. I suspect they like it really as it livens up their job!