Does anyone flexi-school their Primary-age DC?

(176 Posts)
Machadaynu Tue 19-Feb-13 14:52:24

The kid will be starting school in September, but for various reasons we think she'd be happier being flexi-schooled.

I'm aware that she doesn't need to go to school at all legally, and that if she does, it doesn't need to be full-time until the term in which she turns 5. I'm also aware that any flexi arrangement needs to be made with the head.

What I wondered though is if anyone who has actually done it has any advice about how to get the head to agree?

We would like her to 'flex' one or two days a week, and am considering telling the head of my plans and doing it regardless of consent for the first two terms of they year (before she is 5) as it will be an opportunity (hopefully) for us to demonstrate that it's a workable system, but any thoughts and experiences would be appreciated. Thanks.

simpson Tue 19-Feb-13 18:22:31

My DD did not make friends hugely easily in nursery (aged 3-4) and just seemed to want to talk to the adults in the room and talk about the other kids in a general way iyswim.

But she has benefitted hugely from the child led play and according to her teacher always looks "busy" along side her little side kick (best friend). This has been far more important for her than the academics iyswim.

Having said all that I do have concerns about yr1 but will wait and see what happens...

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 18:39:14

Yes. I flexi schooled throughout reception. In fact I sent my child a term late... Then three dad a week until the summer term and four days a week thereafter. The school had nit tried it before. My child could not read before starting in January. My flexi school involved not being at school... Indent agree with early years education . This stuff about phonics et is rubbish. She ended the year on level nines for nearly all eyfs categories as started year one on level nine books. I asked the teacher If She felt my child had been disadvantages in any way by being out of school and she said definitely not. She had a glowing report. She learned tonread before learning formal phonics but we've caught up with phonics since. It doesn't take long to teach your child stuff at home. The class generally moves at an incremental pace. I would thoroughly recoemdb it. The head left and so I had to stop in year one. Of course you should flexi school if the teacher will allow it.

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 18:41:41

Sorry on iPhone. I don't agree with kids starting formal schooling early.... Is what I meant to say. That was all I said to the head.. That I wanted to be with my child at gone and I did not think she would be in any way disadvantaged by it.

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 18:44:11

It isn't up the teachers decision to allow or disallow

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 18:47:24

I meant head teacher. So sorry. IPhone. Also flexi schooled mid academic year and therefore had no impact on school finances.

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 19:00:17

To the OP: you could just ask to send your child pt until he or she turns five. This will not be formal flexi schooling (that starts the term after your child turns five or the summer term, whichever comes first). It will therefore have no impact on the ammoint of money the school receives for your child.
If your child turns five after October when finances for the academic year are set you could then ask to extend the flexi schooling knowing it will have no financial consequences for the school.
My child did not suffer socially and the other kids did not seem to notice. By year one she seemed ready for five days a week and was no Longer exhausted after each school day.

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 19:13:37

I very much doub lt it would be a decision for a head teacher alone.

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:18:16

It is up to the head teachet of each school, am assuming they will speak to.the teachers who are to be involved but legally it is up to the head teacher.

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 19:24:31

I'm sure governors and perhaps the LEA will be involved.

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:27:24

When we did it it was entirely at the discretion of the ht. The lea where not involved and legally dont have to be. Again the ht can talk to the goveners but from a legal pov it is at the discretion of the ht.

drmummmsy Tue 19-Feb-13 19:27:31

could you maybe send her to school full time and do the other educational stuff/learning with her after school and on weekends?

i'm not a home educator in the formal sense, but can see the value in it

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:30:08
5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:32:49
Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 19:33:11

In my case it was the headteacher. From The homeschooling and flexi schooling people I have talked to (including a consultant who intalked to before putting my request To the ht) it is definitely a ht decision. The local authority can have an influence by stating a preference or by structuring funding in such a way as to make it hard for the school but as of 2011 at least he and flexi schooling was at the discretion of the head teacher.

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 19:34:49

Flexi schooling at discretion of ht. Homeschooling obv a legal right.

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:35:52

Yes its a discretion of the hot, I am sure Lea can express disapproval, as can goveners but it is up to the ht and on the register the child is marked as 'being educated elsewhere' rather than absent.

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 19:38:53

Ht not hot, one day I will preview posts before posting them...

lljkk Tue 19-Feb-13 19:45:56

all schools have to monitor and publish the same data, don't they?

No, very small schools are exempt from having to publish SAT results (publish for public, I mean). Because of preserving confidentiality. Also, because things like absence figures can be skewed by just one child, very small schools don't have to meet the same % attendance targets (typically).

You're right they probably have to monitor all the same things, but they aren't held as accountable is what I mean. So HT can use more discretion without unpleasant repercussions.

IME schools do most of their hard learning, the fundamentals, in the mornings. LIteracy & numeracy especially. Afternoons are for less core subjects, like PE, art, "topic" (which usu. means science, history or geography). So core learning is in the mornings. That's why it's better to consistently miss afternoons.

Here's another maybe problem with flexischooling: some subjects will be only one day a week. So if OP's child consistently missed Tuesdays, they'll miss nearly all learning in that subject (art, geography, whatever). Have to choose the flex-days carefully.

BranchingOut Tue 19-Feb-13 19:48:27

I am always astonished by the number of highly able children depicted by threads on MN, a proportion far higher than the proportion of highly able children I have encountered in my years as an infant and early years teacher...This included the children of doctors, academics, lawyers and foreign office staff as well as some of the most deprived children in a borough of London.

Nothing wrong with flexi-schooling OP, but please just don't assume that she has nothing to learn from school. Children develop at different rates and while one child might appear to be significantly ahead at the moment, their attainment is likely to even up with their peers over time. Plus, a great Reception class will be a wonderful experience for her, in all sorts of ways.

Anyway, i have to go, my pre-schooler is about to crack Fermat's last theorem!

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 19:56:26

lljkk the "core" prime subjects in the new EYFS are Personal Social Emotional development, Communication and Physical development ... and are taught all day
and regardless of size schools have attendance targets

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 19:57:45

BranchingOut my very able reader son also has SEN ~(ASD) if that helps

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 19-Feb-13 20:00:32

She might be able to read, but I'd be concerned that "she doesn't really seem to know what to make of kids her own age".

Reception is an important time for learning how to socialise with your peers, take turns, appreciate that other people are different - lots of things other than just pure academic ability, and I'm struggling to see how taking her out of school for significant chunks of time will help with these important skills.

How do you feel about letting her go full time for the first term or so and see how she and the school are getting on?

BranchingOut Tue 19-Feb-13 20:04:45

I was not commenting on any particular child, MRz, but I used to post on another parenting forum and never, ever came across any threads about gifted and talented children.

As a teacher (10 years) I only came across three children who seemed to be performing above their peer group and one of those was probably not significantly beyond his peers.

Yet these children are all over the place on MN!

Enthuse Tue 19-Feb-13 20:06:17

I honestly don't think a child has to be particularly able to keep up with reception. It isn't demanding academically, at least bit at my kids school. And the kind of parent who wants to
Flexi School won't find it hard to cover the curriculum. I
Can more understand issues of whether the child will fit in Ervin my experience it was zero problem. But it is a legitimate
Concern. Wanting to flexi school is not same as saying school rubbish. It is stating a preference for
Another way fonduing things. Inthink my child would be better off still flexi schooling bit sadly not an option...

lljkk Tue 19-Feb-13 20:06:43

Attendance stats would be easily skewed by just one child often absent at a very small school, mrz, LEA has to make some allowance for that (if they understand stats, maybe they don't).

ah so maybe it has changed, just when I helped out before math-english very much morning subjects (with some mix in for stuff like PE or RE) and afternoons always other stuff (never math or English). Might vary by school or teacher, though.

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