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Flexi-schooling

(9 Posts)
DaveMccave Tue 09-Oct-12 13:13:04

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any positive stories about flexi schooling? My research leads me to believe it is usually difficult to get schools to agree.

My DC is 5, and in year 1, and I hope to de-register from school once I have finished uni in 2 years. As it is not possible right now due to my work and uni schedule I have been looking in to flexi schooling.

I've just been reading something that suggests (apart from the misconception in regards to attendance rates) schools dislike the idea because if your child is registered there and don't take SAT's they will receive a mark of zero. Now, I wasn't planning on letting my child take SAT's anyway... but I wonder if I inform the school of this, but agree to follow the curriculum until I de-register her, and prepare her for year 2 SAT's on the 2 days I am hoping to flexi-school for, if that would be an incentive for them? (as the alternative of her being at school would mean I would refuse to let her take the SAT's?) Do you think this is a bad move that they will see as black mail, or a good idea?

I genuinely wasn't going to let her take SAT's next year anyway, so my idea wasn't based on black mail but I feel it is worth it if it means she gets 2 days reprieve from school for a full academic year at least.

Does anyone have any experience of getting schools to agree to flexi schooling, in an area where such a thing is unheard of?

seeker Tue 09-Oct-12 13:19:22

I think that will look a bit like blackmail! Have you talked to the head and foundnout what their attitude to flex schooling is?

And, just out interest, why are you so anti SATs? Particularly in KS1 they are in most schools pretty low key, and only test stuff they should know anyway.

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Tue 09-Oct-12 13:22:56

My DD is the only child who flexi-schools at my school and our Head said she'd never heard of it before so it's very uncommon her (as i think it is everywhere). My DD had a few problems which we were fairly sure flexi-schooling would help with - the Head wasn't convinced it would help but she was willing to let us try. I was never asked about SATs but I am more than happy for DD to do them anyway, so that wasn't an issue with us. Tbh, I wouldn't mention SATs at all, if your Head doesn't. The beauty of flexi is that you don't have to follow the curriculum at home - you may find agreeing to follow it a bit of a bind.

Go in armed with the legal info, reassure the Head that attendance figures won't be affected (they're marked as attending school even on the flexi-days) and find out whether their funding is affected - I believe it usually isn't affected but you'd need to check with you LEA (though they prob won't have heard of flexi either!)

Good luck smile

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Tue 09-Oct-12 13:24:32

Agree with Seeker that Y2 SATs are no big deal at all. Not a single bit of pressure whatsoever, as far as our school was concerned...

Machadaynu Tue 09-Oct-12 13:26:24

I'd try gently-gently-catchy monkey first.

Most schools know nothing at all about flexi. Literally nothing. My council still has no policy on it, for example.

I would explain why you want to do flexi and what it would mean for them. You should also, from an early stage, emphasise that you think it is in the best interests of your child, and will not cost the school anything. (you are doing this because you think it's in the best interests of your child, right?)

If gentle persuasion and an informative apporach doesn't work - and you've been stressing all along why it is in the best interests of your child and that it will cost the school nothing - you might then (and only when you've exhausted all the 'nice' options) mention that the Education Act 1996 Section 9 states:

"In exercising or performing all their respective powers and duties under the Education Acts, the Secretary of State and local education authorities shall have regard to the general principle that pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents, so far as that is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure."

and then ask them on what grounds they are objecting.

AMumInScotland Tue 09-Oct-12 13:31:07

If you spend the non-school days covering the curriculum and preparing her for SATS, then what is the point of her being out of school? Does she really feel that she needs a "reprieve" from school? If so, would doing such a school-like curriculum be a real reprieve anyway? I'm not against flexischooling in general, but I'm not sure I understand what you are hoping to achieve with it in this case.

Technically my DS was flexi-schooled for a couple of years, but at secondary level where it was easy to arrange the timetable. The downside with primary is that she will be missing topics whichever days she is out, and you'll have to spend all your time working out what she "should" be doing and making sure you cover that - and she'll often be missing the start or end of things they are doing in school.

I'm not sure what arguments you can give the school to persuade them to allow it - the line we took when asking for DS was that he'd be working towards a recognised qualification, in a timetabled "column" where others were able to attend the local FE college to do courses the school didn't directly provide. But for Primary I think you'd need to explain both what the benefits are to your child, and how you will stop this from disrupting the class and making extra effort for the teacher.

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Tue 09-Oct-12 13:47:25

MumInScotland, it doesn't work like that with my DD. Depends on your school's timetable of course but mine is in every morning for numeracy & literacy and doesn't miss out any work there. The afternoons (when she is often at home) are topic-based and it's easy to miss bits out - you simply don't finish all topic work and we don't find this a problem at all. I don't see topic work as a vital subject like numeracy so I'm not bothered if it isn't finished and neither is the teacher. Things like languages and science are easy to do at home at primary level. I've honestly never spent a second trying to catch her up with anything she's missed and neither has her teacher.

AMumInScotland Tue 09-Oct-12 13:56:04

I guess I was thinking if the OP is talking about 2 full days it would be hard not to miss the "basics" but yes I can see it would depend what they do and when, so if you just miss the topic stuff I can see that it would be easier to make it work.

Machadaynu Tue 09-Oct-12 14:12:49

It may be that the OP is aware that their DC is able to do the 'basic' things anyway, and would benefit from stretching a little more on some days?

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