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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:59 am 
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Is anyone flexi-schooling at the moment that you know of? Is the child of compulsory school age? Has the headteacher agreed to it? How is the school coding it in the register - authorised absence, unauthorised absence, or approved offsite educational activity?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:05 pm 
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I did when DS1 was in Year 6.

The headteacher has to agree to it but, crucially, can reject your application to do it and doesn't have to give a reason why (although, in practice, that is unusual - not the giving of it but the not giving a reason.) They may find that it would be difficult for them to manage logistically for example. We had a day flexi a week - we tried a rolling day so that he wasn't missing the same lessons each week but the Y6 teacher found it worked better to be the same day each week as then he knew ds1 wouldn't be in. The school would have preferred it to be two half days a week but that didn't work for our plans going out and about.

It is marked as approved offsite ed as it is inspected by an ed consultant from the LEA. We found the LEA very helpful and supportive - we were one of 4 in the county doing it and the other 3 were reception age doing it to allow their child a day off a week to catch up as they were summer born.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:13 pm 
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Interesting. Was that a while ago? Recent DfE advice on attendance seems to suggest that it should not be coded as offsite education activity so it puts a lot of schools off saying yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:28 pm 
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I know people doing flexi schooling in Leicester....


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:44 pm 
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He is in Y9 now so 3 years ago - my memory says it was coded as EO (educated otherwise) but I couldn't swear to it. I know it was "formally" recognised (hence the ed consultant coming out and the rubber stamping by the Home Educating team of the LEA) so didn't count as unauthorised absence or anything negative for the school and, in fact, was very highly regarded by Ofsted when they inspected the school, as being a fantastic example of school and home working together to meet the needs of the child - the inspectors were very interested to talk to me about the process etc. I had a formal meeting with the school every 4 weeks to touch base and let them know the sorts of things we had done - they filled in what was going on at school, which enabled me to do stuff that enriched that experience, if I so wished.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Presumably the child would gave special needs of some kind? Trying to envisage how teaching staff could cope with this happening in any numbers?
( kenyancowgirl, not expecting you to be specific about your DS)
Acquainted with home schooling but not aware of this before so interested in why it is needed.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:32 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Sport (international level and also club footballer who eventually went to a London club school), art (1 to 1 teaching 1 day per week by professional artist), music (national level by age 10), drama (national production) are all reasons I have come across in the past. All performing at a very high level.

I think the rules have changed and I haven't had to deal with this recently.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Yes, they are trying to discourage the use of code B and the Attendance advice for schools has been revised several times. It seems to be saying that it should be coded as authorised or unauhtorised absence which is, of course, off=putting for schools to say yes to flexi-schooling as a result

Hollinsclough primary school and Erpingham primary school are in the news quite often though for still continuing with it, and Hollinsclough seems to approve some parents as offsite educational activity providers and can then code B the days at home in that way.

Anyone coming across it currently know how the school manages it?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:02 pm 
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No - not special needs - very bright - had been moved up a year since year 3 and school head had assured us they would have things in place so that he wouldn't just have to repeat year 6...they didn't...we didn't want him to get bored/disillusioned so went a flexi-schooling approach. We didn't want to home educate completely as felt the social side of school was essential for him. There was a good Y6 teacher who knew when he was out and we never felt he had missed anything (or if he had, it never impacted and what he was gaining was far more worthwhile). For eg he was able to run a business raising funds for a cancer charity and made nearly £400 in 10 weeks, utilising all sorts of educational skills and communicating with a number of different people, including his MP. Incidentally, although he was "out" of school one day in 5 he still achieved Level 6 in all his Sats so it impacted positively for him and the school.

Certainly when we did it, flexi-schooling as a concept had been around for a long time but most people choose not to do it, either because they don't have the time or they go the full home educating route. However, we were lucky and had a good Y6 teacher who recognised the school head had let us down. It may not work so well, otherwise.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Having special needs & being very bright aren't mutually exclusive in my opinion. Any child whose needs aren't met by standard class teaching has special needs. Sadly the term has come to be associated with children who are seen as being below the norm somehow, just because their needs aren't met by what is currently standard educational practice.
If the teaching in classrooms follows best practice many 'special needs' children could have those needs met within standard lessons.

It sounds like master Kenyancowgirl thankfully got the best outcome in the circumstances but generally it's pretty poor that a school in effect says we can't provide for this child so do it yoyrself. I've seen good year 6 teachers cope with very bright children by challenging them within the classroom so it can be done.


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