DfE Advice on school attendance, Feb 2013


Well-known member
From the HE community point of view, and anti-school campaigners, this is good news in that many children in flexi arrangements will have to move over completely to HE.

It is however a retrograde step in that it reduces choice and severely impacts many families for whom full time HE is very difficult / impossible.
I am not a fan of flexi-schooling, it still contains too many of the reasons why we chose to opt out, but I object to the manner in which the change was announced. That is something worth fighting for, we don't want government getting used to being able to do things without consulting first.

It's implemented the wrong way around, anyway. It should be possible, subject to class capacity, to sign up to attend a limited number of classes, so if the local school was doing half a dozen lessons trigonometry or dissection, a child should be able to sign/turn up just for those classes if that's what they want. That would make it more home education with a few specialist classes at a school rather than a schoolchild with time spent away from school.


Well-known member
I hear what you're saying, llondel, but I'm a big supporter of flexi. Like everyone else, I pay my taxes and it would be nice if my children were able to avail of the millions of pounds worth of sport, gym, lab and other equipment the local school has bought with that money. The lathes and machining tools in their wood work shop cost over a hundred thousand pounds. More importantly, it is not equipment I could easily get access to elsewhere. Not for a kid to use anyway.
In an ideal world you'd be able to get access to the facilities without it being via school. Much of it is idle outside of school hours, and it would be interesting to look at ways of gaining some access to that free time. No doubt the Safety Elf would deem it to be far too dangerous though.

If they'd fix flexi-schooling to work the other way round, so a child was home educated but the school could pick up some extra government money for ad-hoc class attendance, it would still give families the freedom to educate as they see fit and take advantage of any relevant classes at school. It might also give schools some incentives to make their classes more interesting and useful:becky:

Sadly I think the noises coming from Truss indicate that this is a pipe dream.
I'm wondering again whether they're trying to offload SEN students? There was a big noise about how many SEN kids there are with claims from Gove that they were going to reduce that number, I seem to recall, then the recent Select Committee thing re 'support' where I think LAs were to be encouraged to do things for children with SEN? And now a without consultation changes to guidelines which I think are often beneficial to children with certain sorts of health/educational problems who can't cope with full time school?
I've been told by someone working in SEN, that they are integrating children with SEN into the classroom rather than having special units and classes now.

Trouble is, many of these children can't actually handle the mainstream classes even with someone sitting alongside them, so it difficult to see how this is anything more than a cost cutting exercise. :mmph: