Flexi School (Scotland)


Hi I’m looking for some advice. I want to Flexi School my son who is due to start school in August. He has a few health problems and these are the main reasons behind my decision I also believe that there is way more to education that the classroom. Anyway I have spoken to the deputy head of the School and they are very unsure of my idea. I have a meeting with someone from our Local Authority but am I right in thinking the decision is up to the head teacher and not the Local authority? Has anyone faced problems when deciding to Flexi School their children? What are the laws in Scotland on flexi schooling?

Thanks in advance


Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Flexi-schooling is very different, legally, from elective home-based education where you as a parent take direct responsibility for your child's education.

The Scottish Government's home education Guidance has this to say about flexi-schooling:

3.6 Flexi schooling

Local authorities may occasionally receive a request to withdraw a child part time from school, e.g. for the child to attend school only on certain days, or for certain subjects. The feasibility of each request should be considered on its own merit, while taking into consideration that under Section 28 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 ' so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents' . Ultimately, however, it is a decision for each local authority and school as to whether they can support such an arrangement.

Perhaps these articles might be useful if the school are unfamiliar with the concept?


I had suggested the option of Flexi Schooling in a meeting with the LA, Deputy Head, Attendance Officer, School Nurse and Guidance Teacher and the LA representative jumped straight in with

" I don't think that is an option, sorry. It isn't an option, for phasing him back in, we can certainly look at the timetable but in terms of ...... getting his entitlement to a broad general education, it isn't a pick and choose position."

So that will be a no then.
She didn't seem to confer with anyone else, and no-one from the school piped up to say otherwise.

I will be quoting from the Scottish Governments Home Education guidance in my follow up to them though.


Emma, why don't you just deregister him and be done with all the mechanical widgets from the schools and the LA?

Hiya Diane,
Yeah, that is what we had initially intended but ill health has caused it to drag out a little.
I think my annoyance stems from the fact that we are not allowed that as a choice, we should be. It is very much all or nothing from the LA and school where as I am sure it would suit others too being able to flexi school.


I think, in theory, that it looks good. In my view, however, it's somewhat like being a little bit pregnant. Schools have targets, exams, visions whatever. Parents have children who want to give themselves an education in whatever they want to be educated in.

Yes, we should have more choices. No, LAs wish to have bums on seats. I'm not saying that they don't care about the individual child but it's extremely difficult to cater for the individual child when you are an institution trying to standardise every child's education.

As a home educator you can be free of all the argy-bargy, clap-trapping from other people who are making your decisions for you, and make decisions for yourselves.

It's scary but, to my mind, it's the only way to have, or provide, a real education.

I will leap down from my soapbox now.



I have added 'Scotland' to the thread title to avoid confusion! Flexischooling is still an option north of the border (and presumably Wales) regardless of what the DfE has dictated in England.

This is one of the reasons I keep banging on about the misuse of 'British' and 'UK' when it comes to home education. The law and guidance are different in each of the four nations, sometimes subtly but often completely.

For example, there are no Pupil Registration regs in Scotland, thus no 'de-registration', only 'withdrawal' from school which is a different process. Families following the English dereg instructions in Scotland may come to a sticky end!

What's more, the Scottish legal system has remained separate since the (alleged) Union in the early 18th century, not just since devolution.

The biggest democratic deficit is that suffered by residents of England who do not have their own parliament. They must make do with Westminster and interference from us outsiders, although I know that SNP and Plaid MPs do not, on principle, vote on issues relevant only to England.


New member
Flexi schooling

Hello, I have just joined today and just wanted to see if anyone had and advice/thoughts. I'm pushing to be allowed to flexi school my daughter in Aberdeenshire but I would like to see it as an option for all children not just my daughter. I have spoken with the school and education board who have refused my application. I'm now going through my local councillor and MSP. I've started this page linked below to try and get numbers of people interested in flexi schooling or who have applied and been refused to see if we can build power through numbers and collective voices. What else can I do? Thanks Pip