Letter sent to my MP:

Dear Charlie,

I am writing as your constituent, and as the parent of a child at a school in your constituency, to complain about the Government’s change in the policy over flexischooling. This is the practice of letting children receive part of their education in school and part at home.

The change in policy is summarised thus on the DfES wesbite:

“Can a school agree to a so-called flexi-schooling arrangement; where the pupil is partly educated at school and partly educated at home? No. Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receiving full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude. Parents can fulfil this duty by either registering their children at a school or by education otherwise than at a school (which includes home education). The law does not provide for a combination of both.

“Where parents decide to educate their child at a school, parents have a legal duty to ensure their child attends regularly. If they fail to do this they may be committing an offence. Schools are funded to provide full-time education for all pupils (age 5-16) on their register and therefore are accountable for the standard of education their pupils receive. A flexi-schooling arrangement means some schools would receive a full unit of funding for certain pupils for whom they do not provide fulltime education, and in some cases, may provide very little.”

There is a plain attempt here at confusion. The law clearly allows for educational activities to be allowed as authorised absence, so I am not sure why they are now saying that this is not possible. Flexischooling usually works with the school setting a full time place and getting full time funding, but authorising educational absences. Thus, there is no need to talk about half funding.

If a parent has been granted authorised absences for 50% of every week, say, they cannot be committing a criminal offence. This is purely a matter of negotiation between parents and head teachers. There is no need for administrative interference.

According to Graham Stuart, chair of House of Commons Education Committee:

“The sudden change in flexi-schooling policy announced by the Government – without consultation or even notice – would, if left as is, cause huge disruption and upset to hundreds (if not thousands) of children. I have spoken to the responsible minister, Liz Truss, and hope and expect to have substantive news early next week. The overnight abolition of this long established practice cannot be justified and will, therefore, I predict, be reversed, whatever the longer term outcome may be.”

I shall be most grateful if you could write to Ms Truss to have this policy clarified in line with what has been the law at least since 1944. Anything less amounts to a covert attack on our established right to home education.



19 responses to “Flexischooling

  1. This is an obvious attack on home schooling.Sean, I suggest you seek to trace this back to whatever bureaucratic arsehole thought of it and demand his/her demotion or better still sacking. You must carry the fight back to them or they will keep coming back with new tactics.

  2. This law is simple to get round, I now in middle england many go to state
    school full time and also have lessons at home by private tutors, obviously
    not sending children to school is a criminal offence, and I am aware on a
    number of prosecutions in some cases the parent has recieved a custodial

  3. I remember my old school day’s, they had corporal punishment in those day’s, there was alway’s a que for the cain on moday morning, I don’t think education was that great in those day’s teachers were paranoid about the cold war, i rememebr one day we were given a lecture about what to do if a nuke dropped, apparently, paint your windows white and put a white paper bag over your head, I alway’s remember telling that pratt of theacher a white paper bag over your head wouldn’t save you from a nuke, I got removed from class and punished, the good old day’s of british education, I wonder what people would feel about that now. Perhaps home schooling is something well worth considering why should the government object, they are effectively saving money at a time when the education system is in a state of economic crisis!

  4. In October 1962, I was in 5-A. The Cuban Missile Crisis was full-on. We were also told all that stuff.
    But our teachers also gave advice about bricks, good big timber beams which three fellows might drag in from the yard, to under the stairs etc, sandbags, cellars, what to buy TODAY from whatever grocer was still open if we didn’t already have the stuff, what to pack in a waterproof bag such as lots of matches and a good torch with full batteries and spare bulb (this was 1962 remember). They cancelled _all_ the French and English lessons for a whooe two days, these being the most useless, and all the boys did this stuff instead with whichever teacher they were scheduled to have. We also got a political round-up, for the olde boys in the Senior School, and 3A upwards in the juniors, in case anybody “DID NOT HAVE A TELEVISION RECEIVER AT HOME YET”.

    Tinfoil was also good if you used it shiny-side-out. We were even told that as 10-year-olds.. It would reduce any beta-rays and would also reflect (partly) the heatblast of the main detonation.

    We all knew that a war would come, perhaps today or tomorrow, and that we would win. It may surprise you that none of us was afraid, at all. Trust me, I lived through it. Mr Woods, who was about 70 and had been an ADC in Kenya in the 30s and 40s, and taught us history, Maths and french, was the most comforting teacher.

    Mr German, who taught us Latin and Greek and ancient history and sometimes maths when mr Woods or mr Straker were busy with some other form of boys, and who “went over the top” on 1st July 1916 at Serre, was no less optimistic.
    He called the Soviets “Nazis”. I get it from him. He was a grand teacher, always angry all the time, and I will remember him always. I try to be like him in my work.

    Mr German’s eyes, I remember, were always, sort of “hot”. It was like he was permanently on fire. We boys, we 10-y-olds, we respected that.

    But he was born in 1896. the poor bugger is probably dead by now. It’s a shame really that we have to go, after all that sort of stuff that makes people so useful.

  5. I want British (and any other) children that chance to come by, to have an education like that which I have described. I really do.

  6. We did not have the luxury, of tinfoil, told to get under the table, this was 72,
    your right in those day’s many people didn’t have TV’s or phones, we got our
    fist TV in 59, and phone at about 67, those day’s won’t come back education
    has seen a revolution since then. Someone has to try and make some sense
    of what it has become today!

  7. I must say though David, I hated School, especially the Infants and Junior School, I was a bit of bastard, when my mother prepared breakfast, I’d suddenly play sick, I was allowed to go back to bed, I’d grab a handfull of buscuits and go back up to my bedroom, wait for my mother to start cleaning and get my boxes of soldiers out from under the bed, I alway’s remember the one where my crusader army complete with cavalry defeated a whole divison of the SS, much better than school I must say, alway’s became sick again before my father returned home from work.

  8. Janette Mountford-Lees

    Thanks for your support on the matter of flexischooling. Here at Hollinsclough primary we have always believed in parents right to choose how to educate their children.

    • Thanks. As yet, I’ve had no answer from my MP. But he normally does get round to answering, and is often less of a bottom-kisser than I expected him to be.

  9. Of course parents must have the right of control over their children, this right is being denied by the totaliterians, like any other basic humn right!

  10. Thanks for posting this Sean. Do you have any idea of the motivation behind this? I can’t make sense of it and its difficult to construct a reasoned argument or comment when you’re not clear what point you need to make!

    • Oh, it’s clearly the beginning of a stealth attack on home education. I wrote a book on this some years ago, and discovered that many home educators are flexischoolers for some of the time. By shutting off the middle parts of the spectrum, the authorities will force parents to choose either schooling or home education. Once that is done, they can focus on the home educators.

      We are ruled by some exceedingly wicked people. They should never be given the benefit of the doubt.

  11. Very Wicked indeed without a doubt.

  12. …so why don’t the Tories like home education? surely its the ultimate big society, doing it for yourself, no state intervention approach? I’m a complete ‘big state’ lefty so had a massive moral debate with myself about our education arrangements – but if the Tories don’t like it that must make it OK then!

  13. This is the problem, they are all a bunch of old “Chummies”.

  14. We all know the tories lie on this, point, they are the first to arrange the
    education for thier own children, both in the state and private sector, it’s
    just they want a unified system so no one can challenge thier authority, he
    who controls education, controls politics.

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