You have to give the Department for Education credit for sheer cheek! The latest revised guidance on flexi-schooling provides us with an absolute master class in how to appear to be giving way without in fact budging an inch. Here it is in full;
Clarification on Flexi-Schooling DfE March 22nd
On 22 February 2013, the Government published revised advice on school attendance. The advice clarified the Government's expectations on how various school attendance codes should be used to record pupil school attendance.
Schools should not mark a pupil as attending school, using the attendance code B for off-site education activity, unless the school is responsible for supervising the off-site education, and can ensure the safety and the welfare of the pupil off-site. Schools are ultimately responsible for the attainment of every child registered on their roll. Whilst being home educated, parents and carers are responsible for pupils, not schools.
Where parents have entered in to flexi-schooling arrangements, schools may continue to offer those arrangements. Pupils should be marked absent from school during periods when they are receiving home education.
The reference in the Government's revised advice on school attendance, that was categorical that a school could not agree to a flexi-schooling arrangement, has been removed.
The first thing to note is that any flexi-schooling arrangement means that the school itself must be responsible for the welfare and safety of the child while he is in his own home. Yes, that's right. If little Jimmy falls over and hurts himself in his bedroom on the day that he is being educated at home, then the school has to take responsibility for the injury! This single statement is enough to kill any flexi-schooling dead on the spot. No Head is going to agree to this. It would mean that if a child were killed in an accident at home, the Head could face criminal charges for negligence.
Still, not to worry. You will see that existing flexi-schooling arrangements may continue. The pupils will now just be marked absent on those days. Since schools are judged by their absence rates, why would they possibly want to agree to this? What advantage will there be to any school encouraging flexi-schooling?