As readers will know, a month or two back the Department for Education changed the rules on flexi-schooling. They have been challenged about this, but remain obdurate. Any Head who now agrees to a flexi-schooling arrangement must mark the pupil as being absent on the days that he is being educated at home. Whether this is an authorised or unauthorised absence, makes no difference; it will still look lousy on the school records. Any maintained school doing this will be sure to have questions asked by their local authority, Ofsted and so on, as it will make it look as though their absence rate is soaring; seldom a good sign!
The end result of all this will be to limit dramatically the possibility of parents finding schools who will play ball on this. It has been very neatly done, because the practice has not actually been banned and nobody can claim that it has. Here is the clarification that the DfE issued yesterday:
In March the Government clarified its expectation on how schools should
record pupil’s school attendance under a flexi-schooling arrangement.
We advised that Schools should not record a pupil as attending an off-site
educational activity unless the school is actively responsible for
approving and supervising the off-site education, and has established
arrangements to ensure the safety and the welfare of the pupil while being
Where parents have entered in to flexi-schooling arrangements, schools may
continue to offer those arrangements. Pupils should be marked absent from
school during sessions when they are receiving home education.