Flexi-schooling children with special educational needs and disabilities in the UK

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Flexi-schooling is an arrangement where a child is registered at school but attends only part of the time; the rest of the time the child is home-educated. In England and Wales, flexi-schooling arrangements can only be made at the request of a parent or carer with parental responsibility. In most cases, head-teachers alone hold the authority to accept or reject a request.

This report, published jointly with the Relationships Foundation, examines flexi-schooling regulation and practice in the UK and investigates whether such arrangements may be beneficial to children with diagnosed or suspected SEN(D).

This particular focus is warranted due to the permanent disadvantages children with SEND face in the school environment. For many, this links to speech, language and communication difficulties; learning difficulties; social, emotional and mental health needs; and sensory challenges.

“It is our hope that this report catalyses immediate action so more families have access to flexi-schooling arrangements from the moment their children need them. If as a society we are serious about lifelong education and equity, we need to ensure we enable all children to enjoy their school years. Flexi-schooling could be the game-changer to enable this for a significant number of children.” 

Julia Manning, CEO, Relationships Foundation

“Neurodiversity exists in all walks of life and is the same within any academic or school environment. A holistic and flexible approach to ensure neurodivergent young people have the opportunity to flourish and reach their potential is vital. As a doctor working in child psychiatry, I have seen first hand the positive impacts of varied and accessible learning. However, far more needs to be done. As the new Director of 20/20health I am very proud of this joint publication with RF and I hope this will help pave the way for essential changes and progress to support neurodiversity and education.” 

Dr Iseult Roche. Practising doctor and Director of 20/20health

The full report can be viewed below:

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