In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary reduced timetable to meet a pupil’s individual needs. DfE guidance on the use of part-time timetables clearly states:
In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet a pupil’s individual need. For example where a medical condition prevents a pupil from attending full-time education and part time package is considered as part of a reintegration package. A part-time timetable must not be treated as a long-term solution. Any pastoral support programme or other agreement must have a time-limit by which point the pupil is expected to attend full-time or be provided with alternative provision. (DfE school attendance)
A part-time timetable must only be used with the consent of parents/carers. Any proposal to use a part-time timetable must be discussed with parent/carer before the arrangements start. Schools are advised that a reduced timetable should only be used as a short term measure. The DfE recommendation is 6-8 weeks. Any pastoral support programme or other agreement must have a time limit by which point the pupil is expected to attend full time or be provided with alternative provision. In agreeing to a reduced timetable a school has agreed to a pupil being absent from school for part of the week or day and therefore must record it as an authorised absence.
Part-time timetables should only be used in very limited circumstances. For example:
- Where there are behavioural difficulties and the school is trying a part-time timetable as an intervention to try and avoid exclusion as part of a pastoral/behaviour/individual support plan (PSP) or a planned reintegration package.
- Where a pupil has a short-term medical condition that prevents full time attendance for a time limited period.
Where a pupil has an on-going medical condition, which necessitates them missing more than 15 school days (or more than 30 sessions) as a result of the condition, consideration should be given to referring them to the Victory Park Academy Medical Tuition Service. Any application will normally need to be supported by a medical practitioner. Further information and details regarding Medical Tuition can be found here Schools are encouraged to identify early help, support and interventions from outside agencies where there are concerns regarding a child’s engagement, behaviour or individual needs such as medical and mental health requiring the need for a reduced school timetable.
Vulnerable children such as those looked after, children with an EHC plan, those open to a child protection or CIN plan, children open to Youth Offending Service, Early Help Family Support or identified as at risk of exploitation, radicalisation or substance misuse should not be placed on a part-time timetable except in the most exceptional circumstances and only with the agreement of key services working with the child and family.
All children with a reduced timetable should have a plan identifying:
- Clearly defined objectives and expected outcomes
- Be for a specified and limited period of time
- Be kept under regular review;
- Risk assessment addressing any potential safeguarding, welfare, offending or harmful behaviour concerns
- Not be implemented without the signed parental agreement and the consent of any key children’s service open to the child
All schools have a duty to inform the Local Authority of any child not in receipt of full-time education. Children Missing Education applies to those excluded from school, persistently absent, on reduced timetables as well as those that have gone missing. Southend Borough Council’s Business Support Team, collects half termly returns from all schools including academy’s identifying all children accessing either reduced/part-time education and/or alternative provision.
All schools are required to make the return each half term, including those with a nil return. The half termly collection template is attached.