Efforts by the community to save Chillerton and Rookley Primary School from closure have taken what is being hailed ‘an interesting turn’.
The Save Our School committee will be submitting a business case to the Local Authority to de-federate the school from the current governing body and transform Chillerton and Rookley into a school that specialises in flexible-schooling.
According to Home Education UK, flexi schooling describes an arrangement between the parent and school where children are registered at the school in the usual way but attend school part-time. For the rest of the time, the child is home educated. The number of children educated under flexi-schooling arrangements is growing and there are now several schools around the UK which could be said to be specialising as flexi schools.
The news follows a 21% rise in parents choosing to home school their children on the Isle of Wight bringing the total to over 3% against a national average of less than 1%.
A spokesperson for Save Our School has said:
“There is such a huge demand for flexi schooling on our Island. From parents who feel their children are not ready for full time school, to home educators who need more structured support. It would be of such a great benefit to our whole Island Community.”
One parent said:
“This will address the safeguarding and support concerns regarding home schooling families. It is such a shame that options such as this were not considered by the Local Authority as they are obliged to. The number of parents choosing to home school their children is a reflection of sentiment towards educational strategy which seems to be fulfilling an agenda of closing rural schools”
The Stenbury Federation has proposed the closure of Chillerton and Rookley Primary School resulting in the Isle of Wight Council seeking the public’s views via an informal consultation. The report will be presented by officials at an unspecified date.