Shropshire Star

Tiny Shropshire school offering parents part-time 'Flexi Schooling' option for children from September

A tiny south Shropshire school will be appealing to parents who educate their children at home by offering them part time learning from the new school year.

Newcastle C of E Primary School in Newcastle-on-Clun recently celebrated its GOOD Ofsted rating with their new Lead Teacher Chris Richards pictured at front..

The executive head of the federation that runs Newcastle CE Primary School, near Clun, revealed the plans to introduce 'Flexi Schooling' to parents at a meeting this week.

Flexi Schooling is an arrangement between the parents and school where a child is registered at the school in the usual way but attends the classrooms part time.

For the remainder of the time, the child is home educated. There are currently 20 pupils on the school's roll but this flexi option is seen as the best option for its future.

Anna Cook, the executive head teacher at the Blue Hills Federation, said: “After much research and discussion with other settings, the governors feel strongly that Newcastle CE Primary school is uniquely placed to offer a flexi schooling option for parents who currently electively home educate their children.

"Our beautiful small school offers a warm, welcoming family feel which provides a rich and engaging curriculum; designed to meet the needs of all our children.

"We believe that we are able to provide an educational experience that allows each child the opportunity to flourish.”

Miss Cook said: “Welcoming children, who are currently home educated on a part time basis, into our school family will enrich the experience of all children and further strengthen what is an amazing little school.”

Chris Richards, newly appointed Lead Teacher at the school added: “The next academic year is an exciting new chapter for the school and I hope we can attract additional pupils from a home-school background.

"Newcastle on Clun is unique in its surroundings and small size. We can provide an exciting curriculum that will not only support children but enrich their social opportunities and personal development.

"We are also confident that the home-learning community can also bring valuable experiences, backgrounds and skill-sets to our school. It could be the best of both educational worlds”

Barry Swancott, a parent of two children at the school and one of the federation’s Parent Governors, said: “This is an exiting time for the school following what has been a difficult few months.

"The introduction of Flexi schooling forms part of the governors’ plans to secure a long term future for the school, from both a financial and educational perspective. Everyone involved with the school has worked incredibly hard in recent months in pursuit of that goal.

“The number of children being home educated is growing, both nationally and locally.

"Flexi offers another option for parents who elect to home educate. Research suggests that it can be an attractive option for a significant number of parents.

“Whenever a school is under some sort of threat of closure, there can be a degree of resignation within the community that the school will close at some point.

"Any talk of possible closure can leave a school under a cloud as it were, which can impact negatively on the confidence of prospective parents. Closure can sometimes become a self fulfilling prophecy.

"This is something which has to be tackled and the commitment to the school demonstrated by everyone involved, including parents, staff, governors and the local community has been exceptional during the last few months. There is a real feeling that we have turned a corner.”

For more information regarding Flexi schooling at Newcastle Primary, please contact the Executive Head, Miss Anna Cook ( or Newcastle Lead Teacher, Mr Chris Richards ( on 01588 640260.