A part-time timetable must not be treated as a long-term plan. The arrangement should always specify an end-date by when it is expected that the child will return to full-time education (or when an alternative will be provided) and be reviewed regularly in the light of any changes to the child’s circumstances.
A temporary part-time timetable should provide a means of achieving re-integration to full-time education. It should never be used as a form of exclusion from school for part of the school day or as permanent provision.
When might a reduced timetable be used?
As part of an in-school support package – School, parent/carer and other professionals agree that a short-term (ideally no longer than 6 weeks) reduced timetable would support a pupil who has become disaffected, to regain success. This would be a closely monitored intervention to address and manage the impact of significantly challenging behaviour or emotional or social needs.
For medical reasons – if a pupil has a serious medical condition, where recovery is the priority outcome. These arrangements would be part of a “medical plan” agreed between the school and health professionals. The Department of Education statutory guidance “Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs” 2013 before offering a reduced timetable for this reason.
Reintegration – as part of a planned reintegration programme into school following for example, an extended period out of school following exclusion, non-attendance, school refusal etc. (ideally no longer than 6 weeks)