CPE-PEN Flexischooling Learning Exchange



‘rigid systems produce rigid people, flexible systems produce flexible people’ Dr Roland Meighan

 CPE-PEN Presents a Flexischooling Learning Exchange

Saturday 28th April 2012, Loughborough

Flexischooling has been around in the UK from the late 1980s.

But what is it? What does it mean? What could it be?

Advocates would argue it has huge transformational potential on our learning system and that it should be recognised as a credible and viable option to families and learners. Flexischooling stands at the boundary between mainstream and alternative or home-based approaches to learning. As such there is the prospect to develop a dialogue between the two and a learning system fit for the 21st Century.

This learning Exchange offers an opportunity to hear about flexischooling from its origins through to a variety of current perspectives and its future possibilities. It’s a chance to begin an educational dialogue about learners and learning and a real personalised experience. It’s an opportunity to begin work to establish a flexischooling network.

The Learning Exchange is open to education professionals, local authority officers, academics, parents and learners themselves

 Please feel free circulate this through your own networks.

Costs / Food / Refreshments

CPE-PEN try at all times to keep our costs to a minimum and where possible to avoid charging so as to be as inclusive and accessible. There is no cost to this event and additionally CPE-PEN members will receive the Flexischooling Journal for free, (others for a small charge). Drinks will be available for a contribution and we ask attendees to bring their own lunches.



The Learning Exchange will be held at Burleigh Community College, Thorpe Hill, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 4SQ. Travel Directions: http://www.burleigh.org.uk/directions. Final room venue details will be sent nearer the date.


  •  1100 Arrival / Drinks
  • 1115 Introduction & Launch of Flexischooling Journal Peter Humphreys / Janet Meighan (Personalised Education Now) 
  • 1130 Roland Meighan / Peter Humphreys (Personalised Education Now) 
  • 1200 Janette Mountford-Lees (Headteacher, Hollingsclough CE Primary, N.Staffs) 
  • 1230 Fatima D’Oyen (Principal, Manara Academy, Leicester) 
  • 1300-1345 Lunch / networking (please bring your own lunch)
  • 1345 Simon East (Headteacher, Erpingham CE Primary, Norfolk) 
  • 1415 Philip Toogood (Personalised Education Now) 
  • 1445 Alison Sauer (The Sauer Consultancy Ltd) 
  • 1515 Q@A with Contributors Panel and / or further smaller group discussions with contributors. Janet Meighan  
  • 1615 Final Comments / Thanks / Potential of a ‘Flexischool’ Mark Peter Humphreys  
  • 1630 Close of learning Exchange


Free past copies of CPE-PEN Journals

 Please let us know you are planning to attend by registering your name / organization / address, telephone and email contact to Janet Meighan at

edheretics@gn.apc.org / 0115 925 7261

 Publishing Partner: Educational Heretics Press

W: www.edheretics.gn.apc.org / W: http://educationalhereticspress.org.uk/

 Dr Roland Meighan Website www.rolandmeighan.co.uk


Fatima M. D’Oyen

Fatima is the principal of the Manara Academy in Leicester. The setting provides a Montessori inspired Islamic flexischool http://www.manara-education.co.uk/ http://www.s367818431.websitehome.co.uk/manara-academy/flexi-schooling/ . Fatima draws on her own personal educational experience particularly as a teenager at Freedom High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA and is a testament to the efficacy of flexischooled education.  Fatima was born in New York in 1960 and embraced Islam in 1979. She has an MA with Distinction in Education from Roehampton University and an Advanced Diploma in Child Development, is an author of several Muslim children’s books and is pursuing a Montessori Primary Teacher qualification. She has been active in Islamic education for 20+ years in a variety of settings in the USA, Netherlands and UK including full-time and weekend Islamic schools, supplementary schools, Muslim Scouts and Girl Guides/Scouts. A founding Trustee of The Quest Foundation for Learning http://www.quest-learning.org/ , Fatima has lifelong interest in holistic and Islamic education, spirituality, nature, and healthy, sustainable lifestyles.

 Simon East

Simon is on his third headship at Erpingham CE Primary School (Norfolk). He has also worked for the National College of School Leadership. Erpingham Primary has become a beacon for flexischooling in Norfolk. ‘At Erpingham Primary School we believe that we have the ethos and practice that can provide all the benefits of a school that is exceptionally caring, socially well balanced, academically creative and progressive whilst also having the ability to accommodate the needs and aspirations of families who choose to Home Educate’. http://www.erpinghamprimaryschool.co.uk/smartweb/school/flexi-schooling. School roll has increased, and the community has been enriched. http://www.erpinghamprimaryschool.co.uk/ 

 Peter Humphreys

Peter Humphreys is Chair, trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now. Peter spent 25 years as a primary teacher, 10 years as Headteacher. Since that time he has worked as an educational consultant covering roles in local authority advisory service and BECTA (the government agency promoting ICT). He currently works for Birmingham City University with teacher education. Peter researches, edits, writes and publishes in the PEN Journal, PEN website and blog.  https://personalisededucationnow.org.uk  http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/

 Dr Roland Meighan

Dr Roland Meighan was an academic at Birmingham and Nottingham Universities. He is a trustee and director of CPE-PEN and is a leading thinker, researcher, publisher, and author of Education Now and Educational Heretics Press. He has researched, written and presented extensively across the world. His booklist is too numerous to list but includes the 5th edition of A Sociology of Educating with Prof Clive Harber IBSN 0-8264-6815-2. His latest work is Comparing Learning Systems: the good, the bad, the ugly and the counter-productive Educational Heretics Press, ISBN 1-900219-28-X. Roland first brought the concept of Flexischooling to our attention following discussions held with John Holt on his final visit to this country in 1984 before his untimely death from cancer. In 1988 Roland wrote the book ‘Flexischooling. Education for tomorrow, starting yesterday’. Dr Roland Meighan http://edheretics.gn.apc.org/  http://educationalhereticspress.org.uk/     http://www.rolandmeighan.co.uk/   

Janet Meighan

After a teaching career in primary schools Janet Meighan became a lecturer in education working in teacher education in Nottingham and Derby. Janet specialised in the Early Years and edited and contributed to two books with Prof Philip Gammage, ‘Taking Stock’ and ‘Early Childhood Education: the way forward’. Janet is Secretary, trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now. Janet runs Educational Heretics Press with Roland Meighan http://edheretics.gn.apc.org/  http://educationalhereticspress.org.uk/

 Janette Mountford-Lees

Janette is Headteacher of Hollingsclough School (North Staffordsire) http://www.hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/ and co-author ‘New Models for organizing education: ‘Flexischooling’ – how one school does well (Guidance Report written with Paul Gutherson in 2011 by the CfBT Education Trust http://tinyurl.com/7annuon).  Hollingsclough’s flexischooling has received extensive media and professional attention from across the country and beyond. Flexischooling families have drastically increased the numbers of children attending Hollingsclough. It is a testament to the success of the venture that families travel great distances and have added to the community dynamic of this village school http://www.hollinsclough.staffs.sch.uk/Flexi.htm

 Alison Sauer

Alison is an elective home educating mother and an independent trainer specialising in elective home education. She works extensively with local authorities and is currently liaising and working with the DFE on flexischooling issues and guidance. Alison is particularly concerned to see that flexischooling becomes widely known, and a credible, viable and funded option in our learning system. …….

 Philip Toogood

Philip Toogood is a trustee and director of CPE-PEN having spent a lifetime as a pioneer in education and been head-teacher three times. As Warden of Swavesey Village College he led the secondary school to become comprehensive and the adult and youth provision into generic community education.  He was later elected as the first Chair of the National Community Education Association. In Telford,as Head of a large social priority area 11-18 comprehensive and Chair of the adult association of the whole education and recreation centre,  he developed the theory and practice of mini-schooling to break up large schools into small human-scale learning communities (now often referred to as schools within schools).  At Hartland, he was invited by the Schumacher Society to co-ordinate a movement to become known as the Human Scale Education Association in 1985 , culminating in a three-day international conference in Oxford attended by over 200. This explored the ideas of Minischooling and Flexischooling in a variety of settings including the ‘New York City As School’ and the need to protect small schools and the right to home education.  Philip and his wife Annabel spent two years working at the Small School at Hartland. They were then asked by parents to re-open the Dame Catherine’s School at Ticknall, Derbyshire, as an independent, parent-cooperative learning centre and all-ages school. Philip founded the magazine ‘Education Now’ from which eventually sprang The Centre for Personalised Education Trust – Personalised Education Now https://personalisededucationnow.org.uk  http://blog.personalisededucationnow.org.uk/ . The secondary section of Dame Catherine’s split off to become the East Midlands Flexicollege, a base for the development of flexi-schooling (perhaps the UK’s earliest example of a full flexischool) in Burton upon Trent. This was presented to the Blair government as a model for attachment to each secondary school in Burton but, in spite of initial encouragement to make the application and strong approval in the official published inspection, the request was refused. He then ran a language school in Spain. Philip is currently engaged on devising a website for educational pioneers in this field and an App for learners to use derived from the Flexicollege experience of independent, autonomous and personalised learning.

About the author

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress | Two Thirds Design