The First Flexischool

I’m currently working on the archives of two of this country’s greatest educational innovators the late Professor Roland Meighan and Philip Toogood. I last posted regarding some of Roland’s work. I’ve since been looking through some newspaper cuttings of Philip Toogood’s Flexischool at Dame Catherine’s, Ticknall, Derbyshire. It was to our knowledge the earliest Flexischool in the UK.
In the Observer Sunday 6th 1987, Judith Judd, Education Correspondent wrote a really lovely and supportive article. ‘Pioneering spirit: Flexischool chalks up a first in home-based teaching. In a class of their own.’
At the time Philip was the co-ordinator of the Human Scale Education Movement prior to him setting up Education Now with Roland and then merging into The Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now.

‘He (Philip Toogood) wants parents to be able to negotiate with the school for whatever proportion of the week they wish.’ “There is no good reason why children should go seven hours a week, 40 weeks a year, to a large inhuman centre” he said.

There is also a quote from Prof Meighan “People take their children out of school in desperation, not out of preference… Most would opt for the sort of part-time education which Flexischooling offers” he said.

Philip, his wife Annabel and their staff went on to run dame Catherine’s as a very successful Flexischool for many years.

It’s frustrating that our educational system authorities seem to make Flexischooling difficult to achieve by their inability to get to grips with its advantages and by clearing up the administrative and technical issues surrounding registration, responsibilities, safeguarding and funding. This is not really an issue in some states of the USA where flexible options are clearly supported by schools and school boards.

Come and join us at our next Flexischooling Event Flexischooling Learning Exchange in Birmingham, Saturday 18th April 2015
(See events in Flexischooling Facebook Groups
… and information in the Centre for Personalised Education – Personalised Education Now Blog…/flexischooli…/
Peter Humphreys

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