When can we use reduced timetables for pupils?
There must be exceptional circumstances
Because pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education, reduced or part-time timetables are only allowed in exceptional circumstances, where:
- There's a specific need for a pupil – for example, a medical condition prevents them from attending full-time education and a part-time timetable is part of a planned re-integration
- It's on a temporary basis, stating when they're expected to return to school full time. It must not be a long-term solution
The DfE sets this out on page 18 of its attendance guidance.
Headteachers must decide what these exceptional circumstances are
The headteacher has to justify:
- Why the pupil isn't able to receive full-time education
- That this decision is in the best interests of the child
The DfE told us this.
A reduced timetable isn’t: A suspension (fixed-term exclusion), so you must record it as an