The flexi-school programme is aimed at bringing children back into school who have been out of mainstream education for a variety of reasons, especially as a response to the effects of the pandemic. 

In the 2021-22 academic year, we ran a trial to offer flexi-schooling for home-educated children.  We offered a range of subjects with a mix of in-person, online and live-streamed classes across all year groups from 7 to 11.  Our experience of bringing students onto our roll in Year 11 in January 2021, allowing them to get teacher-assessed grades in the absence of exams, encouraged us to enrol a trial cohort for the academic year 2021-2022.

You can read more about flexi schooling at cheney below.

We are not accepting any more applications for flexi-school 2022-2023. Dates for visits, information events and applications for flexi school 2023-2024 will be published in Spring 2023.

Flexi-school Protocol 2022 - 2023

DRAFT - This protocol is still in development and we are getting support from Oxfordshire County and River Learning Trust ahead of a further trial year in 2022-2023.

Please be aware that we are only able to offer this with a requirement to be in school for at least some of the week. If parents think this is impossible, please do contact us; with appropriate supporting professional advice, we will try our best to come to an arrangement that works for everyone.

Flexi-schooling can be of benefit to families who have chosen home education, as part of a wider package arranged by parents, but it can also be a route back into education for children who have struggled with school for one reason or another. We want to help children get back to school through a gradual and flexible process, which takes as much account of the individual needs of the child as possible.


  • Education: to make lessons available to as many students as possible, free of charge on a flexible basis.
  • Re-engagement: we want to help children back into face-to-face education, and this will remain a long-term ambition of the programme. We acknowledge, however, that families will come to this for a wide variety of reasons, and the provision that is in the best interests of the child will always come first, in consultation with families and other professionals as appropriate.
  • Local: we are an Oxford school, so this will be open to Oxfordshire students.
  • Safeguarding: we believe it is better for children to be visible: this will help families access other services and support if needed.
  • Exam centre: Cheney can also act as an exam centre for any UK exam series. We offer this to flexi-students on the same basis as all other students: Cheney will pay the fees for any exam on our curriculum (whether studied with us or elsewhere), but we will ask parents to pay the exam entry fee for any other exam. In this case, the administrative cost will be covered by Cheney.


  • We will not accept children who are currently enrolled at any other school. We very explicitly do not want the flexi-schooling offer to be something that encourages children to drop out of mainstream provision.
  • We will not use flexi-schooling as a way to bypass the normal admissions process. If parents want a full in-person place at Cheney, they need to apply via the normal admissions route. 
  • Before confirming any place on the flexi-schooling programme, we will consult with the admissions and attendance departments at Oxfordshire County Council to ensure that this offer is not encouraging children to leave full time education at another school.


  • In-person: we can integrate children into any in-person class. Students would need to wear uniform for in-person lessons. Parents choose which subjects their children will attend, and a personalised timetable is created from this starting point. Students need to commit to all the lessons for the chosen subject, and the library or Learning Support will be available if there are gaps between lessons.
  • Online-only: dependant on staffing, we are likely to be able to offer some classes which are purely online. All flexi-students will need to be in school, in person, for at least some of the week, so a purely online offer is unlikely to be possible. 
  • Livestreamed classes (an in-person class, with some students joining via a livestream): this is a compromise, and is less good than either in-person or online, but it can work. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer these classes, as it depends on teachers volunteering to run them. It represents a significant extra burden for classroom teachers, so it only works if the teacher is enthusiastic about doing it.
  • Practical lessons: some subjects, such as art, drama, DT or science practicals only work in person. We are not able to offer these as online or livestreamed classes.
  • Age groups: we can integrate children into any year group, although experience suggests that older students manage better. If appropriate, we can look at doing classes a year either side of their chronological age, depending on timetabling constraints: a bigger age gap tends to cause problems. Currently, flexi-schooling is not available in Year 7, because this is the main transition point from primary to secondary, and Cheney is already admitting an extra class in response to the demographic bulge in the city.
  • Assessments and practical days: we will run assessments as appropriate throughout the year. Some of these may be under parental supervision at home, but we aim to hold at least some of them in person in school. Experience tells us that many flexi-students actually want to come and do assessments in person, as they get to see the friends they have made online. We will make in-person assessments as light touch as possible, with a good social element to them. The same applies to practical days, especially for science classes: if at all possible, we will run in-person practical days, which students have loved this year.

We have a 2 weekly timetable. Students can expect the following numbers of hours per fortnight for the following subjects:

Flexi-school hours