Part-time timetables


What does the law say?

  • All children of compulsory school age have a right to receive full-time education
  • Every school has a legal responsibility to provide full time education for all its pupils
  • Parents / carers must ensure that their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, if they are registered at a school

What is 'compulsory school age'?

A child is of 'compulsory school age' in the term following their 5th birthday.

Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday of June during the school year that the child becomes 16.

When might a part-time timetable be used?

The use of a part-time timetable for your child should be an exceptional measure and can only be arranged with your agreement.  Reasons for agreeing to a part-time timetable could include:

  • Medical reasons - where a pupil has a serious medical condition where recovery is the priority outcome.
  • As part of a short-term support package where a pupil is struggling in the school setting, perhaps with behaviour.
  • As part of a planned reintegration into school following an extended absence

What do schools have to do?

  • Schools must seek your agreement before your child attends on a part-time timetable.
  • Schools must review the arrangement regularly - at least every six weeks.
  • Schools must involve you in their regular reviews of the arrangement and seek your agreement at each stage.
  • All schools must report the arrangement to Cornwall Council as soon as it is set up and send updates each time the arrangement is reviewed.

What if I think my child would benefit from a part-time timetable?

You should discuss this with the school.  Any agreement about a part-time timetable must be made between you and the school.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan any consideration of a part-time timetable must include the Local Authority.

What if I am not happy with the part-time timetable?

You should discuss this with the school.  Any agreement about a part-time timetable must be made between you and the school. 

You can contact the Local Authority at if, following your discussion with the school, you are not happy with the arrangement.

Children with Special Educational Needs

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan any consideration of a part-time timetable must include the Local Authority.  You can get further information and advice by contacting the Statutory SEN Service (contact details below) or by having a look at the Local Offer.

Where to get help

If you need any support or advice relating to your child's attendance at school, please email educationwelfare@cornwall.gov.uk.

For Special Educational Needs advice contact the Statutory SEN Service on 01872 324242.

If Cornwall Council is not aware of the part-time timetable arrangement, or you are unhappy with the arrangement, please email schoolaccess@cornwall.gov.uk.

View the Guidance for Schools on the Use of Part-time Timetables

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