• Leading change for survival: The rural flexi-school approach

      Poultney, Val; Anderson, Duncan; University of Derby (Sage, 2019-10-08)
      This article seeks to present the perspectives of three school leaders in one rural primary school in the English East Midlands, who, when faced with closure due to a falling student numbers, decided to offer and operate a flexi-schooling model of educational provision. We aim to find out, through a theoretical model of systems school leadership, how the school leadership team addressed this issue. Findings suggest that the principles of systems leadership, operating through an open systems model, have facilitated the journey towards flexi-schooling and ensured the survival and growth of the school. The learning community created with parents and the personalisation of the curriculum for learners reflects an innovative curriculum design and in part solves the problems which led to the initial decision taken by parents to home-educate. Focusing on ways to secure healthy student numbers, school leaders developed a partnership with a multi-academy trust, yet they still face challenges in formally recording student numbers when their attendance is only part of the week