They can make good sounds when we stay on them to. Once we get out of the three big key signatures, they are lost lambs. And honestly, key of F is pretty suspect, too.
They have difficulty retaining information. Truthfully, they were babysat as beginners and didn't learn much of a foundation to both playing the instrument or basic concepts of musical knowledge. I don't assume too much with JH kids, but these are fairly low-info compared to the rest of the band.
It's safe to say that any solo would have to be short lived and very accessible -- but, it might still be possible. Any sort of extended technique would be a problem.
Here's an example: A Longford Legend is perhaps the best fit for this band (playing all movements at a 4). The flute part is not any more or less difficult and is very consistent with the rest of the difficulty. They are not up to this particular task and I've had to take it off my short list.
The band could probably play two Grade 4's, but the flutes will struggle greatly. It's a shame. I have some wonderfully mature 8th graders who need raw, red meat!