Question re: the summer-born children starting school

(62 Posts)
PMHull Fri 23-Nov-12 21:23:43

Has anyone succeeded in delaying their summer-born child and starting RECEPTION (not Year 1) until after they've just turned 5?

I'm not interested in starting a debate about the necessity of doing this - mainly because there will always be anecdotal cases of 'my son started school three days after he turned 4 and he took his GCSEs aged 10' - I'd just really appreciate hearing from anyone whose local council and/or MP supported their parental choice.

Thank you.

losingtrust Wed 28-Nov-12 14:07:23

Incidentally I would be happier if the school age was put back to six instead of four as this would prevent a lot of the issues that summer borns face and then parents could choose whether they used nursery or not. I suspect the issue is that most families have two working parents now although. The extra two years childcare would have killed us but I would have preferred that solution.

Dozer Wed 28-Nov-12 17:54:53

The debate on mn shows that there isn't much support for the kind of flexibility we'd like pmhull. National government won't mandate it, but in theory there is local flexibility. Local govt won't allow it because if there were precedents more and more people might want it and it'd be administratively difficult and possibly more costly.

Your best chance could be a school that's its own admissions authority, like an academy, but you might still run into problems later, eg transferring to high school.

The ifs stats show worse outcomes for young-in-year pupils even having taken account of extra parental input. Parental input can't address the problem.

I don't regard starting reception at 5 to be holding dd back: it would be giving her a better chance to enjoy more and learn more.

losingtrust Wed 28-Nov-12 18:25:06

Why don't you try and get more flexibility about the school day to suit your child which more schools are willing to accept. It would be an admin nightmare to have different start dates but I have known children just doing mornings or four days a week. They were certainly more inclined to be lenient on absences in reception year and would always ring the parent if child seemed tired or off colour. At mine the youngest children started a few days earlier than the older kids to help them settle in in a smaller group particularly important and they seemed to form bonds. I found it better to use a private pre school first with ds as he seemed to be bounding with excitement whereas dd had gone to the nursery attached for the normal two and a half hours and the novelty had worm off. Ironically I thought it would make it easy for her to settle. If I did it again I would not use the school nursery but again different personalities.

stacywright Wed 30-Jan-13 13:54:44

i dont know if this discussion is still going but i am currently in a battle to get m y son a reception place this september instead of a year 1 placement at school and is only 10 days over the cut off. he has social communicatio issues and delayed evelopment so i have repeaated nursery where he is on differentiaded leanring plans and interventions are in place to help him catch up with the other preschoolers who are techniclly a year below him and have all rights to apply for a reception place this september.
i am part of a campaign group on google groups "Campaign For More Flexible School Admissions For Summer Born Children" and we have a facebook page too.
we had a meeting yesterday up london with the Department for Education and what we have established is that 5 is the COMPULSARY school starting age and 4 years old is VOLUNTARY. there is a section in the admissions code which was updated feb 12 that states that reception class is mainly for 5 years olds and those turning 5. august born children turn 5 at no point during their time at school if admitted into reception at 4 years old so there is a LEGAL OBLIGATION to have them into reception in the term aftwer their 5th birthday.

also i can qoute from david laws that the admissions code is not prescriptive and common sense is expected of the local authority to not use it word for word but to apply admission arrangements in a case by case basis with the individual childs needs being put first.

i was given a copy of the new report into statistics hat the dep of Ed did that confirms that not just across the country, but internationally, summer born children on average perform worse than their autumn peers and although the gap in performance is almost closed by university age, the majority of the school key stages show a difference.

it would be extremely advantagous to your child to be admitted to reception in the following year and although your onwt be able to apply online due to entering incorrect date of birth, download and print and return by post an application stating why you are applying out of year and that just by sticking to the statatory starting age , your child should not miss a years worth of education.
is your school supportive? because ultimately it is at the head teachers discretion to allow a child to be out of thier year group in is/her school.

ALSO REGARDING SATS. these are NOT sat by age, but by completetion of the course leading up to them.
regardless of the age of your child, if they have only just finished year 6, whether they are in the right year, up a year or down a year for their age, that is when they sit their SATS. the only thing you cant do qith regard to sats is sit them , then repaet a school year then sit them again.
you only do them once but you do them when your new year group you are placed in does them not when the year group you are technically supposed to be in does them.

for more information please join our google group and facebook group smile

stacywright Wed 30-Jan-13 14:09:20

i dont know if this discussion is still going but i am currently in a battle to get m y son a reception place this september instead of a year 1 placement at school and is only 10 days over the cut off. he has social communicatio issues and delayed evelopment so i have repeaated nursery where he is on differentiaded leanring plans and interventions are in place to help him catch up with the other preschoolers who are techniclly a year below him and have all rights to apply for a reception place this september.
i am part of a campaign group on google groups "Campaign For More Flexible School Admissions For Summer Born Children" and we have a facebook page too.
we had a meeting yesterday up london with the Department for Education and what we have established is that 5 is the COMPULSARY school starting age and 4 years old is VOLUNTARY. there is a section in the admissions code which was updated feb 12 that states that reception class is mainly for 5 years olds and those turning 5. august born children turn 5 at no point during their time at school if admitted into reception at 4 years old so there is a LEGAL OBLIGATION to have them into reception in the term aftwer their 5th birthday.

also i can qoute from david laws that the admissions code is not prescriptive and common sense is expected of the local authority to not use it word for word but to apply admission arrangements in a case by case basis with the individual childs needs being put first.

i was given a copy of the new report into statistics hat the dep of Ed did that confirms that not just across the country, but internationally, summer born children on average perform worse than their autumn peers and although the gap in performance is almost closed by university age, the majority of the school key stages show a difference.

it would be extremely advantagous to your child to be admitted to reception in the following year and although your onwt be able to apply online due to entering incorrect date of birth, download and print and return by post an application stating why you are applying out of year and that just by sticking to the statatory starting age , your child should not miss a years worth of education.
is your school supportive? because ultimately it is at the head teachers discretion to allow a child to be out of thier year group in is/her school.

ALSO REGARDING SATS. these are NOT sat by age, but by completetion of the course leading up to them.
regardless of the age of your child, if they have only just finished year 6, whether they are in the right year, up a year or down a year for their age, that is when they sit their SATS. the only thing you cant do qith regard to sats is sit them , then repaet a school year then sit them again.
you only do them once but you do them when your new year group you are placed in does them not when the year group you are technically supposed to be in does them.

for more information please join our google group and facebook group

Pyrrah Wed 30-Jan-13 16:26:33

The most sensible thing would be to reassess a year or so in and perhaps have a bit of a mixed class between Y1 and Y2.

I'm an August birthday and while I didn't have any academic issues, I was very much younger emotionally than a lot of my peers and I think this did have a negative effect. My brother on the other hand managed to be a year older - private school plus spent most of one year in hospital so repeated - and I think it was a big plus in his case.

DH and I felt so strongly about not having a July/August birthdate child that we decided to actively not try for a baby between September and January.

thesecretmusicteacher Fri 01-Mar-13 17:37:49

sorry to have missed this thread, is it ok to start it up again after a month?

I'd like to join the google group - am figuring out how to. Do I need to just set up a google account?

I have an out of year child who is thriving because he is out of year. It's very much the situation that reallytired outlined - the taxpayers paid for three more terms' nursery instead of a mightily expensive statement of special needs and everything worked out well. Everyone, without exception, has benefitted.

We have confirmation from our LEA that the "offset" will continue through school, but I'm still on the alert because the secondary has become an academy, albeit one that uses the LEA for its admissions IYSWIM. Am exlawyer and think that as I have that written confirmation it would be hard for them to backtrack on it (this is a nice way of saying I plan to hold them to it).

Tiggytape and I talked about the details of the admissions code on another thread since s/he posted on here - can't remember the link now - but the position we got to is that (i) there's no ban no year deferral (ii) you are supposed to have a "cogent" reason to allow children to be placed out of year (iii) one way forward would be to identify those "exceptional" children for whom year deferral is highly likely to make a massive difference. Tiggytape are you around - can you link to it?

The Jim Rose report is lacking in substance - he never really considered the question that Ed Balls had put to him - dropped the ball really, it was so disappointing. He did have the decency to come on to mumsnet afterwards and agree that he had never intended there to be no exceptions to the rule.... my it took quite a few of us to make him say it, but say it he did smile and on this very forum smile

madmacbrock Tue 05-Mar-13 17:06:11

My son was born 29th August and it worries me to death about him starting school too early. having read numerous reports saying this is going to be detremental to his future, whenever i raise any concerns i am just told hell be fine or my child was ok. I do not want my son to be ok i want him to be the best that he can and it surprises me that not more of a fuss is kicked up about this. I am not a pushy mum i just want him to be given the right oppurtunities. I feel so strongly about this I am concidering lmoving abroad or even lying about his date of birth, is this even possible? is it fraud? are there any schools who would accept him in the uk?

DeWe Wed 06-Mar-13 09:29:10

Most schools round here you have to provide a birth certificate. You'd also have to lie to him because at some point he would say "I'm 6 tomorrow" or something and it'd all come out. Then you'd probably lose the school place.

You may have more success at a private school-might be as cheap as moving abroad! wink

I have an aug born ds now in year 4 - he is immature but not obviously different to other boys in his year group as he is tall one of the tallest in y4. So it is hard to picture him towering over his y3 classmates if he had started a year later. Academically he struggled a bit initially but at the last parents eve was predicted level 4s in SATs which is v good considering.

I am more concerned about his emotional maturity especially as he will start middle school in Sept, where he will be walking to and from school without me and the academic expectations will be more vigorous . I will be reliant on the school to provide good pastoral support for the children and ds because he doesn't look young and small does not always get sufficient allowances made for his age imo.

dd2 is oct born and due to start Foundation at the lower school it will be interesting to see the contrasting experiences she has at school due to being one of the eldest children.

Whether being able to start school with more flexibility or if more allowances could be built into how many hours or days a child attends would be universally beneficial, I am unconvinced. I wonder, to have the world shaped to your convenience when you are young only to be cruelly robbed of that illusion when you left school would that be ultimately worse!confused I think smaller classes with more resources to better support each child accordingly, is more appropriate allowing for the fact that age is not the sole reason some children struggle at school.

mam29 Wed 06-Mar-13 11:16:16

Im july born and struggled academically had to work hard.
at time never really considered it was maybe fact was youngest born.

Husband was worse 31st august and he struggled had to work very hard and dident sit a levels even though he would have been more than capable.

Eldest is 7 feb birthday currently year 2 4.5 when started I dident think she would struggle but she dident cope as well as older ones feb was cutoff however due to mixed classes in year 1 the younger 15 in year were in r 1 class and surprisingly when they combined in year 2 class and lost the 15oldest to 2/3 class lots of the youngest were ahead academically than the middle ages 15 in 45 intake.

she had been in nursery from 11months and preschool.

I wasent happy with the school so moved her to smaller school where she was in mixed classes for 1st time and shes one of 10year 2 and 20years 1s and think its been good for her for once she doesnt feel at bottom, confidence and has many year 1 freinds and next year shes back with her year group so combines with oldest 10 in her year as 20a year.

Middle child having issues with shes sept 16th shes big for her age and just wants to be grown up like her sister.

she does 1day a week private day nursery since 18months
A lot of her freinds at nursery and preschool start school this september im really worried about her getting bored as think shes would be ready this year even though would make her youngest in the year.

Youngest hes april and thourght about defering him until maybe after xmas hes due to start sept 2015 so he be slightly younger than eldest. discussed with preschool and they say they against transfering and dont think they would allow him to stay if he wnet there.
Not that hes started yet he could start preschool age 2 now but feel hes too young but feel very different about private nursery as they in age groups with seperate rooms and activities and facilities to sleep.

Not sure what im going to do to be honest.
I have to apply before hes 4 as jan 15th deadline hes 4 in april 2015 and starts sepetember thinking will apply see if get place then decide if should defer.

If I could start middle one this year or even after xmas then I would.

Think we need greater flexibility. we have earliest age to start school.

Also some schools have nursery classes which must be very different to preschool or private nursery.

Tiggywunkle Fri 06-Sep-13 12:11:02

I hope no one minds this topic being boosted up but its really a hot topic right now.

I am trying to get my son - July 2010 born - delayed a school year.

I have worked in schools and have seen that a good number of summer born children struggle (conversely some don't) but at various times in school, all the children who needed support in my classes with reading etc. were all summer borns.

We lived in a county until last year who supported the notion for my son to be delayed a school year so that he starts in September 2015 IN RECEPTION, not Year 1 (instead of starting reception in a years time Sept 2014). However we then moved house and our local LEA and school are completely anti the notion. My son does have additional needs but even that wasn't of any help - in fact its been a barrier because the school and LEA say a statement would provide the necessary support. However no statement or school or LEA can address that socially and emotionally my son could do with the extra time to develop to simply 'cope' better at school. He quite simply needs more time to grow and develop.

To cut a long story short, we saw that this "Advice on the admission of summer born children" document had been published by the Department of Education over the summer and for anyone looking to delay a summer born child, this clarifies the position.

To quote:

"Key points
• school admission authorities are required to provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday, but flexibilities exist for children whose parents do not feel they are ready to begin school at this point
• school admission authorities are responsible for making the decision on which year group a child should be admitted to, but are required to make a decision based on the circumstances of the case
• there is no statutory barrier to children being admitted outside their normal year group"

I suspect the posters in the thread above are some of those fab people who have been trying to get clarification on this issue on the Google group and the Facebook group "Flexible School Admissions for Summer Borns", and they are doing a great job of pushing points through a government debate, and asking for help to ensure it is easier for parents to request their child delays a year if appropriate. This debate took place on Wednesday (I have linked to the summerbornchildren.org website because it has the transcript and video there - the video is good to watch) and the Minister for Education are trying to make it clearer to parents that their child can start school at the level to meet their needs which does include starting in reception at statutory school age for a summer born baby. There seemed to be no better way than to start to get this message across than to add this thread which comes up near the top of Google about this topic.
I wanted to update it and say YES it is possible - you may yet have some persuading LEAs that things are changing (hopefully not long term) - but if you want to try, absolutely try - the law in on your side, and hopefully things will become easier as more people apply to their LEAs. The Facebook and Google groups have loads of documents, information and some very helpful people on there.

I have no link with the campaign other than tapping into their fabulous resources, but I commend everyone who has got this far with making it clear that summer born children CAN delay their schooling AND go into Reception NOT Year 1 a year later.

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