Scottish education- anyone, experience of delaying childs entry into primary 1?

(31 Posts)
SCOTCHandWRY Mon 21-Jan-13 13:34:57

We are choosing to delay DS4's entry to P1 until he is maximum possible age (the year after he would normally go, but as he is still under the age of 6 in the August of that year, we have the right to do this). We are happy with this decision, and our reasons for doing it.

We know (from personal experience, but from other parents too), the pressure put on parents NOT to delay entry if they have already used up their optional "free Nursery place" at age 3,4 years old (as the child then gets an extra year in nursery class which the council has to fund).

Therefore we are choosing not to apply for a nursery place (deadline next week!), to start just after he turns 3. We will apply next year and have him start nursery class age 4.

Has anyone else did this? How did the school/council react? I am a little unsure if we should bring up the topic with the school now (nursery class is within the school), DH thinks no, it is our decision, just apply next year.

its fairly common to defer for January/February birthdays and you dont need a reason for it. It is less common to defer if their birthday is before that and normally needs the nurseries input as to whether they would provide the place for the extra time. I would probably apply for the nursery place just now and see what happens in the next year or so as a lot can change in a short space of time.

I would apply now. The council will pay for two years nursery, so if you defer P1 entry after two years it doesn't have to pay for the third year (but they usually do). By applying to nursery now, you're keeping more options open.

plentyofgrowingroom Tue 22-Jan-13 13:37:53

My DD is a February birthday and I didn't mention deferring her until she was almost 4. Her nursery teacher wasn't particularly pro deferral and there were mutterings about possibly not getting the extra nursery term funded but we did.

HelpOneAnother Tue 22-Jan-13 13:49:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CecilyP Tue 22-Jan-13 16:56:51

Agree with HelpOneAnother that you should check with your own council. My council will only fund a nursery place for children who defer entry to P1 if they have January or February birthday. I don't think that forgoing their nursery place the previous year would make any difference to this.

Catriona100 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:01:52

Have you thought through what it will mean for your son when all his peers are moving up to secondary school but your son still has another year to go? Or when he joins a local U8s football team but all his classmates are in the U7s?

I guess if you are on DS4, then you are already familiar with these sort of issues, so apologies if my (well-meaning) question causes any offence

habbibu Tue 22-Jan-13 19:47:04

I don't know any Jan/Feb children (oh, one, actually) who weren't kept back until the next year, nor any parents who regret it. It seems to be the norm in this part of Fife. Catriona, the ds's peers would be in his P7 class, and would have been his peers throughout school, surely?

QueenAmidala Tue 22-Jan-13 19:59:37

My mum had somewhat the opposite issue as i'm a Feb birthday and she was pressured to hold me back a year, but told them to bugger off (she could clearly see I was ready for school) and started me as normal - on the other hand my little brother could have benefitted from being deferred for a year but as a July birthday he wasn't allowed, then he learned nothing for the first 18 months of primary smile

I know my DH and a close friend who are also Feb birthdays and neither of them deferred either. I wish I could have deferred my son, and he is an April birthday!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:15:56

definitely check with your local council. i made the case to our council that dd1 had only had 14 months of nursery and so could i have 10 months free, which would take me up to the June and they ptsl.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 22-Jan-13 20:25:46

We are in Fife smile both fife and the schools guidance on entry state that there is no obligation to enrol a child for p1 entry until the August after the 5th birthday.

DS4 is not a jan/feb birthday, he is a late autumn birthday. Legally it is absolutely the parents decision, been reading more about it today, it is NOT the nursery or the schools decision but the issue of the free optional nursery places clouds the issue because parents do get pushed in one direction or the other depending on the availability of funding for an extra year at nursery.

We are not wanting an extra nursery year- we want to start at 4.5 and start p1 the next year.... One year of nursery will be more than enough.
Fife guidance info states priority for nursery places should go to 4 year olds (who have not had nursery place as 3 year olds). Which would mean kids in our DS situation I think.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:29:33

you are making a mountain out of a molehill, then, he'll be kept back anyway.

I think you still really need to check with them about the funding, and get it in writing if they will fund you for what they would define as his first "school" year rather than his "preschool" year. Otherwise you could find that they stick to some wording about how they allocate funding and you could miss out.

They might give priority to places for 4yo, but not necessarily for funded places when you have the option of sending him to school.

It depends how big a problem not being funded would be for you, but if you are hoping for a funded place, I think it's best to get them to clarify and agree it at this stage - it would be up to the council rather than the individual school, i think.

CecilyP Tue 22-Jan-13 20:38:32

You are absolutely right that children do not have to start school till after they are 5 which means any child who turns 5 after about the middle of August could defer. The provision of free universal nursery education hasn't so much clouded the issue as created the issue. Prior to that, very few parents chose to defer. I understand your point about wanting to move your DS's year of free nursery education forward a year, but only Fife Council itself will be able to give you a definitive answer.

FannyFifer Tue 22-Jan-13 20:39:21

I will more than likely be deferring DD she will be 3 this Feb.
I have applied for her nursery place this year, intending to start her after the summer.
Will speak to nursery staff prob this time next year to say she will be deferring.

FannyFifer Tue 22-Jan-13 20:41:20

Sorry meant to say she will have 2 years at nursery.

plentyofgrowingroom Tue 22-Jan-13 20:43:46

I'm in Fife too and know of several people with DCs with Autumn birthdays who have deferred and received the extra years nursery funding so 2.5 years in total.

FannyFifer Tue 22-Jan-13 20:45:06

Did the Fife Klaxon go off of what?
[Waves to fellow Fifers] smile

plentyofgrowingroom Tue 22-Jan-13 20:46:55

Just what I was thinking!grin

trixymalixy Tue 22-Jan-13 20:52:14

My DS has a January birthday and I have absolutely no regrets about deferring his entry to P1.

My friend who's DD has a December birthday also deferred and as far as I know had no issue getting funding for an extra year in nursery. This was in South Lanarkshire.

LifeofPo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:52:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:53:46

Glasgow definitely has an issue with that extra year of funding. <grinds teeth>

LifeofPo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:58:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 22-Jan-13 21:41:57

grin Lots o Fifers about tonight! People who have deferred, did the DC get bored doing nursery for 2 years? I think as we are not sending DS into p1 until the aug after he is five, 100% sure of that, I think if the council say he can't have a nursery place at age 4, we will just tell them politely to get stuffed and make our own arrangements!
Applications to p1 don't need to be submitted until the end of jan of the year of entry... Small village school, place a certainty so not worried on that score.

plentyofgrowingroom Tue 22-Jan-13 21:57:28

My DD wasn't bored, She did 2 years plus a term. There was an element of coasting in the last term but that just added to the excitement of looking forward to school for her. Her nursery key worker said if DD was bored, the nursery wouldn't be doing their job properly!

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