what happens to summer babies at senior school

(35 Posts)
comehomemax Tue 20-Sep-16 22:23:48

We believe we have a good argument to defer my summer born son a year and have him start reception at age 5 and 1 month. We have to apply for primary schools this year and then apply to the LA to defer I believe.
However, I have heard that if we are successful, the LA may still force him up a year at senior school age - does anyone know how likely that is or is it just a threat to discourage us from pushing this?
I'm really worried about this - can anyone advise?

NicknameUsed Tue 20-Sep-16 22:25:43

As far as I know secondary schools prefer to keep all students in the correct academic year. DD is a July born and did exceptionally well in her GCSEs this year, so it isn't all doom and gloom.

comehomemax Tue 20-Sep-16 22:39:53

But would they do that if the correct academic year meant he had to skip a year to jump back up. That doesn't seem like it's in his best interest to do that - is there a reason they have to move back up if they are settled in their new year??

NicknameUsed Tue 20-Sep-16 22:47:02

I don't know the answer. I believe they are changing the rules a bit now. When DD started school in 2005 they had a two tier entry and all the January - August born children started reception in the January instead of September. So DD only had 2 terms in reception. She moved up to year 1 with all the other children in her year group.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 20-Sep-16 22:49:50

According to the HT in the school where I work, the government has changed the rules slightly regarding deferred admission into reception and yet it's still insisting children should be in their chronological year group confused

comehomemax Tue 20-Sep-16 22:54:41

Do you know why the schools do this suburban? It seems really unfair and not in the child's best interest at all.

t4nut Tue 20-Sep-16 23:34:32

Firstly you can't choose to defer. You can request but the school/local authority has no obligation to do so. Secondly the current advice and practice is to move with their chronological age group - its not a case of forcing, that's the age they move.

prh47bridge Wed 21-Sep-16 00:23:57

As t4nut says, you may not be able to defer for a full year. The slight change referred to by SuburbanRhonda is that admission authorities were reminded that they must consider each case properly rather than simply implement a blanket policy.

The procedure you mention (apply then defer when you've got a place) is the one to use if you are deferring for less than a full year. If you want to defer for a full year you need to ask the LA before applying. If they agree you won't apply for a place the year he turns 4 at all.

I'm afraid it is true that many LAs and schools will insist on returning a child to their "correct" age group when they transfer, resulting in those that have deferred a full year missing either Y6 or Y7. In part this is to ensure that the child will take GCSEs before leaving school. If the child stays in the lower year they could legally leave school at the end of Y10, a year before they would normally be taking their GCSEs.

comehomemax Wed 21-Sep-16 06:48:18

Thanks all. It's just so worrying - right now, he is definitely not ready and both his paediatrician and speech and language therapists fully agree that an additional year before starting school would make a significant difference. It's the difference between him starting school with significantly delayed language / development and emotionally very much younger than his chronological year or starting at a point when he is more equal with his class. If we have to start him at 4, he will have be so behind, it's bound to affect his self confidence.

LadyPenelope68 Wed 21-Sep-16 06:51:51

You may well get permission to defer a year in Primary, although this is not guaranteed, it can only be a request on your part. However, you child will have to move to secondary school at the correct age, you don't have a deferral option once they reach secondary.

LadyPenelope68 Wed 21-Sep-16 06:57:25

You also refer to a child being "settled in their new year". You are likely to find that if they start a year later they won't stay with that particular cohort through their time at Primary. They are likely to move them up sooner eg. They might do half a year in year 1 and half in year 2, rather than a full year 1. They'll have to do this to ensure they are at the correct age/work level/curriculum covered to move up to secondary with their correct age peers.

CarrotCakeMuffins Wed 21-Sep-16 07:07:14

A boy was held back from my DDs year and started the following year. He is now in year 5 (DD in year 6). They had to apply to the LA for agreement, and had a strong case as he was late August born, had been born premature and had some additional needs.
Sounds like you have a case too, so contact your LA and see what they say.
Good luck

portico Wed 21-Sep-16 07:27:03

Mine are late July born and the younger one struggled up to Y4, and then caught up. I would suggest your child starts school at the prescribed right time. You can always provide enrichment activities at home, reading, discussing things, going to parks/ museums/libraries.

meditrina Wed 21-Sep-16 07:33:44

DC have always been allowed to be educated out of their year group, and when there is a case based on additional needs with solid backing from HCPs then the case is strongest (though not a given).

You might find it helpful to go over to the SN boards about how to construct a case. You'll need to show why putting him back a year is the only (or by far and away the best) way of meeting those needs (as opposed to differentiation and interventions such as SALT in correct group).

In these circumstances there is a good chance of being able to remain with their year group at secondary transfer, provided that you stay living in the same LA and are like to qualify for a place at an LA controlled secondary.

The wheels all fall off for sixth form, and whether Y13 can be funded for someone older. But that's so far into the future, it'll probably all have changed

merlottime Wed 21-Sep-16 07:37:32

A child at my DDs primary repeated reception, as they had some SEN and were struggling. The LA insisted that they move to secondary at their correct chronological age, so they missed out Y6.

prh47bridge Wed 21-Sep-16 08:35:27

you child will have to move to secondary school at the correct age, you don't have a deferral option once they reach secondary

You cannot categorically state that. Some schools and LAs will allow a child that is a year below the "correct" year to remain there on transfer to secondary school. Many do not but some do. Similarly it is by no means guaranteed that the primary school will move the child into the "correct" year. Many do not even when they know that secondary schools will insist on putting the child in the "correct" cohort.

catslife Wed 21-Sep-16 08:49:28

I don't think anyone knows for sure OP. My child has just left secondary school at the end of Y11 and there was a child in her year group who would have been in the year above - unusual but it does sometimes happen.

Jinglebells99 Wed 21-Sep-16 08:58:56

I remember two children at primary who moved back a year but both had considerable Sen, one had Down syndrome and the other had Social Services involvement too, it wasn't just a case of being summer born. The primary years go so quickly too, and children make improvements at different rates. Your child probably won't want to be in school for an extra year at 17 or 19. It seems like only yesterday my 17 year was starting school!

CelticPromise Wed 21-Sep-16 09:12:01

Get on the Facebook group Flexible School Admission for Summer Born Children for knowledgeable advice and support. Are you in England? It's different between the countries. As far as I am aware there is no specific guidance on this but the new guidance that may come in eventually will suggest that children should remain with their entry cohort. But i am no more an expert than pps saying ' it's not allowed '.

My DS started reception at CSA and I wish the LA luck in suggesting him skipping a year later. It can't possibly be in his best interests and I will go as far as necessary with it.

ample Wed 21-Sep-16 10:11:19

Same as NickName.
The two tier entry helped my July baby. She had a few hiccups early on grasping phonics (had one-to-one interventions). Now in Y6 and thriving.
There is a little boy at DD's school who is in Reception class again this year. He was young and slight but now the oldest. I can only assume his parents requested it. Not sure what happens starting secondary though. Just wanted to echo NickName - it's not all bad news for summer babies.

mummymeister Wed 21-Sep-16 10:16:52

i can only speak for what happens in our area because there are variations from what I understand. only children with significant SEN can defer. just being august born isn't a good enough reason. go into any secondary school now and you wont be able to pick who is sept and who is august born in any given year because they do catch up.

if you child does have sen then you should be able to make a good case but always, always speak to your LEA about their particular rules and don't just assume that everyone is the same because they aren't.

heron98 Wed 21-Sep-16 13:01:45

How can you possibly know what he's going to be like aged 10? I wouldn't worry about that now. FWIW, I am August born and it was fine.

PatriciaHolm Wed 21-Sep-16 13:20:29

At present, differing LEAs and admission authorities have differing policies in this I'm afraid, and none of us here are going to be able to give you a definite "he can stay with his year" vs "he will have to move up a year at some point".

Nick Gibb's (Minister of State for Schools) letter of Sept 15 explicitly stated -

"We have, therefore, decided that it is necessary to amend the School Admissions Code further to ensure that summer born children can be admitted to the reception class at the age of five if it is in line with their parents’ wishes, and to ensure that those children are able to remain with that cohort as they progress through school, including through to secondary school."

However, this is not in the Admissions Code as yet, so at present does not have the force of law. So whilst some admissions authorities have relaxed their rules on the assumption that they will be forced to soon, many other LEAs/Admissions authorities are not following suit, and are still stating that parents can request deferral but it's not automatically granted, and they will make no commitment to keep the child in that deferred year.

I would suggest getting something in writing from your local admissions authority stating their position.

comehomemax Wed 21-Sep-16 16:14:06

Thank you all. I really think it's in his best interest to stay back - he has very complex language delays and oral sensory issues - he is only just learning some basic words like mama and dada. Plus he was born premature and we don't know when his actual due date should have been - his paediatrician thinks based on his very small size he was probably due first or second week of August.
He has missed most of his milestones - started clapping at 2 years for example and he is still very young in his behaviour and needs.

However, I am really concerned that I don't cause him issues further on and I can imagine being moved a year away from all your peers back into chronological age could be really traumatic.

It just seems silly that this is such a big issue when all the evidence points to him having better outcomes if he started later on.

comehomemax Wed 21-Sep-16 16:15:21

Sorry, that should have been born first or second week of September

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