A bit confused

(10 Posts)
StrangeMamma Wed 17-Apr-13 13:53:28

My son has been only doing 3/4 days a week of reception and we have decided that once he is required to be in school full time that we would homeschool. I just assumed that the start date of this would be the same as it was for nursery. His birthday is April 2nd so even though he turned three during the term break, he didn't get a place at nursery until September because the cut off was March 31st. Is that the same with full-time school or will they be expecting him to go full time now that he's 5 and a new term has started.

Am I clear as mud here?

Saracen Wed 17-Apr-13 15:07:45

I'm not surprised that you are confused. If you read the actual legislation on this, it is worded in a complicated way! You have to read several passages together before it makes sense. I think that is why many people including school staff may be confused about when the cut-off dates are. Even the GOV.UK website gets it wrong, implying that the requirement to be in fulltime education starts on the child's fifth birthday.

You are correct. If your son had reached the age of five before 1 April, he would be required to start full-time education at the beginning of the following term (i.e. now-ish, or whenever his school goes back for summer term). Since he wasn't five before 1 April, he doesn't have to be educated full-time until the autumn.

The other two "key dates" are 1 September and 1 January: a child who turns five before 1 Sept must be in full-time education at the start of autumn term, and a child who turns five before 1 Jan must start full-time by the start of winter term.

So yes, if the school has said your son can stay part-time until he's legally required to be in full-time education then you have another term still.

Come back if you get any hassle over it and I could quote you chapter and verse!

ZenWarrierPrincess Wed 17-Apr-13 20:17:03

Saracen does that mean if your home-educating a 4-year-old, you don't have to provide evidence to the LA until the term after the child turns 5?
(Sorry to hijack your thread StrangeMamma blush)

ZenWarrierPrincess Wed 17-Apr-13 20:17:32

*you're not your

ommmward Wed 17-Apr-13 23:28:58

Zen - no need to have anything to do with la at all till term after they turn 5, and only then if they happen to find out that you exist (no need to bring yourself to their attention!)

Saracen Thu 18-Apr-13 00:35:10

True enough. There is no legal requirement for parents to provide any education whatsoever to a child who is below compulsory education age (though of course you are educating your child all along!), so there is no need for the LA to take an interest.

ZenWarrierPrincess Thu 18-Apr-13 09:02:00

Thanks that's good to know. Ommmward we have been under the radar and hope to stay that way, but have a feeling we are about to be dobbed in to the LA (we have an older hold too).

ZenWarrierPrincess Thu 18-Apr-13 09:04:02

*older one!

Saracen Thu 18-Apr-13 15:12:23

Zen, if you have reason to believe your LA will be in contact soon and if you are hoping to have little to do with them, you might want to plan how to handle that contact. In particular, if they are aware of only one of your children then you may prefer to keep it that way!

One of the reasons I asked my LA to do everything in writing and not by telephone was to ensure that neither I nor anyone else in the family would let slip the fact that there was another child in our family they didn't know about! I didn't want to double the amount of correspondence I had by volunteering the fact that we had another HE child.

ZenWarrierPrincess Thu 18-Apr-13 18:46:24

Thanks for the advice Saracen. I do plan on having everything in writing - I like paper trails! That's why I wondered about our 4-year-old and whether we needed to account for his education too. Hopefully we will remain hidden!
Strange good luck with your LO and HE-ing if you decide to go down that route.

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