School year advice for child who was prem

(2 Posts)
hopedance Mon 28-Mar-16 08:21:04

Hi all

Hoping you can help me with a dilemma. I have two boys - ds1 who is 6, born at 30 weeks and ds2 who is 4, born at 34 weeks and has autism, he is due to start school in September.

We moved house recently. Ds1 still goes to school 30 minutes drive away, near our old house. He is in the year below the year group his date of birth indicates he should be in due to being prem (he had an August birth instead of an October birth, but his school agreed to admit him based on due date not date of birth).

Ds2 goes to the nursery which is part of the local school two minutes from our house. I have applied for him to start school there in September, as they have tiny classes and are fantastic at meeting his needs. I didn't apply to send him to ds1's school because they have a two class intake (so 60 children) all in one giant classroom which ds2 wouldn't be able to cope with due to his autism.

So we applied to move ds1 to the local school. The local school are refusing to continue teaching him out of year group, and say they will only take him into his correct year. So ds1 will effectively miss a whole year of schooling. He is not top of his class academically (about in the middle), but is socially less skilled than his peers - this is the greater concern. He is sensitive, caring, very sweet natured but quite particular in what he thinks is right and wrong etc (i.e. Easily offended!!) so finds the hustle and bustle of life at school very demanding. He will be out of his depth even more if moved up a year.

What should I do? In September they will be starting and finishing school at the same time but 30 mins apart (longer in traffic - sometimes takes an hour at worst).
Any ideas very welcome. I am beginning to despair and googling homeschooling (except that I work and couldn't give up so no idea why I'm bothering to consider it...). Help!

Santaschiefelf Tue 29-Mar-16 15:56:16

First of all congrats on getting DS1 educated in the year group he was due to be born in rather than the one he was actually born in. I know of many who have struggled with this. Was it easy to make this happen? My DS was born in July but due in October. I have applied to my LEA to educate him in the year group of his due date. The more time goes on the more I'm convinced this is what is best for him and I cannot take no for an answer.

Now that you have clearly got him in the correct year group don't allow him to be moved up. What have the LEA said? Are both schools in the same LEA? Unfortunately I think once a child is in school it is up to the head which year group they are in. However they have to justify this. Have you had a face to face meeting with the head? How can they possibly justify this when he is clearly where he should be & it could potentially do his confidence/self esteem/ academic achievement serious harm by doing it. Take any evidence you have to them eg any current results/report/letter from teacher, letter from head explaining why she allowed him into current year group. Do you have any of the paperwork from when the LEA first agreed to this? Does it say anything about being allowed to stay in year group and not be moved up a year? Hound the head. If you get no joy go to the governors. Then go through the schools official complaint procedure. Then go to the ombudsman (may not be applicable if school is an academy). Definitely join the Facebook group Flexible school admissions for summerborns if you haven't already. They are an amazing source of knowledge & support. I know your son is already on school but there are definitely people in the group who have been in your position. I would also approach the heads of any other schools near you that may be options. I know this isn't ideal but may be useful as ammunition against head of DS2's school to show how unreasonable they are being if you can say other local schools agree.

Good luck, please let me know what happens. I feel so angry on your behalf. As if it isn't stressful enough to have a really premature baby.

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