Holding children back a year

(19 Posts)
fatfingers Sat 18-Sep-10 08:23:21

My dd was born 17 weeks early so born in July rather than October. She is now 3 and will be expected to start reception next Sept. I am worried she won't be ready. She goes to day nursery at the moment but is not yet properly toilet trained (will use the potty for wees when she feels like it but lots of accidents and poos everywhere), doesn't know shapes or colours, drawings are circular scribbles. Apart from being very small, nursery do not see her as being significantly behind her peers although I notice that her language is not as advanced as other children in her group. Has anyone had a similar experience? Would it be advisable to apply to hold her back a year at school? If I fill in the forms for next September intake can I change my mind later and apply to hold her back a year? I certainly don't want her entry deferred because I think that will just hinder her even more. Any advice would be appreciated.

Seona1973 Sat 18-Sep-10 08:25:58

If you are in England and hold her back a year she will not start in reception but will have to go straight into Year 1 (as far as I understand from other threads).

She has a whole year to learn all these things so I wouldnt worry too much, my DD1 was a July baby and I was very worried about how she would cope - but she did! I looked in to deferring her but as PP said she would just miss the whole of Reception and go straight in to Yr1 which I felt would hinder her more.

My DD1 was also speech delayed and had speech therapy right up until starting school. She is im Yr2 now and is by no means top of the class but is holding her own! They do manage, I wouldnt worry too much, remeber Reception is about getting used to school, making friends and a bit of learning, I think she will surprise you.

fatfingers Sat 18-Sep-10 08:53:02

Thanks for your replies. In exceptional circumstances (my dd's circumstances being classed as exceptional) there is provision for children to be put back a school year rather than just being deferred. However, I just don't know if that would be beneficial in the long term. If she goes into reception next year, dd1 will still be in infants so she will have that support and she will already know a couple of the children in her class. My dh feels that it is too much pressure for her to go into reception next year because, had she been born on time, she would not have started school until a year later.

comewhinewithme Sat 18-Sep-10 09:04:32

My dd was held back a year -she was early only 3 weeks but was induced for IUGR.This also meant she was born on Aug 30th hmmgreat timing.
Nursery staff noticed she was finding things hard but she went in as normal to reception however she really struggled and dound things very hard.
After various meetings during that year she repeated another year in reception and saw a speech thereapist.
In the end the staff and I (apart from one old witch ) decided it would be cruel to uproot her again and she stayed in the reception class all the way through primary.
She is now in Y6 (should be in her first term of secondary) and doing ok despite the fact she had dyspraxia and dyslexia.

So it can happen but be prepared for a battle.

desertgirl Sat 18-Sep-10 09:19:02

fatfingers, see how the year goes - everything you say about your DD would have applied to my DS this time last year (July baby, not premature) but the year has made a huge difference. I was conscious of his speech seeming to be a bit behind (it still does), but my SALT friend has never seen it as an issue; perhaps I just notice the more advanced speakers!

When do you have to fill the forms in (am not in the UK)? can you talk to the school about whether there would be room for a change of mind if she turns out to struggle next year?

bran Sat 18-Sep-10 09:24:25

You might not be able to hold her back, my friend had an October baby who was born in July and had mild-ish cerebal palsy. Even though she fought like mad for it she wasn't allowed to hold her back.

weegiemum Sat 18-Sep-10 09:25:06

I would apply to defer for a year (making sure it was a proper deferral so she could go into reception), but I'm coming at this from a different perspective as I am in Scotland where no-one is allowed to start before they are 4.6 and many (including my 2 older children) defer and don't start Primary 1 (reception) until they are 5 and a half, for no other reason than it is allowed.

I really believe that children are made to start school far too early and given how premature your dd is, I think this is a decision you should make based on your perceptions of her ability to cope, and if another year of nursery would be beneficial to her, then I would go for that.

Hope you can work it all out.

Feenie Sat 18-Sep-10 09:27:08

It depends on the school and the LEA - in our school, it is quite usual to take children whose parents have held them back a year, and they start in Reception and remain with that year group throughout primary and secondary.

Feenie Sat 18-Sep-10 09:28:15

And that's in England - no battles, either.

brassband Sat 18-Sep-10 15:23:46

In our area we get a lot of American kids whose families are stationed at a base near here.When they move to the area at Y1 age, they haven't been to school before so they are put into reception (but pushed along) and then skip Y1

Look at the new School Admissions Code. There is the possibility to be more flexible including starting at January and April, although you would need to think how that might impact on making friends and the social stuff that starts in Sept.

MollieO Sat 18-Sep-10 16:03:00

I would be guided by what the nursery think. Ds was only 7 weeks early but had developmental delays related to his gross motor skills and problems with his lungs. He was due in August but arrived in June so it didn't affect the school year he would have been in. Nursery reckoned he was ready for school and that largely has been correct. He has some memory issues related to being prem but his school are dealing with this with extra support (not likely to be long term issues).

He wasn't potty trained during the day until he was 3.5 and not at night until 4.5. He had some major toilet issues in reception but his teachers dealt with this helpfully and sympathetically (had fecal incontinence for months).

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 18-Sep-10 18:53:43

We have a boy with SEN in our school who was very premature. Like your DD he was born in July but due in October.

His mum had a fight on her hands but she managed to get him held back in the Infants to repeat year 2 and he is now in year 4 where he would have been had he not been born early. He still has problems but is doing well and far more suited to the work of his classmates than if he had been kept in the year above.

He will now stay in the year below for the duration of his schooling.

It makes my blood boil that some education authorites are so inflexible with regard to keeping children back a year when they are clearly not ready for school.

Anenome Sat 18-Sep-10 21:32:56

A year is a very long time in childs development...when my DD was due to begin reception I was in a panic the whole summer but somehow, when it came time, she was fine!

On the other hand there was a little girl in DDD's year one class who had not attended any nursery at all and started aged 5...she slotted in perfectly!

Kids are very resilient...yu knwo your child better than anyone...if th time comes and you are not happy sending her to reception then you don't have to...by law you can wait till year 1.

You could teach her at home or find a good childminder with the skills to help her along in prep for school.

I used to panic so much about my DD doing everything as it was "supposed to be" but now I am more relaxed...I have seen new kids come to her school and fit right in....I think they're very flexible until they get to 10 or 11.

allbie Sat 18-Sep-10 22:09:28

They're still flexible after 10/11yrs too.

fatfingers Sun 19-Sep-10 07:42:19

Thanks everyone. It is good to hear other people's experiences and to know that even if I fill in the forms for next September intake, it it not necessarily fixed in stone. I think it doesn't help that my dd1 was a winter baby and ready for school at least 6 months before she could go. Given that dd2 is a summer baby and prem born, I do my best not to compare or worry about her development but I would hate to think of her struggling at school. I guess I just need to go with the flow and see how things are next year.

Love2Dance Tue 08-Oct-13 12:44:54

Hello Fatfingers are you still there?

I know this is a dead post but I am in exactly the same situation as you were 3 years ago and was about to post when I saw this thread. My DS2 turned 3 in July but should have been born in September. He had IUGR so is very small and has developmental delay. He is having speech and language therapy. He therefore has two potential developmental/educational difficulties to cope with: his delay and the fact that he's a whole academic year ahead of where he should be.

How did your DD2 get on? In another mirroring of your situation my DS1 was a winter baby and does well at school. It is an independent school where they say that they push the children to do well. In other words, they are results based and the children are tested regularly. Fine for DS1, not so great for those who might struggle. The school are willing to defer but we haven't made our minds up yet. Would love to hear an update.

Love2Dance Tue 08-Oct-13 12:45:14


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