Delaying admissions for summer born children - info from DfE

(26 Posts)

Hello, I know this topic comes up periodically - I've been trawling the Department for Education websites for something tedious to do with work but came across this:

DfE Myths and Facts

specifically on page 6;

Myth: Where the parent of a summer born child wishes to defer their entry to school until they reach compulsory school age, they must be admitted to Year 1 rather than Reception.

Fact: Schools must provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday, but parents may defer their entry until the point at which they reach compulsory age - the start of the term following their fifth birthday. This means that summer born children reach compulsory school age a full school year after the point at which they could first be admitted. However, there is no requirement as to the year group they should be admitted to. The headteacher and admission authority can decide whether to admit them to Reception or Year 1 depending on the circumstances of the case.

I thought I'd post it as it differs from my understanding of the situation, largely based on discussions on here.

lljkk Netherlands Mon 08-Apr-13 16:19:45

I wonder if it's harder to get Reception entry for the later starters IF they have also had an extra year of funded preschool in same LEA.

mrz Mon 08-Apr-13 16:49:34

http://www.bliss.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Deferring-or-Delaying-School-Entry-resource-pack-Jan-FP-Update-2012.pdf

Deferred entry and Delayed entry are two different things. Deferred entry is pretty straightforward, the parent requests that the child is admitted into the class with their peers in the correct school year - usually for a summer birthday the child would start school in the summer term of reception.
For a delayed entry the procedure is more complex as in the example below.

"Where a parent wishes to defer entry to September 2015 but enter in the Reception class, out of the child’s chronological cohort, a fresh application must be made under the Co-ordinated Primary Admissions Scheme for that year of entry.
This is called delayed entry. Such an application must be supported in writing by an educational, medical or social care professional independent of the family, demonstrating a serious detriment to the child if he or she were not to be admitted into Reception in September 2015. For there to be a detriment to a child by being admitted into his or her chronological Year Group, the LA would expect very exceptional circumstances to be demonstrated."

tiggytape Mon 08-Apr-13 17:17:29

This has been discussed a lot here.
Yes there is discretion for a child to be put 'in the year below' but parental preference is only a tiny part of that equation. In fact, it is only done if it is considered in the child's best interests and starting from the premise that all but the severest and most specific learning difficulties can be accommodated with extra support in the 'correct year group' It is true discretion exists. It is hugely misleading to suggest it applies to anything other than a tiny % of children.

There is nothing wrong with parents being made aware that they have the right to delay entry into reception class until some later point in the reception year
There is nothing wrong with telling parents that in some very rare cases children can be held back a year entirely

BUT please be careful posting things that may lead the parents of a Summer born child to delay applying for schools or not turn up at any point in reception assuming they can have a reception place a year late. Because they mustn't delay and can't just decide to stary back a whole year.
As mrz says it will cause a lot of misery to anyone who wrongly assumes this because they will have lose their reception place, almost inevitably not qualify to be held back a year but then face having to reapply for Year 1 places when none will be left for them.

prh47bridge Mon 08-Apr-13 18:00:04

Agree with Tiggytape.

It is true that the head and admission authority can decide whether a child is admitted to Reception or Y1. Note, however, that there is no mention of the parents in that sentence. It is not their choice. In the vast majority of cases the head and the admission authority will decide that the child should go straight into Y1.

admission Mon 08-Apr-13 19:44:56

One point that is also being missed here is that for the vast majority of schools the infant class size regs are in place, that is there are classes of 30. When a child does not turn up or does not take up the place in reception the place will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. Then when the parent tries to get their child into year 1, the class will have 30, the infant class size regs will be in operation and the chances of winning at appeal are near zero.
Please do not reject any school place offered, defer but do not reject or delay entry.

meditrina Mon 08-Apr-13 19:50:18

I'd heard that the only time a parent can count on having a child out of year I'd when they have multiples born either side of midnight of the cut off date (ie vanishingly rare).

Just because a child can be placed out of year, it does not follow that they must be on request. Indeed, given the fight that parents of SEN children have, it would be rash indeed to rely on the departmental statement. You need to discover the precise terms of the policy in your LEA and particular school.

Fair enough, I appreciate the clarifications.

Dozer Mon 08-Apr-13 20:10:59

This is a common government line: that flexibility exists and can be applied at local level. Thus passing the buck.

There is nothing stopping local authorities or schools that are their own admissions authorities from offering flexibility, but most won't and don't do so.

Change generally only happens when it is mandated by central government. This was done with the requirement for schools to offer FT from the start of reception to all summer-born children in England, and to require schools to offer some parents choice of delayed entry in Scotland.

Talkinpeace Mon 08-Apr-13 20:43:08

In every class of children, one will be oldest and one will be youngest.
If the cutoff was March 15th there would no longer be an issue with August babies, but March Mums would be having kittens.
The point is that with supportive parents and teachers the differences fade away over time.

BlackeyedSusan England Mon 08-Apr-13 23:05:26

there are always going to some children born on the first, or last day of the school year. sometimes it works in the childs favour, sometimes against.

TomDudgeon Mon 08-Apr-13 23:16:29

I was allowed to hold dd back (we didn't in the end) the la told me it was down to the ht's discretion. The ht agreed that in dd's case that it was ok to hold her back. She was due end of October and born beginning of August.
We didn't in the end as she needed to move up with her peers, socially and emotionally she was ready. Academically we have since discovered she wasn't really but we have actually moved and she's in a class of infants (small school) so it doesn't really make much difference.

thermalsinapril Tue 09-Apr-13 00:04:27

Agree with Talkinpeace

Bonsoir Tue 09-Apr-13 08:09:11

As Talkinpeace so rightly points out, there is always an oldest and a youngest child in any year group, whatever the admissions dates. My DD is a mid-November baby in the French system - that makes her the equivalent of a summer-born in England, because children are grouped according to the calendar year in France (these days -in the past, they were grouped October to October... these things can change).

IMVHO, it is best not to take a decision to defer/delay entry to Reception but rather wait and see whether a child manages or not before placing him/her out of year.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Belgium Tue 09-Apr-13 08:20:45

You say they fade away "over time" TalkinPeace. But differences are still visible in university admissions. I guess we need to do a study restricted to children of supportive parents in decent schools and see whether the well-parented September children still outperform well-parented August children in order to test your assertion.

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Apr-13 09:32:02

university admissions over the last ten years do NOT reflect what is going on in schools today.

and there will ALWAYS be somebody who is youngest in any cohort

mrz Tue 09-Apr-13 09:58:07

Traditionally summer born children had 2 terms less time in reception so were playing catch up with their older peers from their first day in school. Most of the older children who started in September would already be reading and writing and ready for the next step when the summer children arrived with just time to settle in before the long summer break

prh47bridge Tue 09-Apr-13 10:52:02

What Mrz says is very true.

Prior to 2010 many schools would not accept summer born children until January or April. The current situation with all children able to start Reception in the September following their 4th birthday came about following the Rose Report. This specifically rejected the option of allowing parents to put their children into Reception a year late. Their study of the available evidence led them to believe that delaying or deferring entry is usually not in the child's best interests, although they did recommend that parents should be allowed to defer entry until later in the academic year.

There is more flexibility in Scotland which allows us to study the effect of deferring or delaying entry. I am only aware of one study. This found that children entering P1 (the first year of primary school) a year late through parental choice were performing at the same level as their contemporaries in P2 on entry. However, by the end of P3 they had fallen behind. Of course, I wouldn't regard a single study as conclusive and in any case this study tells us nothing about the performance of these children beyond P2.

prh47bridge Tue 09-Apr-13 10:53:05

Also agree with Talkinpeace, by the way.

Dozer Tue 09-Apr-13 13:23:15

It completely misses the point to say that "someone will always be youngest". The point is that in england children already start school very young, and some are only just four. This is not the case elsewhere, so the youngest are older Than in england and therefore less disadvantaged by their age / being youngest than here.

There is good evidence of disadvantage in academic terms, right up to university, even with good parental support etc.

The point about 4.0 years being too young to start reception is set out clearly by scottish government information on the rationale for their flexible policy. In their opinion, every child should be at least 4.5 years old before starting in the equivalent of reception. So the youngest there and in europe shouldn't be presented as the same thing as 4.0 year olds.

tiggytape Tue 09-Apr-13 13:28:45

A child in England needn't start school at 4.0
They are allowed to defer until 4.5 or even a bit later. But parents also have the right not to defer and to send their August born child to school a month later if they wish to.
The class they start at 4.0 also bears little resemblance to the types of first classes that European join at a later age. Reception in England is play based.

tiggytape Tue 09-Apr-13 13:29:15

A month later than their 4th birthday not their actual day of birth of course!

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Apr-13 13:33:14

Children in England start "school" earlier than elsewhere in Europe and the USA
because elsewhere it is called "nursery"

but children are in full time childcare from around the age of 3 all over the developed world - the USA does not even have Maternity leave after all ...

the british state school day is a darn sight shorter than the nursery hours that many kids experience all over the world

the whole August lag thing is based on OUT OF DATE statistics : because those University students started school over 15 years ago.

mrz Tue 09-Apr-13 13:44:35

Dozer the evidence is that although children in England start school earlier that start is much gentler than it is in many other countries. Lots of parents on MN who are living abroad report their children have longer more formal days in the equivalent to nursery

thermalsinapril Tue 09-Apr-13 14:14:21

Well said Talkinpeace and mrz. Children do start a similar type of learning at a similar age in other countries, it just has a different name.

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