Webchat with Tristram Hunt, Labour education shadow, MONDAY 27 April at 12 midday ×

June babies - Requesting DS starts school at nearly 5yrs.

(32 Posts)
misshoohaa Thu 02-Jan-14 13:04:13

We are just wading into the schooling decisions for DS, and would like to consider the option for him to start at closer to 5yrs rather than 4yr. Being a June baby we have seen the evidence surrounding the difficulty some children have when sent to school younger and would like the option to start him later.

He will be 4 in June 2015 but we would like to send him in either summer term 2016 or Autumn term 2016, but I am unsure what class he will go into? Assuming if we send him in June 2016 (when he will be just 5) will he go into reception for 1 term, then move up to year 1? And assuming if he goes in September 2016 he will skip reception and go into Year 1?

I'm Australian, and the education system there allows you to simply hold you child back if you don't feel they are ready which seems to make more sense! I'd like him to have the reception transition as I think the play based learning would be hugely beneficial, so in an ideal world he'd start reception in September 2016 but alas it doesn't seem that's an option.

He has no SEN (that we are aware of) but I can see a lot of merit starting school a bit later, and sending him to school at 4yrs old is just too young in my opinion.

Saracen Sun 05-Jan-14 00:23:15

Hi Christelle, this could be a good starting point:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/182664/DFE-RR017.pdf

Helspopje Sun 05-Jan-14 20:33:01

Tiggy - not necessarily true.
You can apply to the LEA for delayed/decellerated start in reception in 2016. They might not approve it though.

tiggytape Sun 05-Jan-14 22:23:28

Helspopje - that is true but I was talking about automatic parental rights. A parent has the right to decide that their June baby won't enter reception class until January or Easter or summer and the school have no power to influence this decision. It is totally up to the parents to decide (but they still have to apply for a place at the normal time).

However parents have no right to insist their child starts reception a year later than the norm.

They have the right to apply but - unless they can provide overwhelmingly strong and professional evidence that this delay is absolutely necessary - they will be declined.
And even with evidence, many LAs still won't allow it and will just pay for 1:1 support in the correct year group instead.

It isn't so much a case that the LA "might not approve it" but more a case of being absolutely certain they will not approve it in anything other than truly exceptional circumstances so for most families it is no option at all. It is done on a case by case basis but always requires strong professional evidence of need not just parental desire for a later start.

IsItSummerYet Sun 05-Jan-14 22:35:50

What about part time attendance at school? My June born DD started in September and despite some resistance from school does 4 days a week. This has worked out fabulously for all concerned.

I had many of the same worries as you but did not want her to miss out on all of the vital learning that goes on in the reception year. By learning I mean the social side. Missing one day is no big deal in terms of 'missing out' either academically or socially. She understands that because she is younger she can have an extra day of family time. The school are happy now it's in place and if anything encourage the fact my DD has family who want to spend that extra day with her.

The summer born issue is a very emotive subject but I feel we have found the best compromise.

jwpetal Mon 06-Jan-14 12:24:11

Hi. You can delay and request a reception start. the Department of Education is currently monitoring the situation as they put to all LEA's guidelines to follow. However many LEA's are not using this and one council has been deemed to be acting illegally by saying you must go into year 1. It is up to the parent to push the LEA. It is not easy - though it should be easier.

Yes, you can Defer which is to enter into the same class group but later in the year. This is your right and schools cannot stop this.

I know, I successfully did this. This is a big decision and is not right for every child or for every family. We had specific reasons to do so. Do a search on facebook or yahoo groups and you will find a lot of information.

AuntieStella Mon 06-Jan-14 12:32:58

It has always been legal to place a pupil outside age cohort.

The recent publicity has been about a reminder that it is not legal to have a policy which says there will never be cases in which this is done.

Parents making this request should have their case considered individually, but should have no expectation that it will be granted other than in exceptional circumstances.

tiggytape Mon 06-Jan-14 13:19:32

As Auntie Stella says, it is illegal for councils to have a blanket policy that says they will never allow a child in to go into reception instead of year 1. By law they must consider each case individually. They can't just say "no" without even looking at the parent's reasons.

However that is a world away from saying they must allow it.
They don't have to allow it at all and they won't allow it except in very exceptional circumstances (usually where parents get several experts to agree that it is essential and no amount of 1:1 support will do instead).

Delaying the start date for a few months though is no problem and is a parent's right. As long as they aren't trying to change which year group the child ends up in, the child certainly doesn't have to go to fulltime school a few weeks after turning 4.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now