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Why cant children be held back?

(22 Posts)
salondon Thu 21-Aug-14 16:13:41

I have a question about progressing between grades/class years.

If a child is performing below expected level, why arent they expected to repeat a year?

What is the big fuss about them being in secondary at 11 and doing GCSEs at 16?

I did not study in this country and I probably am not looking at the right place, but I cant find any explanation for why 'holding back' a child isnt possible.

I understand the bit about the govt having to fund 4-16 yrs education, but if my child reaches secondary at 16, you can stop funding their education, but atleast let my child learn everything at their pace..

What am I missing

Ineedmorepatience Thu 21-Aug-14 16:49:35

Actually they can be held back but it seems to be very rare.

I know of 2 Dc's with SN's who have been held back this academic year.

I think you need to find a HT who will fight your corner and who understands the logic of holding children back.

I feel the same as you and we did briefly consider asking for Dd3 to repeat yr 6. Having said that she has had the most horrendous yr so I am really glad we didnt.

babiki Thu 21-Aug-14 17:32:01

I am holding ds back, but had to file for Tribunal and fight for SS... SS takes children only from Year 1, so my solution was to keep him in preschool another year and homeschool the remaining hours (10 hours weekly).

zzzzz Thu 21-Aug-14 17:59:25

I did it with ds1 but it was a private school so more flexible. It was very positive for him.

autumnsmum Thu 21-Aug-14 19:47:53

I was told the reason my la won't do it is because of children hitting puberty before their classmates

tempe48 Fri 22-Aug-14 09:07:53

No, it's because it mucks up the statistics for GCSE results.

If a child is to be held back, get it written into their statement - to avoid problems in the future, when a school may try to get them to miss a year!

As for puberty, that's nonsense - one of my children went through it at 10 and another at 18! The answer to that kind of argument should be that LAs are not supposed to have blanket policies for SEN children. They are supposed to consider the needs of the individual.

Ask to see a copy of the policy (under the Freedom of Information Act) - because the chances are it does not exist. Even if it does, you can complain it is disability discrimination for failing to make a reasonable adjustment for your child. You can take a LA to the Disability Discrimination Tribunal.

salondon Fri 22-Aug-14 11:29:47

Yes I understand repeating a year but then they have to miss a year later..

I am talking about missing year's'

In my daughter's case, she is sept born, so technically she already got an extra year to catch up developmentally.

But she needs another year in nursery before she goes to reception and might need another year in reception before she goes to yr 1...

so by the time she is expected to be in secondary, she will probably only be performing at yr 3 level. Which honestly, I dont have a problem with. If she is learning, I'd rather go at her rate than at the 'systems' rate

Why dont kids have "exams" which they have to pass every year to be promoted to the next level?

And yes that puberty logic wouldnt fly too far. Kids on the ASD spectrum anyways go through puberty earlier than average

OneInEight Fri 22-Aug-14 12:25:16

I think you are missing the effects on a child's self esteem and social behaviour consequent on being held back a year. For totally different reasons I was held back a year in what is now Year 6 - I found it really difficult socially and the consequences lasted well into secondary. Maybe holding back one year early on has advantages but not if the child is going to have to miss a year later on. If you are going to keep repeating this then I think it would be really damaging and you would end up with a very isolated child. Whilst I can see moving them on before they are academically ready has problems too I do think retaining them might solve one problem only to create another.

soapboxqueen Fri 22-Aug-14 13:48:52

Keeping a child back a year can and does happen but in fairly limited circumstances. The most common being children who have additional needs where their maturity has not progressed with the other children. I have also taught children who were kept back so they could become accustomed to speaking and learning in English. I admit though that both are rare.

Generally speaking there is little point in keeping children behind as some would stay in the same year group for years. It's far too simplistic to say that a child is x months /years behind so they can repeat those years. Often some children are just learning at a slower rate so they would perpetually be taught with younger and younger peers as they slipped backwards through the year groups.

Then obviously there are issues to do with funding and league tables in secondary school.

In some specific cases being held back a year can be beneficial but for the most part it would be detrimental to a child's self esteem and counter productive in the long term.

salondon Fri 22-Aug-14 14:27:46

soapbox My daughter at the moment belongs to this group of kids who Often some children are just learning at a slower rate so they would perpetually be taught with younger and younger peers as they slipped backwards through the year groups.

So what is the point of her going to a year group where she has nothing in common with other kids?

I am trying to understand how to solve this problem for her

soapboxqueen Fri 22-Aug-14 14:37:23

Salondon do you mean you want her to stay behind because she is learning at a slower rate or you don't want her to because she will be without her friends?

tempe48 Fri 22-Aug-14 22:13:41

IMO, it may matter in mainstream, but not necessarily in special provision. For example, it would not matter holding a child back for a year in a language unit, because its a class of 10 children either Reception to Y2 in infants; or Y3 - Y6 in the Juniors. So, a child held back in Reception is still in the class of their friends, moving up to Y1.

In DD's last year in school, she was in a class of girls ranging from Y11 - Y14.

Coccousturia Mon 25-Aug-14 08:06:27

I have found (shamefully) in talking to some teachers that there might sometimes be a concerted effort to let someone move along, JUST so they do not have to worry about dealing with them anymore. I think that is outright dreadful but I do not know what I can do save for sending my kids to private school where you have more of a say.

soapboxqueen Mon 25-Aug-14 09:13:44

Coccousturia that may well be the case for some teachers however it would have very little impact on whether a child was held back or not. Class teachers have no say in whether a child is held back. They may be asked their opinion but it wouldn't really carry much weight. The very rare decision to hold a child back is made by people much further up the ladder.

All classes have children with sen, some have far more than others but they are always there so the teachers are still having to differentiate all that work whether one specific child is there or not.

Eliza22 Mon 25-Aug-14 20:48:12

My son is 13 and has ASD and OCD. He has missed 2/3 of this academic year. We have recently seen a specialist after insisting in a second opinion after he was discharged from autism services 4 years ago and is only seen by camhs, for the OCD. The specialist's report came back on Saturday and states categorically that ds has severe and significant impairment (despite good vocabulary) and ought to have had strategies in place and been under autism services and NEVER have been discharged.

There is no way school will allow him to repeat the year he has lost so, he goes into yr 9 with little confidence and vastly behind. It's a mainstream school with ASD unit attachment.

I feel we've been very, very let down.

They don't do it because they say that all schools, teachers and classrooms are for everybody and therefore they are expected to differentiate the curriculums on an individual basis. That is the purpose of the individual learning plan and the IEP.

Rarely it is allowed but usually only when it benefits the school/LA (for example to address infant class sizes without paying for another teacher). When this happens the child is expected to transition at the same time as peers so will miss/repeat a year at primary.

salondon Wed 27-Aug-14 13:08:50

So its all about £££

Teawaster Wed 27-Aug-14 14:30:41

But OP surely if a child has to be held back to access the curriculum continuously they are not in the correct setting. My DS is in mainstream but has a CA which enables him to keep up. A friends DS is in SS as there would be no way he could keep up in MS and would stay in Yr7 forever. However his year group in SS means nothing as groups are small and made up of children of various ages.
I think its sensible to keep children back for specific reasons such as having had a long period of illness but not keeping back because of longer term development problems . A child who is behind their peers at 4 by a year due to global delays is likely to be 2 years behind at 8 and 3 by 12

Vitalstatistix Wed 27-Aug-14 14:40:51

It does happen, sometimes. But you really have to make a good case! My youngest stayed in the same year at infants and has proceeded still in that year. He starts y9 in september, he would have been y10. We had a bit of a dance to do at secondary transition time but qe sorted it out. It would have been awful for him if he hadnt had the opportunity to change. He has progressed very well. They tried to tell us it doesnt happen, cant happen but in the end they couldnt argue with the reasons and evidence.
I think education is well overdue a thorough assessment. There is a lot that could be done better.

soapboxqueen Wed 27-Aug-14 16:02:20

I've never known children to not held back for financial reasons. The children needed the same level of support wherever they were so no benefit either way in that respect.

Generally there is resistance due to their not being any real benefit. There are limited times when it could be of use but not many.

ouryve Wed 27-Aug-14 21:54:03

Not just ££.

DS2 is in mainstream with heavy support. If he was held back to be with kids of similar ability, he'd still be in nursery. He's 8. As it is, whilst he has little in common cognitively with his age peers, they're mature enough to understand his innate loud bounciness and to learn to communicate with him in a manner accessible to him, unlike kids half his age, who tend to be terrified of him.

He was held back, way back in year 1, but quickly reinstated with his peer group when it was clear that he actually needed a quieter, more structured environment, rather than the relative free for all that was nursery. it also did him no good, socially, as it took him so long to form relationships that he showed no sign of bonding with his new, younger, class. The idea of holding him back at the start of KS2 was mooted, but quickly knocked on the head when I reminded the SENCO of the affect the previous attempt had on him, socially.

Saracen Mon 01-Sep-14 00:57:22

While searching for something entirely different, I've just bumbled across a document from Herefordshire LA (from 2008, I think) which explains their thinking on the subject in some detail. Thought it might interest you folks:

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