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Implications of going out of year in private sector - long, sorry...

(20 Posts)
Ruggles Fri 07-Feb-14 12:45:14


Our DS2 has a speech delay and is not four until mid August. He is in a nursery at a private pre-prep/prep and due to move up to Reception in September. His delay is in expressive speech - he has no trouble understanding what is going on. We have been doing quite intensive speech therapy (arranged through school) and his therapist has suggested holding him back and giving him more time to develop his language. He is wonderful and fairly self assured but clams up if he feels uncomfortable. We can follow his speech, but sometimes have problems if its out of context. People who are not used to him or 'tuned' in can find it quite difficult to follow.

We've had a couple of meetings with school and they have suggested that he starts in September, but repeats Reception if he is still behind at the end of the year. We're quite happy to hold him back now. He needs the support now and we feel that the risks of pushing him now are greater than holidng off for a year. Plus, friendship groups will be made in Reception and I can't imagine it being easy to see your friends move up without you.

Have any of you done this? Do you know of any negative consequences further down the line? Would it be a problem with admissions to public/senior school? I have read that some sports can be difficult, but keep reading different things.

Any experience or advice really appreciated. TIA smile

TalkinPeace Fri 07-Feb-14 13:07:42

If he's August, and you can afford the extra year's fees, he'll probably be happy in the lower year group right through : he's only two weeks older than the oldest in the correct year after all

mary21 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:20:56

My OH and my nephew were held back at the end of reception and both found it distressing. Neither understood why. Conversly friends dd was held back in yearv 5 and no problems. At this age she was completely aware of why and had friends in the year below. These all had different disabilities. Also bear in mind different children are different. My DS1. July birthday had difficulty with nursery as had very poor play skills, loved reception as way more structured. i remembber commenting age 6 he was now ready for nursery as his imaginative play had started to kick in.
I think an important question is will you be remaining in the private sector throughout. Family disasters do happen. If you do them hopefully it wont be a problem. If you may need to move to state bear in mind it is extreemly rare for a child to be educated outside there year group unless they have a statement. plenty of statemented children are back yeared, usually in nursery. I am aware from the Tinsley house thread your children do have a degree of special needs. Will they be able to remain in the independent sector. hard to know as pre schoolers. Further up the school system many schools massage out those who wont make independent senoir schools. Something to be aware of . There are some excellent special needs independent schools but many are outrageously expensive and as a result virtually all the pupils have statements and are funded by the LEA's.

EyeoftheStorm Fri 07-Feb-14 18:00:52

DS2 was premature July baby who should have been born in September. He has low muscle tone, affecting his physical development, and some sensory issues. He should have started reception last September, but he wasn't ready.

Our older DCs were at a very good state school and we tried very hard to persuade the LEA to let us delay his reception year. The school were very supportive, but the LEA were inflexible.

We've moved everybody to a private school where DS2 can have an extra year of nursery. One of the important things was that the school went from 3-18. We know we can't move back into the state sector now. I really wanted him to have an extra year at nursery, not a repeat of reception. He has no idea now that he's any different to the other children, but it might be different at the end of reception.

I can't be positive that doing all this won't throw up any future problems with sport/secondary school etc but I feel this is the important year - a year of OT, working on coping with the sensory stuff - and the other bridges we'll cross when we come to them.

You know your DS best. I feel DS2 will not catch up physically, but that the extra year will put him in the mix rather than always struggling to keep up.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 07-Feb-14 18:15:00

My ds, mid August birthday, Asperger's Syndrome, very immature but no speech or developmental delay, did half days all through reception at a state village primary.

Applied for and received his Statement of SEN which stated that he be allowed to repeat reception year and, crucially, continue to remain out of year group.

In year 4 we had to check with the local state schools if they would take him a year 'late' into secondary. They all said yes. (Only issue being if he wanted to sit 11+, he would have needed a higher mark to pass! as would be older than the next oldest child.)

In the end, he's gone to the local independent school where they, of course, have happily taken him out of year.

It's been the best decision we've ever made for him, alongside his carefully chosen primary and secondary schools. He is happy, has lots of friends (the closest of whom he is only two weeks older than) and is sitting near the top of most of his classes.

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Feb-14 18:36:39

At my DDs independent schools, a few girls were in the wrong year. Mainly ones with English as a second language. There were one or two at prep school too. If the child is happy to accept they are a year down, then I would do it. The earlier the better. It is pretty common in independent schools, even Harrow by the way, but normally requires a statement in state schools. It can be difficult to negotiate.

However, the bigger problems can come at the other end when they will be 18 and nearly 19 in the uppper 6th form. They feel too old for school and know everyone else their age has left! We have seen a few behaviour issues as a result.

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Feb-14 18:45:49

There are quite a few DC out of their year group in one direction or the other in DC's (independent prep/preprep) school. DS is one of them but in the opposite direction. Some have repeated or skipped nursery, others a later year.

The only real challenge (apart from needing to negotiate when they change schools, obviously) is sports, where they do have to accept that they play with their age group, not their year group, but the school is small enough and the moving of DC common enough that they just accept that as part of life.

However, you need to know how your school will deal with it throughout DS2's time there, and be confident that they have a workable plan.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 07-Feb-14 19:05:23

Sounds like having a distinctly non-sporty child has its advantages :-)

Ruggles Sat 08-Feb-14 10:15:27

Thank you for all your thoughtful replies smile

Fortunately we can afford the fees and we are planning to stay in the private sector the whole way through.

Mary – really interesting about your OH and nephew – that is my worry, that it is difficult to explain, but they are aware and just don’t understand or like it. I am fairly confident that we will be able to remain in the independent sector as we have already saved for the fees and DS is thriving in Reception. (He had a really difficult year in his old Nursery and we started the Tinsley House programme which has been a real success – fingers crossed, his problems seem to be behind him and school are really pleased with how he is doing)

Thank you Eye of the storm – although they have different issues, your situation seems similar. I am not convinced that DS speech will be perfect in a year, but it will ‘put him in the mix’ rather than seeming way behind. I like your reasoning - this is an important year and of crossing other bridges as you come to them.

Hmm – thanks for telling me about your DS – I found his story very reassuring and I suppose, what I hope for DS. Did his statement give him any other support?

Stealth – I’ve not come across a dc going up a year. Was he getting frustrated or just very ready? I think you’re right about size of school and how our schools will view it.

You’ve all given me lots to think about. I’m going to call the admissions office of a few possible destination schools and see what they say. Does anyone know if it affects Common Entrance? Thank you!

stealthsquiggle Sat 08-Feb-14 11:51:40

Hope the discussions with school go well, OP. Hopefully you are armed with more questions now. I don't know the answer on 13+,but the only things I have seen are minimum age limits IYSWIM.

FWIW, DS was moved up from nursery class to reception (before EYFS was in place so there was more of a divide between the two than there would be now) because the school felt that physically, academically and socially he would fit better in the older group. Since his self selected peer group at daycare nursery had always been older than him, it made sense, and we knew we could always move him back if we needed to. He is in Y7 now and still thriving with the older group (but will do Y8 twice as we don't want him being the baby of the year in senior school)

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 08-Feb-14 12:18:58

Yes, ds gets 15 hours of support to enable him to stay focussed and organised (and free of anxiety as much as possible) in order to access top set learning in the core subjects plus MFL, which is where his natural ability places him. County pay for statemented hours; we pay fees.

The important thing about the statement (although they are changing the system soon) is that it would, for example, enable him to access further years of education, if needed, such as a three year KS5, whereas normally you can only stay on until 19.

It's more difficult to get a statement (or new equivalent) from within the private sector (and pretty difficult to transfer one to the private sector, but we had a good case as provision for HFA is really poor in our area) but might be worth pursuing this avenue as fees plus support if required can really add up, and there are other things you can get specified which otherwise schools can say they're going to do and don't.

I don't know about CE and whether he would be fine to transfer later but just need a higher score, as with the 11+, but one thing I would say is don't write off non-selective secondaries. We couldn't be more happy with the all-round provision at ds's school; the pastoral care is fantastic and the top sets are still achieving equal to or above the children in the local state selective schools (I work in one).

OnGoldenPond Sat 08-Feb-14 12:31:17

DS's friend was moved down a year when in unrest due to hearing issues. He is now yr 7 at prep and his mum had quite a few problems finding selective senior schools at 13+ who would take a DS who has gone down a year. I remember KCS was one who refused, he now has a place at Westminster.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 08-Feb-14 12:33:35

A place at Westminster despite being out of year? Quick, tell Statesmom how! (Sorry, naughty cross-thread referencing...)

OnGoldenPond Sat 08-Feb-14 12:35:12

Unrest???? I meant nursery!

OnGoldenPond Sat 08-Feb-14 12:41:42

Ha ha yes, statesmom would be horrified to know that they accept any DCs with any ishoos

The boy in question is not the stereotypical over tutored overachiever either, not in top sets for everything but clearly very bright with a very quirky, original way of thinking. Westminster do seem to like those kind of unconventional boys who are not welcomed at others such as KCS.

Is THAT thread still going. Maybe I should post this just to wind up States !

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 08-Feb-14 13:06:01


OnGoldenPond Sat 08-Feb-14 14:16:58

Posted - waiting for the proverbial to hit the fan!

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 08-Feb-14 14:20:48


Ruggles Mon 10-Feb-14 12:18:01

Thanks - I am now armed with tons of questions and going to call a selection of our future / possible schools and see what they say too.

Stealth - good luck for your son!

Hmm - very interesting about the mix of statement and private fees. I am going to ask our Head and SALT about a statement and see what they say (no doubt wait and see... I think I need more patience...) We certainly won't write off non-selective schools. It's one of the (many) reasons we are interested in boarding. All of our local schools are quite competitive / selective. I agree that the pastoral care / whole experience can be better. Many moons ago, I used to teach in a selective senior school and as a result, I am very interested in the overall picture!

OnGoldenPond - that made me laugh!! I am sure she is fake. grin grin

EyeoftheStorm Mon 10-Feb-14 13:18:44

We visited 2 private schools for DS2 - both had been described to us as warm, nurturing and caring. The first one could not have been clearer in their desire for round pegs only. It was an easy decision to discount it.

The second was non-selective and was really open. We are having a great experience so far. They get DS2 and understand what we're aiming for.

Interestingly, it was small things that revealed so much about their attitude. The young lad who showed us around referred to the learning support room as the place you go when you've got a hole in your knowledge. I don't know if DS2 will even need it, but not a big deal to anyone if he does.

Hope you find a school which suits your DS.

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