Advanced search

Delaying when child starts primary school

(10 Posts)
VikingChallenger Wed 11-Jan-17 13:58:37

Dd is August born and I've been advised by colleagues and friends to do our best in sending her to primary after she turns 5 rather than 4.

I know I've heard at some point last year that rules are being relaxed with regards to the delaying process but I obviously have no experience of this.
According to this delaying is possible and it doesn't sound that complicated. However, I remember reading on mumsnet years ago that it is a very difficult process and local authorities stance on it is rather discouraging.

Has anything changed, anyone done this recently?

VikingChallenger Wed 11-Jan-17 19:38:31


meditrina Wed 11-Jan-17 19:46:54

The rules aren't being related as such.

It has always been legal to place a pupil in a year group other than their expected cohort.

All that changed is that councils are not permitted to have a blanket ban on such placements. All cases must be individually considered. But they do not have to be granted.

Practice between LEAs varies considerably. You'll need to find out what practice yours has adopted

VikingChallenger Wed 11-Jan-17 22:41:39

Thank you meditrina, I'll give them a ring tomorrow. So far the only school I've contact d has informed me they have not done this for any pupil in recent years and that I should speak to the head.

katienana Wed 11-Jan-17 22:46:00

Are you doing this because people say you should or because is best for your dd? You know your child best, if she has settled at nursery and going to a primary school you have confidence in then she will more than likely be fine. My nephew is August born and in year 1 now and has coped really well. It's not always a disaster!

prh47bridge Thu 12-Jan-17 00:32:47

As Meditrina says, the LA is not allowed to have a blanket policy. They must look at each case individually. However, most will only permit your daughter to start Reception a year late if there is evidence of delayed development.

If the LA won't agree to her starting in Reception a year late you can still delay her start for a year as she doesn't have to start until the start of term following her fifth birthday, but she will be going straight into Y1, missing out Reception completely. Most schools will already be full so you will have a very limited choice of schools and will probably end up with a place at an unpopular school which may be some distance from home.

Even if the LA does agree to your daughter starting Reception a year late, it isn't necessarily all plain sailing after that. Many secondary schools will insist on her joining the "correct" year group for her age, so she may end up missing Y6 or Y7.

If delaying is the right thing for your daughter then you should go ahead and see if the LA and school will agree. But you need to be aware of the potential problems. I certainly wouldn't go down this path if the only reason you are doing it is that people say you should.

VikingChallenger Thu 12-Jan-17 12:08:53

My daughter is 1 year old, I'm basically thinking long ahead. so far she is developing well and I have no reasons to worry.
I'm not doing this because people are telling me to, I must've worded my op wrongly. This has been brought to my attention by others because I am not familiar with the English school system so it's all new to me. Since I was made aware of the issue I have looked into it closer and have seen research says the current set up is not beneficial for those borne in August as some will fall a year behind compared to their peers.
1 year, even 6 months make a huge difference into a child's development and we all want our best for our children.
I have started school at 7 (different educational system) and I am of the opinion that 4 is so early, they're still so little.

I can only hope that things will change in the next couple of years, otherwise we'll have to go with the flow.

Thank you all

DoingTheSwanThing Thu 12-Jan-17 12:17:01

I've done this with my youngest two - twins, born early Aug, due early sept so would have been in next academic year if born at term. Little girl has/had some developmental delays. We spoke with intended school (where our eldest is youngest in his year, and in our opinion has suffered because of this), who were happy to support. Because place hadn't been allocated we communicated directly with the LEA in writing, explaining our reasoning and giving supporting letter from nursery key worker and sent hospital letters/SALT assessments etc.
They're 4 now and will start reception this sept - I did it slightly wrong in that actually was supposed to apply for a place last year and then defer, but it still worked out fine.
Good luck!

mimbleandlittlemy Thu 12-Jan-17 12:58:42

It's not always necessary - two of the brightest kids in my ds's Reception class had birthdays of 27th and 30th August respectively and both were fine, to be honest, and a lot of the younger in the year ones (June/July types) were the most upfront and up there kids. It's not always a case that they will struggle, though I totally accept some do.

prh47bridge Thu 12-Jan-17 13:19:28

have seen research says the current set up is not beneficial for those borne in August as some will fall a year behind compared to their peers

I would say that the research is inconclusive.

It is certainly the case that, in general, autumn-born children outperform summer-born children in tests. Those differences tend to become smaller as the children get older but they don't disappear completely.

It is not the case that summer-born children who enter Reception at the age of 4 fall behind summer-born children who delay entry. Indeed, the limited research available (a study in Scotland where parents have more flexibility) suggests that the reverse is true - summer-born children who delay entry by a year fall behind their peers who entered at the normal age. I would caution, however, that this is only one study. More research is needed.

Some research suggests that most, if not all, of the difference in performance between summer-born children and autumn-born children is simply down to age and the difference disappears if we use age-standardised test scores. Age-standardised scores are widely used in education to overcome the problem of differences in age within a year group. However, that doesn't help when we get to exams such as GCSEs and A-levels where people want to know the absolute standard the pupil has reached rather than the age-adjusted standard.

I'm afraid there are no easy answers.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: