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Summerborn - delay/defer start of school - please talk to me!

(49 Posts)
OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 11:12:20

Hello all. I would love to hear from anyone planning to delay or defer their summerborn child this year, or anyone who has done this before.

DH and I are coming to the conclusion that we will delay our DS.

Please talk to me! I want to hear what made you decide to do this. And if you have delayed/deferred previously, what did you do with your child for the year they were not in school? Any advice?

I am finding this decision agonising. Would love to hear from you. Thank you.

chantico Wed 19-Apr-17 16:46:23

First thing is : are you sure you will be able to defer?

Are you looking in the state sector? Do you have any particular concerns about your DS's development?

Sorry to sound as if that's a bit of an interrogation to start with. But unless we know something of why you feel you need to do this, it's a bit difficult to find people who've been in the same boat.

Usually, a deferred DC would stay in nursery (if developmentally ready) or at home until the chosen state date.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 17:38:51

Admissions guidance says parents can delay; someone's successfully delayed in our school before. I think the council as admissions authority have to let me delay, unless they can find a good reason not to.

I think my DS is not ready for school; I have lots of detailed reasons to back this gut instinct (and I have read the research on both sides) but ultimately it comes down to knowing him as DH and I do.

meditrina Wed 19-Apr-17 17:45:15

"I think the council as admissions authority have to let me delay, unless they can find a good reason not to."

If that's your council's stated policy, then you should be able to.

But councils do not have to have that policy. They are not allowed to have a blanket policy to disallow it (it's always been permissible, btw) and must consider each case individually. But there is no expectation or precedent from any law/regulation/ruling that requests must be granted.

Have you got a reception offer in this round? Do you definitely want to go a whole year after, or are you also considering deferring to a later start in this school year (which is a right)?

soapboxqueen Wed 19-Apr-17 17:49:55

If you are talking about delayed entry as in going into reception a year late, Afaik they have to consider your request. They cannot have a blanket ban but you don't have a right to do it.

Usually it is still reserved for premature babies and children with SN. Though different LEA will have slightly different policies and acceptance rates.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 18:03:33

meditrina - that's a good question. I don't see how starting with his cohort but later in the year would really help, tho - it would surely just put him further behind? And what happens when he's at the same whole-year-younger disadvantage in year 2, or at GCSE etc?

Do you have experience of this?

soapboxqueen Wed 19-Apr-17 18:11:31

If a child is deferred entry and enters a year late at reception, that will be honoured through that school. However secondary schools don't have to honour it and can demand entry into year 8 rather than 7. I've not known any to do it but then all of the children I know who were out of year, were so because of sn.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 18:21:18

Are you a teacher, soapbox, if you don't mind me asking?

soapboxqueen Wed 19-Apr-17 18:23:05

Yes but I've been out for a couple of years now.

MrsJamesMathews Wed 19-Apr-17 18:23:54

For one reason and another my DD started the reception year in the summer term, just after her 5th birthday.

She was bright and reading way before this but I didn't feel she was emotionally ready.

She's now flourishing in Year 2.

If she had been kept back (I know that's not the same as your situation as she's an Easter baby, not a summer baby) she would currently be bored and unchallenged in Year 1.

You are more than entitled to have the school hold your DCs place until the summer term.

During those first few years they grow so fast and can really change in the space of just a few months.

I know it's so difficult when you look at your little baby and think about them being at school so young, but holding them back a whole year is something that will impact them for the rest of their school lives. It's a very drastic and long term solution to a very simple short term problem.

DD settled in really well straight away that summer and it was most definitely the best thing for her. I would highly recommend it.

Starlighter Wed 19-Apr-17 18:25:01

I've got two summer babies. To be honest, I feel that deferring them hold them back unless they are really struggling and really not ready. Does your DS go to a nursery or preschool currently? If so, what's their opinion?

MrsJamesMathews Wed 19-Apr-17 18:25:58

The curriculum covered in reception is very easy to replicate at home. There are loads of free resources online to help with teaching him phonics and making sure if he joins reception late he's already reading and writing.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 18:34:03

MrsJamesMatthews - how did your DD catch up with the phonics and other reception teaching? Did the school offer any support while she was not in school? And what did you do with her (preschool etc) while she was not in school?

No-one else any experience of this?

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 18:35:17

PS - I am glad it worked out for your DD. Sounds like a good solution for you.

MrsJamesMathews Wed 19-Apr-17 18:47:49

To be honest OhGood it wasn't difficult because she'd already taught herself to read when she was in nursery.

But she was mostly reading by sight so I tried to keep on top of the phonics by downloading worksheets off the internet, doing craft relating to a new 'sound' each week. Stuff like that. I was really lame with it and we basically just lived an idyllic life at home playing role-play, going to the beach, building dens in the woods.

School gave me some pointers by telling me to keep her writing, keep reading, play with numicon. They were completely nonplussed and entirely confident she'd be fine. It was a bit of a non-event for them! This was a private school - I don't know if that made a difference.

Her writing (letter formation, not spelling) was noticeably not where it should have been but it wasn't a problem and she caught up by the end of Year 1.

MrsJamesMathews Wed 19-Apr-17 19:21:00

OhGood I found this website very useful. More material than we ever got through.

urbrainy.com

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 19:26:21

MrsJamesMathews That's very useful. Thank you.

And does sound idyllic! DH and I both work FT and would rely on the preschool to keep DS in phonics. I wish we could have some deal with the school/admission auth where we could judge this again at beginning of next year.

I desperately want to get this right for him.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 19:28:25

I see him struggling; wish I could have a quick time-travel into his future and know what's the right thing to do.

outputgap Wed 19-Apr-17 19:30:22

Hi op. I have a ds who is august born and will be starting reception a year later than he should. He will stay at his nursery.

His older sibling has special needs. He is a typical August boy, in that he isn't writing his name, he wants to play all the time. We don't have the spare resource as a family to make sure he keeps up with his peers if he were to be in reception from September.

So he'll be the oldest, rather than the youngest, in his year. It's completely right for him and us I think, and I'm chuffed that school and the LA were happy to do it.

I used the letter from the DoE minister (was it James Brokenshire?) to LAs that said although the Govt hadn't yet legislated, it's intention was to allow leeway in this area to back up my case. But I didn't really need to I think. I think it's very LA-dependent though.

outputgap Wed 19-Apr-17 19:32:11

Ooh, that should be its.

MrsJamesMathews Wed 19-Apr-17 19:42:41

It is really difficult, but honestly they often grow and change in the blink of an eye and one day just 'get it'.

My little ex-prem boy (should have been late May bday) didn't delay reception and to start with he showed no interest in picking up a pen, could barely write his own name and only liked to 'read' reference books about tractors.

Now he's loves to sit down at his desk and write himself some words, he asks every morning to read his school reading book and can use his phonics knowledge to write his thank you letters. He's far from top of the class but he is getting there and the transformation is remarkable.

The year they are 4-5 brings huge developmental changes. And the 3 year old you see now will bare almost no resemblance to the nearly 5yo he will become in 12 months time.

Most of what they learn in reception is social skills and the maturity to deal with the 'regime' of daily school life.

Delaying school for 6 months could make the world of difference and will soon be forgotten.

Zebrasinpyjamas Wed 19-Apr-17 19:48:31

If you are Facebook look up 'Flexible school admissions for summer borns'. Its a group that can help you navigate through the process and understand what your rights are. (it doesn't really cover whether you should defer until compulsory school age or not). They can also advise how supportive your local authority are at allowing you to follow this route.

OhGood Wed 19-Apr-17 19:49:05

I do know they change; I have DD who was also prem and should have been May, coincidentally. She coped not thrived for the first 2 years, but I always knew she would be OK. I don't think DS will.

Hi output. So in your decision, did you go with your gut instinct? How did you approach the school?

Chimes with me that we don't have the resource as a family to keep him up to speed.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Apr-17 20:01:06

Apologies if I am repeating things other people have said.

Reception is about learning through play and getting children ready for the more formal schooling that starts in Y1. It is much the same as nursery.

If your LA has a policy of complying with parental requests to defer entry for a full year they must stick to that policy. However, most don't have such a policy. You have the right to defer entry until later in the school year but it is up to the LA and the school whether or not you can defer for a full year. Most will only allow you to defer if there is evidence of delayed development.

As soapboxqueen says, secondary schools do not have to allow your son to remain in the "wrong" year group. Children who do defer entry to primary school for a full year can end up missing either Y6 or Y7.

Personally I would recommend delaying until later in the year rather than delaying for a full year.

Occadodo Wed 19-Apr-17 20:02:24

DS1 is now 9 and his birthday is 21st August! He has flourished at school.
His reading is way above average for his age and skyways has been.
He also has Aspergers and ADHD and coped!!!!
School is an amazing place where they can go at their own speed and flourish !!!
Make new friends and confidence grows.... it's usually parents worry and not the children's!

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