Hello - am asking on behalf of a friend's sister. Her ds will be 5 in August and is the youngest - and smallest - in his class. He is really struggling at school and his mum wants to keep him in reception for another year. Whilst the teacher and headteacher agree that this would be the best way forward, they say that due to fact it is not education policy it can't be done. Can anyone offer any advice, the family are very concerned. Thanks.
It is unusual but so long as the school is run by the LEA then they must abide by the LEA's policies. My ds will not be 5 until mid july and due to the problems he had at school I was forced to remove him and put him back in preschool. This action was recommended by both the LEA and the ed psych. I then had to make an application for him to be backyeared so that he can start reception again in sept - but it will be at a different school.
If your friend is really concerned I recommend that she contacts the LEA herself to find out whether they would consider an application for back yearing in her ds case. My ds had quite serious problems in school and these resulted in him being excluded 3 times. Due to the amount of time he had missed from school and the agressive nature of his difficulties it was clearly in his best interest to be allowed to start school again from the beginning.
It may be that in your friends case that although her ds is struggling being so young that his problems are not serious enough to warrent being held back a year. My mum is a primary school teacher and she says its really common for the young ones to struggle in reception but that they usually catch up by the time they go into year 2.
My dd is one of the youngest in her class and I would say she struggled in reception and year 1 and my dh and I seriously thought she could do with repeating reception, but since going into Year 2 she has really blossomed and has caught up with her peers. She can now read new text fluently and I used to despair that she would never be able to read.
Something they may need to be aware of is that many LEAs insist on a child moving up to secondary school with their peer group. If that happens then your friend's ds may well end up having to go straight from Yr5 (if he stays back a year) to Yr7. It's definitely wise to discuss this with the LEA before deciding what to do next.