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If you apply for a primary school (for Sept 2012), 'just in case' is that being registered with a school?

(4 Posts)
carolinecordery Thu 25-Aug-11 14:57:32

Hi, my daughter's 3 and I'd like to home educate (or continue with what I'm already doing) but I don't know whether to apply for a local primary school as well (for Sept 2012), just in case she decides she wants to go to it when the time comes. The application would be put in by about Christmas this year.
My philosophy (I think), is 'let her do with her time as she chooses', so if she chooses school she should be allowed to try it. Is applying for a place the same as 'registering with a school', which will then have to be de-registered if we decide to HE, with more paperwork or hassle from local authority involved?
Is it a good idea to override a 4 year old's decision to go to school as not an informed choice in this case?
Thank you x

FionaJNicholson Thu 25-Aug-11 19:25:00

If you put your child's name down for a school before she is of compulsory school age, then as I understand it you can just tell the school that the place won't be required, as long as this is before the compulsory school age and as long as she hasn't already started attending the school (even before CSA) So you wouldn't formally have to "deregister" by telling the school that you were home educating instead. However, depending on where you were, the school and or the local authority might keep chasing you to find out what alternative arrangements you had made.

In answer to your second question, personally I think all sorts of decisions are up to the parent at that age. I would just say "this is the deal." (Although my son never for one second expressed a wish to go to school, so it's a bit hypothetical from here) Others might have different views, ranging from letting the child choose to pointing out all the negatives of school she might not have thought about (in the hope I guess that she would then opt for home ed)

carolinecordery Fri 26-Aug-11 13:20:27

Thanks for that. I've realised as well that she's the 2013 school intake not 2012 so that's more time to think about it.
Since reading what you wrote I have started to think again now about deciding for her until she's older and able to understand a bit better what going to school, or not, means.

Saracen Sat 27-Aug-11 03:46:07

Your daughter would be eligible to start Reception in 2012, not 2013. She doesn't reach compulsory education age until the term after her fifth birthday but if you ask for a place, she will be offered a place to start school in September after her fourth birthday, so you would be applying this autumn/winter.

Although I let my children decide nearly everything for themselves, I have reservations about allowing them to choose school at a very young age. It's a big thing. There are some aspects of it which are difficult for a young child to understand. For example, my older dd was a very compliant child who took everything to heart and I knew she would feel it very deeply if she couldn't do what was expected of her. I'm pretty sure that if she had gone to school at four she would have soldiered on for quite a long time before asking to come out, and it would have taken a long time for her to recover.

She did go to school for a term when she was older (nine) and it was a very useful experience for her, one which she was robust enough to cope with. By then, she had the maturity, experience and perspective to understand that what happened in school was just school and not the whole world, if you see what I mean. She knew, for example, that despite what her classmates might say there was nothing wrong with having friends who were boys or who were younger than she was. She knew that having mastery of times tables (or not) doesn't determine whether someone is thick.

I guess a lot depends on whether you think your daughter would really enjoy school, whether she'd feel willing and able to leave quickly if she didn't, and whether the effects would last long. But I do think that four is too young for most children to try school.

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