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deferred school entry starting in reception at 5, not 4

(5 Posts)
lingle Fri 16-May-08 12:54:40

Hi there, I just posted this in the "Primary School" section only to get a few replies saying "too late" so I'm putting it here instead (hope that's ok)

Is anyone out there wanting to defer the start of their child's education by a year? have you been told that if you do this your child will be forced to go straight into Year 1?
I've been investigating this in the Bradford LEA. There is a clear right here, recognised by the Council executive, to defer entry for summer-borns by a year and place them in reception. A friend of mine has just "taken the plunge" and done it and had no trouble at all with school or Council. The Council did try to remove the right (it creates admin for them). Various headteachers in the area objected: one described it as simply "cruel and inappropriate" to force children who are not ready into formal education at 4. Luckily this proposal was rejected.
I suspect that where LEAs try to force deferred children straight into Year 1 there could be a legal case: the statutory school starting age is 5, not 4.
Anyway, as you can guess, I'm mum to an August boy. I've lived abroad and seen the ill-disguised shock on faces of my old friends there (even in places like America where you would expect them to be pushy) when I tell them he is due to start school at 4 years and 10 days. I've also seen how hard the children work in reception at his school. And I've read the evidence of how few August children are at University compared with autumn-born children. So I'm prepared to fight for flexibility for my second son.

I'm pinning my hopes on Sir Jim Rose's investigation into increased flexibility for summer-borns: his report is due out in October. The Secretary of State specifically briefed him that lots of parents want their summer-borns to defer entry. And the government now accepts that, while some summer-borns thrive for starting school at 4 years, many, particularly boys, never catch up and are affected for life.

If anyone wants links to the Jim Rose briefing or to the report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on long-term affects of going to school too early let me know and I'll dig out the link. The consultation period for Jim Rose's report is unfortunately finished - I wasn't on this forum until recently, otherwise I could have spread the word. His recommendations wouldn't come into affect until a few years' time.
They have flexibility in Scotland already I believe. Let's hope we get it in England too. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear from others in my position.

schmoopoo Fri 16-May-08 13:07:27

i would love the link i to have an august boy

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lingle Fri 16-May-08 13:41:15

sorry mildmanneredjanitor, I didn't mean to cause offence. I was very very interested in the replies. I've been out to pick up from nursery and then had lunch, hence no time to gather thoughts and reply....
lingle

lingle Fri 16-May-08 13:52:12

Ok here are the links for those interested:

http://www.ifs.org.uk/docs/bornmattersreport.pdf

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/pnattach/20080003/1.pdf

I managed to track down the public consultation document that Sir Jim Rose has circulated also and I put in a submission (the deadline ended in April). Wouldn't it be great if public consultations on these issues were notified on Mumsnet? It took me a lot of research to find the "public" consultation!

(very sorry if I have caused confusion posting in two places - I am new here. Please bear with me!)

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