It was an interesting thread trying to garner support for an e-petition which would allow children born between 15th and 31st August to defer school entry for a year if their parents wished.
I assumed it had been removed because the petition itself was so worded as to ask for what was already in place, and so perhaps the actual petition had been withdrawn. It was also not exactly garnering huge support in itself, although the discussion was interesting.
I know petitions are banned, but hope this reply will not be, if I state that I am thinking of submitting an e-petition / writing to my MP asking for the following changes to be made to avoid children who are not ready being enrolled at school and hence forced to miss schooling until they are, and am canvassing to see if it is widely enough supported to be worth the bother. A draft of that petition's substantive points would be:
a. That it be made a statutory obligation for all local authorities to provide a clear and timely route for an EP assessment of the readiness of any child potentially entering school in the next year to learn acceptably in a school environment, should either parents or Early Years professionals wish such an assessment made; b. That if the EP considers the child not ready then he/she can advise deferral of entry, and if the parents wish this then the local authority must treat the child for admissions and for all later schooling as if born in the following admissions year; c. That if the EP recommends deferral and parents agree, free nursery or other care be provided during the year when the child would normally have started school.
It is an attempt to answer readiness issues in a child-centred way (although age will obviously affect readiness somewhat), and comes form my own hugely frustrating experience in trying to get EP referrals before school for a child who became ready very late in the process (only really over the last month and half). The EP could also, as always, recommend further parental or school action to support readiness, re-assessment at a later date, that the child be placed on School Action of School Action Plus or, basically, that the child is ready despite parental concern.