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Delaying starting school until term after 5th birthday - anyone else?

(250 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 13:45:55

Just wondered. Have been told by our LA that ds is the only one in the whole county and that he'll be so very behind when he starts.

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 14:26:59

I'm afraid that unlike MN parents in RL want their child to start earlier rather than deferring entry.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 14:34:14

We're in Scotland, so we have a slightly different situation here - cut off for August starts is to turn 4 before end Feb (so all children are at least 4.6 when they start). Jan and Feb b'days have automatic right to defer for a year and (crucially) to start in the equivalent of YR the following year.

DS2 is a Jan birthday and we didn't defer for various reasons (including the possibility of moving to England and ds2 having missed a year of school). However, I know several parents who have, just for our wee school. DS1 also has a few in his class who deferred. It seems to be becoming more popular too up here, especially for boys. The head teacher told me she doesn't know anyone who has regretted doing it though several who have regretted sending a young child 'too early'.

Having said all that, I don't think I'd have considered sending ds2 into a class of children who already knew each other and were settled half way through the year, and definitely wouldn't consider sending him the following year into Y1 rather than YR - that seems to defeat the whole purpose of deferring to me.

Also, ds2 started last week and seems to be doing fine so far (early days!).

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 14:39:51

I always recall bumping into a little girl who was due to start in my reception class and her mum during the school holidays. The little girl had a 4 today badge almost as big as her pinned to her tshirt and I made small talk about her birthday and a party and being a big girl now... when she announced "I'm going to school soon and my mum is putting the bloody flags out!" grin which about sums up the situation where I teach

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 14:42:21

grin - brilliant, Mrz. I feel sure my mum probably dropped me off and skipped home when I started school. But that was in the olden days.

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 14:44:45

We tend to have one or two anxious mums and 30 very settled children regardless of age

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 14:47:24

Yes, that is how it seems. All of the mums dropping off their last-born last week seemed positively miffed that their DC were not having to be peeled off them at the school gates. How dare these tiny tots be OK? The DC were just trotting in fine from day one, for the most part.

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 14:49:32

I remember being miffed that neither of mine looked back when they started ...coats off and a bye mum hmm

kw13 Tue 23-Aug-11 15:38:17

My DS is going straight into Yr1 - me having deferred him starting until after he was 5. Why go before 5? It's not a legal requirement, no-one on mainland Europe would (they don't start in some countries until 7). My LEA also said that my DS would be the only one - but he isn't. There are some disadvantages - many children will know each other etc; but there are also advantages (he's a late summer baby, he's had the chance to be at nursery/with me/and with his grandmother for longer. Schools will have children starting at different times all through the school year and in every year. I have wondered if the LEAs are so keen for funding reasons.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 15:42:48

Why is it funding reasons? Do they not get money for a child if they aren't there for one term (only able to defer for a term!)

kw13 Tue 23-Aug-11 15:44:08

Oh. And I forgot to ask, why would your DS be 'behind'? What does that mean? Very few will be able to read for example. Some will be just starting (like mine), some will be further ahead, and some will be not ready. Ditto with maths and everything else. Most will be toilet trained, able to dress themselves and eat with a knife and fork!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 15:44:14

And does that mean that I can still claim the 15 hours free childcare from say a childminder, until Christmas? - or does it have to go to the school that is holding his place?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 15:47:20

I don't know why he would be behind. I taught him to read and his nursery didn't even notice.

weegiemum Tue 23-Aug-11 15:55:52

Like midnight, I'm in Scotland, and have 2 Febs and a Nov. Deferred both the Febs so they started in P1 (=R) at 5y6m. When dd2 started we couldn't and sending her at 4y9m seemed waaaaaay too young compared to the others but as she was No3 she coped fine.

I can't say how glad I am my 11y6m yo dd1 has just gone into P7 (yr6) rather than S1. And will be more so when my ds is in the same situation in 2 yrs.

I am a secondary teacher by training and taught for 12 yrs before having kids - then going in to Adult Ed. You could always tell the "early" boys from the "late" boys - at that age, the year makes a HUGE amount of difference!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 16:03:55

If it makes so much different why did you defer your own?

Also, my reasons for delaying are because ds is socially and emotionally behind and not very independent and as far as I can tell, these skills aren't taught in Reception. There is no curriculum for how to hold a conversation and get involved in a game, or how to use a knife and fork etc.

It seems to be kind of let them do what they want and don't MAKE them socialise if they don't want to and tease them if they are always the last to put their socks on.

insanityscatching Tue 23-Aug-11 16:04:22

Both ds and dd started school late. Ds started the term he was five so started January and five in February. Dd attended a foundation unit so did three mornings per week (started late) when her peers would have done five mornings and then when her friends did five full days (yr R) she did five mornings and only did five full days after Easter when she turned five in February.
Ds was academically ahead with no social skills and wasn't picking them up with prolonged exposure to his peers (and hasn't improved much in 11 years tbh)
Dd was developmentally delayed on entry to nursery across the board but she finished yr R at the top of her year (foundation profile 113) I think the intensive 1 to 1 out of school was more effective that ft school would have been tbh so I think it was right for her.

mrz Tue 23-Aug-11 16:06:30

StarlightMcKenzie if you are deferring until January the school won't lose funding.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 16:18:11

Thanks mrz. Do I lose funding though. I mean, can I get the free 15 hours a week of childcare until January?

Saracen Tue 23-Aug-11 16:22:49

Your son remains eligible for the preschool funding until the term after his fifth birthday. If he were in Reception then that funding would go to pay for that (meaning that you couldn't use the preschool funding toward the cost of after-school nursery-based care, for example). Since he isn't going to be in school, you can continue to use it for a qualifying childminder or preschool.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 16:24:22

Saracen. Thank you. Can I just check that he wouldn't lose his place at the school though. We had to appeal to get it and I can't afford to risk it going to someone else.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 16:25:47

starlight, think weegiemum means that the 'late' ones seem very young/immature compared with others in their year group. ie that deferrring is a good thing.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Aug-11 16:27:23

Sorry, and I mean that they wouldn't seem immature if you defer them up here, because they wouldn't go into their 'proper' year but into the year below, where they wold be among the oldest.

Does that make any sense? confused

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Aug-11 16:31:00

Oh I see. Yes, that makes sense. Thanks.

FWIW I wish parents had more choice about it all. I was an August birthday and it suited me well. My dd is a September birthday and I really wish she was starting Nursery, but she has a whole year of preschool first and she's already done a full year as we live in a catchment where they did this as a pilot.

ragged Tue 23-Aug-11 16:31:58

Lots of them start school without those skills, OP, in my observation.
Some of them are still having trouble putting socks on (& with other aspects of getting dressed) in y2, so that's nothing to be teased about.
The child isn't really held back, they still end up with the peer group they would have been in, so I can't see any advantage in the English system to late starts. They may as well go to school on a semi-parttime basis rather than to nursery; there is teaching of some of those skills imo, by the way, the staff are still humans who recognise the developmental needs of their charges.
I know two kids who were genuinely developmentally delayed and I think would have benefited hugely from being held back properly (actually put in the year below). I also know one who started school late purely because of parental preference; but he's always had behaviour problems out of sight of his mum, and is recently (just 8yo) gone to being HEd.

Sadly I've only had one DC who started school by running in without looking back. Other two were rather more difficult to settle (long stories omitted). 7yo is still a bloody pain to take in most days, if I'm honest.

ragged Tue 23-Aug-11 16:33:23

I think you're at high risk of losing the place if you don't take it up at time expected, Starlight; but you have to clarify with your LEA. It'll be their policy that decides it.

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