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Urgent advise re August born reception child starting full time

(15 Posts)
Oggy Fri 09-Sep-11 11:53:16

Hi there

Hoping someone in the know could advise me of legal position re a school agreeing to take an August child full time in reception from day one.

I was under the impression that from this year the parents had the option to choose whether their child starts full time or part time if August born (or start in Sept instead of Jan where they have a Jan intake - not the case in our school).

I know other Surrey schools where parents have been offered the option and they can choose.

In my duaghters school however we have to see the head and the head makes a decision about whether to allow it. I thought they had to allow the full time start if parents requested but I know the head has turned some parents down.

I am seeing the head this afternoon and am happy with my arguments for daughter starting full time but would appreciate being armed with knowing whether they are legally obliged to allow this is I stand my ground or whether it really is at the head's discretion.

Google has proved unhelpful on this and I know there are some "in the know" types on this board.

Thanks

thisisyesterday Fri 09-Sep-11 11:55:31

legally your child does not have to be in full-time education until they are 5.

so you are well within your rights to pick your child up at lunch time each day, or give them a day off each week

Oggy Fri 09-Sep-11 11:59:24

Thanks thisisyesterday, I wonder does that work the same the other way round though?

Can I insist on full time before the term they turn five? I know where there is a Jan intake the parents can legally choose Sept instead, but not sure whether I can legally insist on full time start instead of part time.

They have offered us the option to discuss it with the head, but I thought they had to offer us the option to choose (rather than the head using his discretion).

prh47bridge Fri 09-Sep-11 12:15:53

You have the right to defer entry and the school must comply with your decision, but you only have the right to request full time or part time status. The school has the final say on whether a child should attend full time or part time.

Oggy Fri 09-Sep-11 12:24:54

Ok, thanks prh47bridge : )

IndigoBell Fri 09-Sep-11 13:13:20

I'm fairly sure they have to let your child start in Sep.

School can't make him stay at home till Jan.

I don't know whether they have to let him start full time. Or whether they can insist he stays part time. I think they can probably do that.

munstersmum Fri 09-Sep-11 13:27:08

Ring your local educ dept. Some schools here do and some cannot take them full-time because the council wants to support the pre-school provision. My guess is it's up to the head because she won't get a full-time budget for those marked as part-time...<takes off cynics hat>

prh47bridge Fri 09-Sep-11 14:34:17

IndigoBell - They have to let him start but they don't have to let him start full time.

munstersmum - No, this is nothing to do with funding. Funding is determined purely by the number of children on the roll on a particular date in January. Whether the pupils are full- or part-time doesn't enter into it.

PandaNot Fri 09-Sep-11 14:43:56

If you push it, they have to allow it. Your child is entitled to full time education for the whole of the school year in which they turn 5. It is entirely up to you whether they take all of that entitlement, not the school, although obviously not many schools advertise this!

CustardCake Fri 09-Sep-11 14:47:06

PandaNot - no you are not entitled to that. You are entitled to insist your child starts school September and isn't forced to defer even if they won't turn 5 for another 11 months but you cannot force the school to accept them fulltime during this period. That is up to the school to decide.

PandaNot Fri 09-Sep-11 14:51:08

Yes you are entitled to that. It is not up to the school. The schools just like to pretend it is for reasons which make their life easier. I have worked in school admissions previously and now work in a job where my role revolves around early years entitlement.

CustardCake Fri 09-Sep-11 15:00:33

Does it say this in the admissions code now panda? It always said parents can "ask" or "request". It never said parents could insist on it before. Is this something they have just changed because ask or request implies the school doesn't have to do it?

prh47bridge Fri 09-Sep-11 15:43:29

PandaNot - CustardCake is correct. You are not entitled to full time education for the whole of the year. Education yes, full time no.

The Admissions Code says that your child is entitled to start school in the September following its 4th birthday but it does not specify that this has to be full time. Parents have the specific right to defer entry - the school has no choice in that. However, parents only have the right to request that their child attends part time, which means the final decision on that lies with the school. The Admissions Code is silent on whether parents even have the right to request that their child attends full time. It certainly does not give parents the right to insist that their child attends full time, nor does it require schools to educate children on a full time basis prior to the term following the child's fifth birthday.

Unless the Schools Adjudicator or the LGO makes a determination that schools must admit full time from the September following the child's fourth birthday we have to go with what the Admissions Code actually says. Given the way such provisions have been interpreted in the past, if a case were to be referred to the Adjudicator or the LGO my money would be on them deciding that the right to full time education does not start until the child reaches compulsory school age.

Oggy Fri 09-Sep-11 18:48:15

Just thought I would let you know that Head has agreed to her starting full time (albeit with him stating "for the record" that he doesn't recommend it) but accepts that we know our daughter better than anyone.

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

CustardCake Fri 09-Sep-11 18:59:15

Oggy - that's good news. I'm glad its all sorted out.

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