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Why do people think children start school when they are 5????

(18 Posts)
Vickisuli Thu 21-Mar-13 10:04:27

Grrr. Round our way there are various school holiday activities and clubs etc, all of which treat 'school age' as being 5-11. The alternatives for younger children are labelled as being 'for pre-school children only'. So there is no option which is suitable for my 4 year old Reception child.

Why don't people understand that children start school when they are 4? In many cases only just 4. They turn 5 during Reception. It's not like it's a new system, it's been like that for years.

OK rant over :-)

Periwinkle007 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:26:19

Is there some difference in ratios of staff? thats the only reason I can think of. I know exactly what you mean. my eldest is a september birthday so we have a slightly different thing where groups seem to say 'year 1 children or over' ie not her even though she is already 5....
odd isn't it.

Mashabell Thu 21-Mar-13 11:03:07

Until the 1990s almost all children started school in the term of their 5th birthday or later.

Over the last two decades this has become earlier and earlier, because of the pressure on schools to get as many as possible to level 4 in their SATs tests.
Schools started to aaccpet them earlier, thinking that catching them early will help them to do so.

AuntieStella Thu 21-Mar-13 11:06:39

It's ratios/insurance. Reception is EYFS, with one set of rules. 5+ is KS1 and clearly the framework under which these activities are organised.

Mashabell Thu 21-Mar-13 11:07:06

aaccpet was meant to be ...accept ... (No idea how my fingers came up with that.)

Bramshott Thu 21-Mar-13 11:09:26

It's an insurance thing I think. You may be able to get an exception made for your 4YO though - I know people who have. Or some nurseries will do holiday contracts for 4YOs in Reception.

AngiBolen Thu 21-Mar-13 11:13:07

Ah, that mystery year when your child is at school, but you can't find any holiday childcare.

MooMooSkit Thu 21-Mar-13 11:14:33

That sounds frustrating. My son is a september baby so when he starts reception he will be five so I don't have any of this!

onepieceoflollipop Thu 21-Mar-13 11:15:50

I checked this with our local Activity Scheme. The organiser was clear that they did take reception children, even if still 4. Their leaflet did say 5-11. maybe worth checking direct?

Startail Thu 21-Mar-13 11:21:00

have they said no, or does their paperwork just lazily say 5-11?

I can't believe no holiday child care has an answer.

Because if winter birthdays my two were 5 at summer club, but I'm certain they wouldn't hav had a problem because DCs whent straight from the nursery to being picked up for the after school club, 99% would be 4 in Sept.

Startail Thu 21-Mar-13 11:21:52

blush and I should proof

lynniep Thu 21-Mar-13 11:30:57

It is annoying. But all the nurseries/childminders where I live will take on school age children here until the term before they turn 5. This is what I used for DC1 (March child - we used the nursery over half terms and christmas holidays before he turned 5 but was already in reception ) So there are options. Its not ideal, especially if you have multiple DC but they can't attend the same daycare because of this rule - but its not impossible.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 21-Mar-13 15:11:47

It can work the other way round - some nurseries only take up to 5 - so in the school holidays up until your dc is 5 they can still go back to their old nursery (if summer born). For older dcs who've already turned turned 5, no such option!

HorryIsUpduffed Thu 21-Mar-13 16:39:20

I assumed it was so that nobody would try to get their 4yo preschoolers in. I've had to say no to DS's request for "football camp" over Easter for a similar reason.

Wellthen Thu 21-Mar-13 19:56:06

To be fair, they don't have to attend till 5. So it isnt actually inaccurate to say school age is 5-11. When you say 'why do people think children start school at 5?' well...because they do.

AngiBolen Thu 21-Mar-13 21:03:35

But the don't!

Children don't ever have to go to school...but they must be educated from the term following their 5th birthday. In reality most children do go to school from the age of 4, until at least 16, not 11.

And good luck to anyone who tries to get their child into a state school of their choice the term following their 5th birthday. grin

BooksandaCuppa Thu 21-Mar-13 23:00:15

Or get childcare for an 11+ year old.

Or a child with SEN.

Vickisuli Thu 28-Mar-13 21:31:32

Wellthen - yes AngiBolen is quite right. OK legally they don't have to go to school until 5 but the VAST majority start age 4 because you can't keep a place for them if they don't start in the Sept. And if you choose to keep them back a year (I looked into this as I had a summer born baby), they have to go straight into Year 1! Like that would help them, to go into a class of kids who have already had a year at school.

So realistically children start school at 4 unless they have a very early September birthday.

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