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Keep DS in nursery instead of reception class, thoughts?

(25 Posts)
SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 00:14:49

Id just like some advice from anyone who has defered there DC start at school.
I need to decide very soon whether to keep him in nursery, so he gets a place there.
DS is 4 at end of July, he has glue ear and speech and language difficulties, his assesment says his speech is of a 2 year old.
He is still not properly toilet trained as hes not confident asking to use the toilet. He is very shy and sometimes still cried going in and takes a teddy. He doesnt tell me a lot about what he does or i cant understand it so im worried if somethings wrong at school i wont know.
I cant see him being ready to start school in september. But i dont want him to go in a year late when everyone has made friends and get picked on.
Any advice would be great.

alwayslateforwork Tue 16-Apr-13 00:27:58

You need to be discussing this NOW with his paediatrician and the senco of the nursery he currently attends, and the senco of the primary school he is supposed to be going to in September.

If the excision is that he is going to school, and he needs a statement of special educational need, it can take six months to put in place. Dd2's statement (for communication) was finalised by May, because we started it a year before.

You need to start discussing this with his health team, and the educators.
Does he have 1-1 support in nursery? Is he statemented already?

SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 00:37:23

We are still waiting to actually start speech therapy. I have spoken to the SENCO lady at nursery and she said to come back to her when ive heard from speech therapy so they can work with him.
He only got his school place on friday, im not particularly happy with the school hes been placed in, it feels like id be throwing him to the lion, for want of a better term, by pushing him into school.
Should i speak to his health visitor? Or is that the wrong person

alwayslateforwork Tue 16-Apr-13 01:18:24

You can start with hv, but tbh, you need to be aiming higher up the food chain. Usually it's the consultant/ community paed that can request delaying a year.

So he doesn't get any help? Not on SA+, or anything?

You might be hard pressed to use his health / sn as the reason for delay. It might be better to use the 'not have to be in school until term after he turns 5' as the reason - which would be fine given his birth date.

Nursery might not be prepared to keep him there though - that would be a call for the nursery manager.

You need to start a liaison with the senco of the school though, just in case you do decide to send him. If they think he warrants statementing, you really do need to get a wiggle on. Go take him for a visit and explain he has some sn and you would appreciate some guidance.

SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 01:35:09

Im not sure what you mean by community paed or SA+.
At the moment he doesnt get any help at all. I know there are some 5 year olds in DS nursery at moment that have been defered so that shouldnt be a problem but i will speak to the mamanger when hes in next, i just wanted to know really if anyones DCs had stayed in nursery that extra term/ year and is it was felt it was a good thing to do iyswim.

atrcts Tue 16-Apr-13 03:47:02

My understanding was that you don't have to send them to school legally until they've actually had their 5th birthday?!

If he's not ready then I don't see why you should need anyone's permission to delay school at the age of 4.

A community paediatrician is usually accessed by a GP or health visitor referral. They assess any special
requirements if there's any developmental delay for any reason. I went to one with my 2.5 year old with glue ear and ended up with various hearing tests and speech referrals, with a view to offering grommets (luckily it resolved itself almost overnight and then he caught up in a few months).

It is worth getting that referral so you can do all that's humanly possible to aid your child smile (and yourself!) wink I hope thinks improve very soon for you.

alwayslateforwork Tue 16-Apr-13 04:25:13

Atrcts, quite, which is why I said that she could just keep him off until the following year without using the sn as a reason. However, the LA may expect the child to start in yr 1, as his cohort will be at that point. It isn't very often that a Local authority agrees for a child to just go back a year without some sort of discussion surrounding special needs - and likewise, it isn't very often that nurseries are willing to keep an older child in situ as they have the next chort to move up and take that child's place.

So, it's fine - and she doesn't need anyone's permission - if the op is intending to homeschool for yr r, but if she wants the child to be moved back a year and start yr r a year late, then she will have to discuss it with the local authority and the sencos in both settings, and also the child's paediatrician or consultant, to get permission to move him back a year. If she wants him to yr r with a younger cohort. If she is intending for him to start school in yr 1 with his cohort, and keep him at home in the interim, no bother at all.

If they all decide the child needs to start school on time, but with a statement of sen, then it takes six months for statutory assessment and the clock is ticking.

Hence suggesting it may be better just to pull the 'not yet 5' card, if the op is happy to home ed, or negotiate with the nursery for an extended place, if you can get it...

If it's a local authority nursery, then it isn't a given.

Op, if you are getting nowhere with the sencos, then you could try the area inco at the LA.

tiggytape Tue 16-Apr-13 08:33:57

Regardless of additional needs, all parents can defer their child's place until after the child is 5 (but the child must actually start at some point in Reception year - so if he is 5 in July, he must enter reception class by the Summer term of 2014 at the latest)

Actually holding him back an entire year (so starting reception in Sept 2014 instead of Sept 2013) is not something parents have the right to do.
They can request it but it would only be granted in very rare cases. The vast majority of additional needs (even at the most severe end of the spectrum) are supported in the child's 'correct' year group.
You are highly unlikely to be able to keep him back a whole year unless you have strong support from medical professionals that this is absolutely unavoidable - it is not seen as being in a child's best interests unless medical professionals insist otherwise.

To find out how the new school will support him, you need to contact their SENCo and speak to them. Your DS will not be the only child with such a communication delay or difficulty. The should be able to tell you what support systems will be in place and how you will be given feedback on how he is progressing. You will have to balance out the extra confidence he might get from staying at nursery against what he might miss if he joins his new reception class a few months later than others.
In some schools loads of children defer until after Christmas or even later
In other schools no children choose to defer at all
Why not find out whether it is common at the school he is going to? If it is, he may not lose anythign at all by also starting later.

SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 09:00:28

The council school admissions section told me he could continue with 15hours free at nursery and then start school in year 1 but I still had to apply for schools then arrange this with them.
If it were just his speech that was the problem he would go in september its him emotionally I'm worried about, as he's not, how do you put it, the most grown up/mature child.
I just want to know if anyone on here has done it and regretted it for whatever reason or if it worked out ok.

DeWe Tue 16-Apr-13 10:11:33

Squirrel,
My ds is a June baby, and has glue ear and some speech issues, although pronunciation not vocabulary and not as severe as your ds.

He is also immature and wasn't really ready to start school in year R.

He's now in year 1.

Year R was a struggle, I have to be honest about that. But he did learn a lot about school expectations, sitting on the carpet and that sort of thing.
Year 1 has been much better. He knows what's expected-and he knows that he has to do it. Academically he's doing fine, he's top group for reading and particularly excels at maths. Writes as little as he can get away with at present, but just recently that's improving.

At the time I would have said that socially he would have been much better being able to delay by a year for the reception year.

However he would not have done well going straight into year 1, because he needed that reception year to learn what was expected and what he wouldn't get away with.

But now he gets on well with his own year, watching him out of school, he is more mature than the average year R and I think if I'd held him back he could now either stick out there, or his maturity would have stayed at their level. He's quite easily led, particularly by silly/naughty behaviour, but also behaves better when surrounded by more mature children. So whereas it might well have been a better reception year, I'm not sure it would have helped after that.

If you start him straight in year 1, then there is a good chance that someone from that year will know that he was in nursery when they were in year R, and they will look on him as a "baby".

SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 10:52:03

thanks DeWe thats good to know. Im going to talk to nursery tommorow and speak to school hes been offered when i recieve all the details from them. Im hoping i'll be able to put him in perhaps in january, i started late and had no problems making friends and did well at school so im hoping he'll be the same.
I think pat of this may be me selfishly thinking of him as my baby still, its so hard he seems so small!

tiggytape Tue 16-Apr-13 11:00:43

Reception is very play based and they are all very small.
Reception teachers are used to taking children who are very young and may or may not have ever been left with another adult let alone in a learning environment before.
There will be some children there who are confident, know all the behavioural expectations and can probably read already but equally there will be lots of very young, barely turned 4 year olds who need a gentle environment and lots of care.
They won't be sitting in rows reciting tables and not allowed to go to the toilet - it isn't much different to Nursery really especially not at first.

mummytime Tue 16-Apr-13 11:12:05

I would really really send him to school for reception. The curriculum is play based AND it will highlight the difficulties he has, and the school should support you in getting extra help for him.

If you keep him out until year 1. He will be effectively "hidden" at nursery, and the LA can forget about providing for his needs. He will then have a huge jump into year 1, and a far more formal curriculum. which if he has extra needs will be even harder to bridge.

In reception lots of children have "accidents", all the children are "making new friends", all the children are learning about how school works, almost all children are learning phonics etc. for the first time. Also at my DCs school lots of children had hearing and speech issues, and it was highlighted in comparison with their peer group. In a nursery it might not seem so bad which might mean he doesn't get the help he needs.

ScramblyEgg Tue 16-Apr-13 11:19:00

You could also talk to the school about a staggered start, e.g. mornings only for the first term.

I don't think schools are obliged to agree to this, but some do allow it for later-born children starting reception.

heliotrope Tue 16-Apr-13 19:37:16

Agree that although you could keep him out for a year (or until Easter at least), he would just be missing the gentle intro to school that reception provides (assuming this is what you're thinking of rather than the SEN route of actually going down a year).
My son is August born and I felt I was 'throwing him to the lions' too - was really worried about him settling as he is super shy, although without the speech issues you mention. He absolutely loved school from the start, which I believe was mostly down to the great adults in reception making him feel secure. In his reception year another summer-born boy started at Christmas and is now best friends with my son - he seemed to settle in really well as well despite coming into an established class. They are both year 1 and loving it now.

UniS Tue 16-Apr-13 22:32:05

DS started school in the January of Year R. We spent a LOT of time in Sept-Jan before he started on speech therapy work. In DS's case it paid off and he was able to start school with understandable speech and say his teachers name ( which he could not do in september). I believe it was a better use of his time doing Preschool in morning and speech work in afternoon than being in school all day would have been.

Your mileage may vary- talk to nursery staff ALSO talk to the school reception teacher, find out what school CAN offer him by way of speech therapy input, it varies place to place.

Ps- the speech work was not always easy. DS didn't like doing it at times, but the benefit in the long run was vast. It was a big time input from both DS and I. DS had a significant speech delay, but no language problems.

Saracen Wed 17-Apr-13 09:49:41

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that if you are fairly sure a child won't thrive in a particular setting later on, then it is best to send him earlier in order to train him up for it so it will come as less of a shock later. Parents are under a lot of pressure when they feel that the clock is ticking, that there is a deadline for everything to be sorted out.

I don't know whether you have a particular need for your son to start school early on, such as needing the childcare so you can work? If not, then why rush? Would it not make more sense to send your little boy to school only when you think it is very likely that he will enjoy it and get on well there, and will have access to the help he needs? That might not be next year, or even the year after. The older he gets, the clearer his needs will become. Some of his current problems may disappear altogether with time, and become non-issues. Those problems which do persist will be easier to assess when he is older.

My dd is nearly seven. As she approached Reception age she was so unready for school that I didn't even seriously consider sending her. She was still in nappies, couldn't communicate well, had the attention span of a flea, and had no interest in letters or in numeracy. Most important, she just wasn't emotionally ready to be away from her family and in a large busy setting without much individual adult attention. I wanted her to have a happy start to her education, and I didn't think that would happen if she started school at four. Now, three years on, she is doing so well with home education that I have no plans to send her to school unless she wants to go. But I feel confident that if I did send her, now would be a far more appropriate time for her to start than when she was four. She still needs a bit of help using the toilet, but she never has accidents and always asks for help. She can talk the hind leg off a donkey. Other problems persist, which are easier to evaluate now, so there's no danger of getting fobbed off. She's coming up for a second assessment with a neuropsychologist, and his report would be hard to disregard when it comes to providing for her needs in a school setting. Likewise, her physical therapist and occupational therapist have useful input. You can access these services (as well as speech therapy) through the NHS for a child who is not at school.

I can, sort of, see the argument that in order to get a child the support he needs, you may have to chuck him into a place which can't meet his needs. It may be that that is necessary in order to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that he just can't cope there without extra help. Sad, but apparently often true that this is how the system works. But even then, that doesn't have to mean that sooner is better. For a child who isn't very mature, you could do it when the child is six instead of when he is four.

There's something else that bothers me, OP. You say you are worried that your son will be picked on if he joins the class later than the usual time, and someone else suggested that his future classmates may see him as more babyish if he spends next year in preschool instead of Reception. I hope that isn't true, and that they will accept him. It seems to me that young children are not so nasty - the ones I know aren't. But if you are familiar with your son's future school or classmates and you do see such a culture there, then it isn't a good place for your son. It wouldn't be a happy environment for any child, especially for a child who isn't average. If you want your child to learn good social skills, he needs to be with other children who are displaying good social skills so he can learn from them. Don't send him somewhere where you seriously expect him to be excluded for being different.

TeenAndTween Wed 17-Apr-13 13:04:27

The thing is, if you don't think he will cope in Reception this year, will he make 2 years social progress in one year, in order to cope with year 1 next year?

I would go for starting Reception as scheduled, this way his extra needs will become clear and he will start to get the help he needs.

If you are seriously unhappy with allocated school, make sure you are on waiting lists for preferred ones, and consider appealing for a place at the one(s) you think will meet his additional needs better.

If the toilet training is about confidence asking / speech issues, is there any way he could use some kind of hand signal instead. Why does he need to ask anyway?

kw13 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:31:42

There are a lot of very thoughtful messages here. I didn't send my DS to reception purely because he was a late Summer baby. He went straight into year 1. There is absolutely no requirement that a child has to be in school until they are 5 and I didn't think that he was ready. He stayed at nursery. He was the only one there of that age and loved it. Going straight into year 1 was absolutely fine - I was surprised to find that he was the only one who was there intentionally like that (others had moved school etc). It works if you have no reason to be concerned that you would get a place in Year 1 at the school of your choice. Good luck with whatever you choose.

SquirrelNuts Wed 17-Apr-13 13:55:11

Saracen im at home with baby anyway so its not like i need him at school. He loves nursery, the only little thing thats making me want to send him to school is that he does like to learn and nursery isnt doing any of that with him. Its also not so much him beinng picked on more that im concerned he'll be going in when everyone has made friends so he'll struggle with that.
Its a very hard decision and posting on here doesnt seem to have helped if im honest.
TeenAndTween we're on the waiting list for my preferred one but i dont think its very likely he'll get in. The school hes been given a place at has a good infant school its the juniors there are problems with. He has to ask to go to the toilet at nursery i think thats a confidence thing. At home i think his problem is more that he'll be too busy playing and just wont ask!!

tiggytape Wed 17-Apr-13 14:51:42

The other consideration about going dtaright into Year 1 is you might not get a place.
If you apply for Reception, they will reserve your place for you so you can start in January or even later for Summer babies but they don't reserve it after the Summer so to get a Year 1 place, you have to make a fresh application.
In undersubscribed areas that's not an issue but there are parts of the country where it would be so hard to find a Year 1 place that you'd have to take whatever was offered.

NynaevesSister Wed 17-Apr-13 15:12:07

SquirrelNuts, quite a few children started later in the year in my son's reception class and as far as I can see it didn't make any difference. Plus at son's school they mixed up all the classes anyway for year 1, so effectively they were all new going in to that year!

As has been said, Reception is still very play based, and not a lot different to nursery. However, as mentioned it is well worth talking to the school's SENCO and seeing what they have on to offer. SA+ is school action plus, and this is a support plan put in place for your child. A child doesn't have to have special needs that are statemented, it could just be anything that is a barrier to their learning. My son goes to a large primary school, which has a speech therapist working at the school part time, and she does OT as well.

But I think you said at the beginning you are not happy with the school choice. If you are putting your son on a waiting list for another school then deferring makes a lot of sense as otherwise he may have two school changes.

I really don't think that at Reception stage there's a lot of difference between starting in September and starting in January. However, our school mixed them up for year 1 anyway so that might be a different situation.

mummytime Wed 17-Apr-13 15:56:51

NynaevesSister when was that, and where in the country? At least in the SE and London there has been a huge increase in the number of children starting school. Quite a few children will not have been offered a place in Reception yet this year at any school. Someone wanting to start in year 1 will have to be lucky to find a place.

The OP might be more fortunate than most if she manages to get a statement for her son. Otherwise waiting to year 1 could be a dangerous strategy if she doesn't want to HE.

NynaevesSister Thu 18-Apr-13 13:30:10

I didn't say a thing about waiting till year one and neither did OP.

OP is talking about deferring until January or maybe Easter. Depending on the school you can defer your Reception place till later in the year.

About three or four on Sons class did this and started in Jan.

You don't lose your place or have to reapply. You ask to defer.

For your information this was 2010 and on SE London at a very over subscribed area.

StitchAteMySleep Thu 18-Apr-13 13:43:38

You can request part time hours for Reception in my borough, worth checking if yours does this, he only needs to go full time the term after his fifth birthday. The school can dictate the timing of the sessions, but he could do 15 hours like at Nursery.

It might help his speech to join in with the Phonics sessions in Reception and also to be around peers his age as much language is gained from listening to others speak.

Or you could defer until January or after Easter and keep him in Nursery until then.

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