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Holding my adopted son back a year

(12 Posts)
mitchmead Sun 05-May-13 23:06:12

I have requested that my son, who is currently in year 5, is held back a year. We adopted him 5 years ago and in hind sight we should have put him into the year below straight away. Whilst he had suffered in his early years he is also an August baby so is the youngest in his class. He has struggled from day one academically and is way below average. Emotionally and socially he is immature and finds it easier to make friends with children around 5 and 6 years old. The school is going to assess him and then we will meet with the SENco. I just wondered if anyone had held their child back for a year and what their views were on this?

mrz Mon 06-May-13 07:11:19

It is very rare that this happens "officially" in state schools even with children who are significantly developmentally delayed (more than 2 years) Our Educational Psychologists explains to parents that immature behaviour will only be reinforced by being with younger children rather than being with more mature peers. Your son needs help and support and hopefully the meeting will result in a plan how best to do this.

Salbertina Mon 06-May-13 07:20:26

I'd be v surprised it you even had the option, sorry, certainly in England anyway. Double-check w your county council but normally super-strict , no exceptions. Bloody stupid if you ask me esp as your case sounds v reasonable but thats the system.

Bonsoir Mon 06-May-13 07:20:46

Is your DS physically immature, as well as educationally, emotionally and socially immature?

I know a child whose parents were initially determined to keep their quite delayed son in his proper year group for the reasons mrz gives, but eventually decided (the school was very insistent too) to hold him back a year. This child is very immature in every way, including physically, and he just wasn't able to keep up with his peers at all.

mrz Mon 06-May-13 08:48:11

Bonsoir I'm talking about 6 year olds who are developmentally around age 3 in all areas ...physically, socially and academically

tiggytape Mon 06-May-13 09:07:17

This may be an option if the assessments he undergoes highlight that it is absolutely necessary.
It isn't something a parent can decide to do

It has to come from the professionals involved in your child's care.
It is very rare though as it is considered a drastic last resort. Almost all forms of additional needs are supported in the correct year group for a child's age even if this requires 1:1 support.

The LA start from the presumption that it is not in a child's best interests to be put back a year but this presumption can be overturned if the professionals involved in your child's care are prepared to submit reports to say that, in his case, it is absolutely necessary and no other forms of support will work.

Bonsoir Mon 06-May-13 09:09:52

The child in the OP is in Year 5, so he must be about 10.

mrz Mon 06-May-13 09:48:28

It is even less likely that LEAs will allow children to be held back a year when they are due by age to transfer to secondary school soon. I've only known it happen once and that was a child who had a statement before starting nursery and there was great debate whether they would have to miss the first year of secondary and enter Y8 or miss the final year of compulsory education.

insanityscratching Mon 06-May-13 09:58:58

Ds attended school with a child who was in the year below his age group. He attended an autism unit attached to a mainstream secondary with ds so would have had a high needs statement most likely from entry to nursery like my son did as the places there were only given to the children with the highest needs in County. The child in question was a summer born child and would be in effect leaving school a year later than his peers as he was going to be kept in the lower year throughout.
Is your child statemented? Has he been given enough support to allow him to be successful in his year group? I would advise that if he isn't statemented then make a request for statutory assessment yourself asap. I would hazard a guess that the LA will be very reluctant to keep your child back and even more reluctant if he hasn't got a statement in place tbh.

teacherwith2kids Mon 06-May-13 10:01:22

The only child I have so far encountered who has been taught out of their correct year group was a statemented 9 year old whose cognitive, social and physical abilities were at the level of a c. 18 month - 2 year old, combined with a sensory impairment. (Essenitally a child for who a special school would be the normal educational setting, who for complicated reasons remained in mainstream).

Even then, the question of transfer to the next level of schooling still out of year group was something that we ensured was absoluitely set in stone before we proceeded.

Being 'immature for their year' would not seem to me to be sufficient reason to hold a child back in the English system - even most fully-statemented children are taught in their correct year group, and you do not mention that your adopted son has a statement.

Absolutely you should meet with the SENCo about the support your child needs - but the main conversation should be about how to support him in his current year, not about moving year.

mitchmead Mon 06-May-13 21:17:16

Thank you to you all for taking the time to comment, I really value your replies. I think this has highlighted the importance of getting my son the right support and push for a statement. After reading the comments I am now thinking maybe it would be better to keep him in the same year group rather than hold him back a year. Thank you again

insanityscratching Mon 06-May-13 22:33:24

Here is the template letter you need to request assessment. IPSEA and SOSSEN are invaluable sources of information and support as are the MN sn boards. It might be worth commissioning an independent ed psych report to support your application for statutory assessment and also to get an accurate picture as to where his difficulties lie.

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