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anyone deferred their dc starting school?

(36 Posts)
TiredyCustards Thu 12-Sep-13 16:06:13

Hello, both my dc are August babies, dd will be 4 next year.

We're considering deferring and homeschooling for the first year, then putting her in year 1.

Does anyone have advice or experience of this?


Nerfmother Fri 13-Sep-13 20:48:00

There is some very interesting guidance on the DfE website (from August?) saying that nothing in law bars parents from asking for a reception place for a child who should be in year 1 if they are a summer baby. LAs have to consider each case.

Nerfmother Fri 13-Sep-13 20:49:17


racmun Fri 13-Sep-13 21:02:00

My ds is an August born and is due to start August 2014 when he is 4 and 3 weeks!!

We're not going to defer his place as ultimately he's got to go and I'm concerned that he'll miss out on the nice gentle start.

Fortunately ds' school (he's in preps now) allow a really slow staggered start so he will do 5 morning and 2 afternoons and gradually build up from there.

It's a right pain having a young child.

racmun Fri 13-Sep-13 21:02:42

Sorry September 2014.

BlackberrySeason Fri 13-Sep-13 21:28:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nerfmother Fri 13-Sep-13 21:34:21

Yeah I know, wonder if anyone will try it. Staggered entry has pretty much been dropped in some places due to the impact on summer babies and the lag in catch up. Prob a good thing.

s0fedup Sat 14-Sep-13 20:51:14

Cqn i just add from a teachers point of view that reception and y1 are COMPLETLY different.
Reception is early years based which involves learning through play (im sure u know this)
However Y1 is much more structured and formal.
To go from nursery to y1 would in my opinion be very hard. They wont have had a gentle play based year.
They will be going straight into reading, writing, maths etc.
Hope this helps...

TiredyCustards Sun 15-Sep-13 11:46:29

Hi sofedup thanks for adding your pov.

I'm a little confused what the real differences are between the gentle play based learning of nursery, and reception year? Apart from a uniform and having to go in every day ....

Periwinkle007 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:30:51

I would say the difference between nursery and reception is bigger than people realise especially in the summer term.

in my daughter's reception year they started gently, they did phonics every day and whole class reading on the interactive white board, they did more play type maths work and other learning. As the year went on they eventually got up to doing more sitting at tables and doing more formal adding and so on, reading obviously progressed, independent writing was encouraged. Children do get all the nice play time and informal learning but a lot more learning takes place and formal learning is introduced. they also do PE lessons involving all the getting changed malarkey, class music or singing lessons, assembly, bigger playground with lots of bigger children etc

yr1 is then much more formal and a lot of children find it quite a jump even after going through reception. To jump from nursery to yr1 I think would be a huge task for many children. Of course if they had been home educated more formally in that time then the actual work will be fine and so might the more formal setting but you would run the risk of the friendship problems.

having said that many schools mix the classes up at the end of reception anyway so children are mixed with some they don't know BUT they will always be with some familiar children.

PERSONALLY I wouldn't have liked my children to start later in the year as I think it could make it a lot harder for them to catch up on phonics they have missed and I do think it is probably disruptive to the other children if a child then needs extra help to catch up with things but one of mine is an autumn birthday and the other who is a summer term birthday has only just started so it is early days.

Genesis2000 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:02:20

You can defer, but they need to start a term after they turn 5. I defer my may born son but because next term would have been September, legally you need a couple of days attendance before the whole reception year ends. In our case we deferred till after May/June half term

It is definitely your legal right. All you have to do is write to the school and tell them you are deferring until a term after the 5th birthday and then arrange with the school when exactly they would start. They may try and tell you how wonderful it is for them to start but if you are set on deferring, they will just have to accept it. I didn't really bother talking with the head, I just wrote because then you get a response in writing and don't get the grief of what they will miss etc. Schools also get money in January so the head was a bit insistent on him starting in January at the latest. I just said no to that and they respected that.

It also depends when you son's birth date falls too. If he is sept-dec born, you can only defer for a term as he needs to be in school in January. Jan- April will need to be is school in April. Mid April - August, have to start at least before the end of the school year as place can't be kept if they miss the whole year.

By the way, we still did everything else even meeting the reception teacher etc. It was only after this (near the end of summer term) we knew exactly what we wanted so don't feel rushed into your decision. You can just accept the place and then make your decision after visit, new parents meetings etc. You might feel different about it or it can reinforce why you need to defer.

We defered simply because I don't see the need of a 4 year old in school, I have a much older daughter who went through the system so I knew exactly what reception was about and hence why I didn't want my son to go through it. Now he is a happy mature 5 year old enjoying school very much and I couldn't have been happier.

Saracen Sun 15-Sep-13 21:12:29

Hi Genesis! I am glad to hear that deferring worked so well for your son.

I think your information is really helpful.

In case it helps anybody, here is just one small correction on the dates you mentioned - "mid-April" is not quite right:
Children born between 1 Sept and 31 December inclusive reach compulsory school age on 1 January.
Children born between 1 Jan and 31 March inclusive reach compulsory school age on 1 April.
Children born between 1 April and 31 August inclusive reach compulsory school age on 1 September.

This is based on the three "key dates" per year which are specified by the Secretary of State for Education. So the cutoff dates could change at the whim of a politician but nobody has messed about with them for years.

People (including me!) often refer to children "reaching compulsory school age in the term after their fifth birthday" but that is just shorthand for the above.

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