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Are children born in may summer-born

(45 Posts)
Fazerina Fri 22-Nov-13 15:51:05

Just that really. DS is born 9th of May, would he be considered summer-born in England?

tiggytape Mon 25-Nov-13 23:13:21

Parents have always been allowed to do it in theory.
In practice even very premature babies or those with high levels of additional needs weren't allowed to be held back a year. Most LAs simply do not allow this is all but exceptional circumstances (and not even then - there are many cases where medical professionals support the parents asking for this but the LA will just not agree to do it).

There may well be a surge in applicants asking for this but, even if the LAs loosen their stance from "practically never" to "maybe sometimes" they still aren't going to grant it for a child just because they are born in May with no other social / medical needs in the background.

It is definitely not going to be the case that May - August babies can request this and expect it to be granted just because they quite fancy being the eldest children in the year below as opposed to the youngest in the correct year group. It may however help the children who do genuinely need to be held back but who, at the moment, are never able to achieve this in practice.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 25-Nov-13 22:06:00

It's on this thread

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 25-Nov-13 21:56:32

Although the view of a lot of admissions people on here has been that, in spite of a surge in publicity, the guidance doesn't differ a lot from the old guidance and may well be applied in the same way. I don't think it's as simple as 'you'll be allowed to do it now'.

Helspopje Mon 25-Nov-13 21:51:24

It has apparently always been possible, but there has recently been gvmt guidance issued to LEAs that there should be no impediment to this in the future. I would imagine that many more applications for delay (ie defer to the following years R class) will be received from now on.

Rufus44 Mon 25-Nov-13 20:45:55

In my area I have never heard of a child being allowed to defer year R for year (not to say it has never happened!)

When I looked into it I was told that my child would start in year 1, in effect missing a year of school and putting them even further behind his peers

Ds2 is a summer baby who showed no inclination to even pick up a pen. Apparently he is very bright! Doesn't bloody show it at home!!

Bunnyjo Sun 24-Nov-13 20:02:15

OP, I am confused. Do you have specific reasons for believing your DS needs to be held back a year? Is he under the care of professionals that believe he will not be able to start with his age appropriate peers?

I have a friend whose DS was born prematurely on 28th August, he wasn't due until the end of October. He was, and still is under the care of paediatricians and SaLT, but he still wasn't granted a deferral. Despite it being the recommendation of the professionals involved with him, the LA concluded that these issues could be overcome with appropriate support and intervention, and he started in his correct age group. He is now in Year 2 and making good progress.

As a May birthday, there will be many children younger than him. Unless there are professionals involved that feel he must be held back a year, then it is highly unlikely that you will get any LA to agree to hold him back a year; especially as he is very unlikely to be the youngest.

As harsh as it sounds, there has to be a cut-off somewhere and I say that as a mother of a late August born DD and a mid May born DS. Unless you are willing to consider going private (where I am led to believe there is more flexibility), home educating or moving, then I think you're going to have to accept that your DS is going to be one of the younger ones going through school.

TheDoctrineOfWho Sun 24-Nov-13 19:58:39

OP, on average, 10 out of 30 children in the class would be the same age or younger than your son. That's really not a persuasive case for him being allowed to start one year late.

WooWooOwl Sun 24-Nov-13 19:10:24

5.3 would be very old to be starting in a class that is suitable for children more than a year younger than that.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 24-Nov-13 19:01:44

That's what I was commenting on Fazerina. It is not your choice to put your son in Reception at 5.3. It may be authorised in very rare circumstances (the only time I've known it is the type of situation Terror mentions), but if it is not authorised, your two options are the ones I've outlined. If he starts at 5.3 he will almost certainly have to start into Y1.

Also do check out policy further up school. I don't know much about it, but I've heard tales of even children taught 'out of year groups' in primary school (i.e. children with severe SEN in most cases) being forced to return to their correct age group at secondary school .

TerroroftheAutumns Sun 24-Nov-13 18:38:16

Or move to Scotland grin

TerroroftheAutumns Sun 24-Nov-13 18:37:40

If permission is refused, your only option is to register to home school your child, as otherwise you would be breaking the law once they are of compulsory school age not to send them to yr1 as allocated.

TerroroftheAutumns Sun 24-Nov-13 18:36:07

As others have said, you would only be allowed to do that with the express permission of the headteacher and LA. it is exceptionally rare to be granted. I know of only one case, and that child had no speech at all really and English as a second language. They were already receiving additional support in Nursery and the HT agreed to keep them back another year.

Fazerina Sun 24-Nov-13 18:25:36

Just to point out, I was looking to put DS in Reception when he's 5.3, not YR1..

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 24-Nov-13 17:43:49

Oh, I was also going to say, given the randomness of distribution, being a May child doesn't mean your child will be the youngest in the class. He is already the oldest of the summer children, and in my DD's class that group comprises half the class. So actually she is older than roughly half the class and younger than roughly half the class.

pyrrah Sun 24-Nov-13 16:56:53

I wouldn't want to start a child's schooling straight into Y1 unless it was unavoidable (move from Overseas etc).

They will be going into an established class where friendship groups will already exist and where the staff already have a grasp of the child's abilities and general character - shy/confident etc

Reception is very play based and teachers are very understanding about the children being little, getting tired, struggling with social skills, accidents etc. Year 1 is quite a big jump and would be far harder on a child with no previous school experience.

Children will come from Reception having studied phonics, being able to read to a greater or lesser extent, ditto with writing and maths. I can't imagine it would do a child's confidence much good to go into a class when they could do none of that.

Having sent DD to a primary nursery from age 3.5, and with full school days and a curriculum that was basically Reception-lite, I really don't see a reason to hold back any child who doesn't have serious medical needs. None of the 25 children in her class were 'super-kids', they were all normal children from a wide variety of backgrounds and they all did better than 'cope' with everything.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 24-Nov-13 14:14:45

Can I just respond to your last comment:
Of course, I understand that many parents deferring their children's start date at R-class and effectively deferring their children's whole time in compulsory education would place a strain on local authorities. However, if I have any doubt when DS is 5 of his abilities to sit in class and learn, I will refuse for him to take the hit for the greater good..

If your LA doesn't consent to deferring (I wasn't previously aware of them ever agreeing, but other posters know more about recent changes on that than I do), it won't be a question of you 'refusing to take the hit for the greater good'. You will have to choose between:

a) starting him in school at some point in his reception year; or

b) deferring him as long as is permitted, which in his case would be to the start of Y1, but he would then have to start in Y1 and you wouldn't be able to apply in the normal round of admissions. He would be applying as a late applicant for any places that are available at that point. If you are in London or a highly subscribed area, that is likely to very, very severely limit your choice of schools. So your child could end up starting school with children who had already been at school for a year, into a school you don't like and would never have chosen.

WooWooOwl Sun 24-Nov-13 13:57:31

Even if May technically counts as summer born, it's surely not 'summer born enough' for it to make a difference unless he was born very premature.

Reception classes in my experience are very aware of the fact that they are receiving children that are only just four, and they do cope well with it.

My dc are both late August born, and I'd say they have to have been really quite significantly behind in their development if they couldn't have coped with reception. Saying that though, at the time they started school they weren't required to start until the January, so they had that extra term of being the oldest at pre school which I think was good for them. I really don't think they would have suffered if they had started in the September though, and it may even have had its benefits.

They always achieved well at primary so they don't support the statistics about summer borns achieving less.

By starting your ds so much later, you also run the risk of him not being stretched enough in future years if he ends up being well over a year older than the youngest children in his class.

Remember that you don't have to start your child full time straight away when they start school. You are allowed to just do four days a week, or just do mornings, and lots of schools have very long settling in periods anyway.

Clavinova Sun 24-Nov-13 10:21:03

From my understanding you need to apply for a Reception place in the January of the school year your child turns 4 (OP's child will be 3) but if you want to defer entry you need to speak to the Headteachers of the schools you want to apply for before you make your application.

In Surrey it is certainly possible to defer entry if the individual schools agree but your child will have to take up their place in the term they turn 5, ie the summer term in your case, when your child is almost 5, otherwise you will lose the place.

Applying for Year 1 is very risky as the most popular schools will be full. Even if you can't defer, many schools have a staggered entry in Reception and you may find that your child doesn't actually need to go full-time until the Oct/Nov anyway.

lougle Sun 24-Nov-13 08:00:04

There is no hard and fast criteria for complete deferral to the following year. However, it is a discretionary measure and there is no right of appeal if refused.

bananasontoast Sun 24-Nov-13 02:16:57

It is the governments view that there does not need to be an exception reason or special need for a summer-born to start in reception at compulsory school age. Feel free to verify this with the DfE via their contact us page.

Fazerina Sat 23-Nov-13 19:24:08

Hello all and thank you for your replies, I only noticed them now.

I do appreciate that all children are unique and hopefully this will be taken into account also at school, where there's 30 kids in a classroom confused. I am also fully aware that trying to analyse what my two-year-old will be like in two years' time is near impossible: if he is ready and able to start at Reception by then, by all means, he will. If not, I like to know what other options may be available for us and where we stand legally.

Of course, I understand that many parents deferring their children's start date at R-class and effectively deferring their children's whole time in compulsory education would place a strain on local authorities. However, if I have any doubt when DS is 5 of his abilities to sit in class and learn, I will refuse for him to take the hit for the greater good..

tiggytape Sat 23-Nov-13 18:24:24

So does this mean my DS could have a deferred entry and start at Reception (not Y1) when he is 5yo 3months?

No - not easily and not without exceptional reasons.

The Daily Mail article is a bit of a re-hash of what already happens:
* Most children start school the September before they turn 5
* Some parents choose to delay starting until the term after their child turns 5 unless they turn 5 in the Summer term in which case they must start in the Summer term or lose their place.
* Some parents choose to apply for a Year 1 place so their child starts the term after they turn 5 but this is risky because all the places in most schools will be gone by then and the child will miss the whole of reception.

Very rarely, children aged 5 and 3 months can start reception instead of Year 1. This will only happen where medical and / or professional opinion says it would be impossible to put the child in th correct year group even with 1:1 support. The LA must review that opinion and make a decision. This happens much more rarely than 1:1 support being given to keep the child in their 'correct' year group.

It is not impossible but it is rare and far from automatic.

AbbyR1973 Sat 23-Nov-13 17:50:59

I would just add that all children are individuals: having a birthday after Easter does not necessarily equal not managing at school. DS2 is 30th April and started year r this year. He is working ahead of most children in his year group and is happy sociable and incredibly confident. There is no way in a million years I would have deferred him. Neither would I have started him later in the school year.
My best friend at school was a late August birthday and studied Medicine at Cambridge.

lougle Sat 23-Nov-13 13:52:34

The new Admissions Code allows for this, from this year. It's still at discretion of the LA/HT, but it is officially recognised as an option to 'place out of year' - so a Yr R child could start school a year late and continue to be a year out of age throughout their school career. I still think it's going to be very rare, though.

Chocovore Sat 23-Nov-13 09:11:35

I think you will find it impossible to delay him a year. For what it is worth, my son's birthday is also 9 May but he is doing very well at school. I have a younger DS who has a later summer birthday and just started this year and is also doing fine. It will be OK - honest!

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