Am looking for some advice... A friend is unsure whether or not to defer her child's reception place so she starts in January 2016 instead of September 2016 (her birthday is in March)- however, her LEA specifies that all requests for deferral must be made by a given date, which is very soon.
Does anyone know where she stands if she applies for a deferral and then changes her mind? Or if she does not apply for a deferral and then decides that her son is not ready for full time school in September after all? Can the LEA refuse a request to defer the place because the deadline for deferral requests was not met?
That's my thinking... But the school seem to be implying that if a deferral request is made, then the child cannot start in September, even if the parent changes their mind.
I am doubtful that they could refuse to admit a child when they have a place being held for them until the following term, but the school seem to be under the impression that they can... Surely this can't be the case?
Thanks all. I would love to know if the LEA has any power to compel a parent to start their child at school in September if they submit a deferral request after the deadline. Like pps, I can't see what they'd be able to do about it.
There is nothing in the Admissions Code to suggest that LAs can set a deadline. If the parents submit a deferral request after the deadline the only thing they could try to do is withdraw the place but that would seem to be contrary to the Admissions Code. Someone will need to take this to the Schools Adjudicator for certainty but my take is that the deadline is unenforceable.
I don't understand why they would be asking about the Sep 2016 entry now- the DD must have just turned 3 and they want to know if she'll be ready for school in 16 months? How could a parent possibly be sure this early on? Is it possible that the LA actually want to know about deferrals this year? Your friend won't even know the school for another year...
Yes, sorry- it should say Sept 2015. I think I need more sleep
Thank you prh, that's really useful. I am assuming that the deadline is just an arbitrary one, is unenforceable, and has been set in an attempt to make the organisation of admissions easier.
In your opinion, if the parent were to accept the place to start in September and then decide in August to defer until January, the LEA could not withdraw the offer of a place without breaching the Admissions code? I can't find anything in the code which refers to deadlines.
There is no deadline for deferring a child starting at school. For September 2015 entry the relevant paragraph is 2.16 if the admission code and it simply is around the fact that admission authorities must provide the place in September but that parents can request that the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until later in the academic year. Whilst there is no date specified it does make sense that there are only limited dates like January 1st when the child can start from an organisational point of view.
Seriously I don't understand all this parents rights rubbish about deferring their child's place! IMO If you want your child to start school then they should start at the time they're supposed to ie the September of the year they turn 4. I know plenty of August born children, including myself who have done well in school and have gone on to be successful in their adult lives, to me it's just mums playing the martyr, and saying oh look at me, I'm willing to have my "baby" at home that bit longer, so I must be super mum! It's all a load of crap. If you don't want to comply with the school/council/government or whatever in agreeing to send your child to school at the appropriate time then allow that place to go to another child, and send your kids bloody private!
As a primary school teacher (mainstream and independent) of 15 years - I can say that the education system today is very different than that we might have experienced as a child. (The two cannot be compared). Right now it is assessment crazy and children are not given enough time to be children. We are far behind countries where children are allowed to play for later and where formal education is delayed until age 7. If you look at the reason 'why' children start school at 5 here, it is based purely by a decision made that children experiencing poverty are better off in a school environment than at home. It is not based upon the best thing for the child. All children are different. It is not a one system fits all. I can tell you from experience that I have seen many children suffering and struggling through the system that definitely needed more time to play.