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Can a child repeat a year in private school

(13 Posts)
Luna9 Wed 03-Jun-15 18:59:09


My friend has a son in year 5; he is a summer born and has always been behind despite having tutoring and help outside school; he has changed school a few times; school is concerned he won't pass the 11 plus and say they can not guarantee a place at the senior school. My friend is considering whether repeating a year is an option and would help him in catching up and improve his confidence. I myself started school a year later, not in the UK; I was always top of the class, went to do a good career, a master and achieved lots of things; so I believe this is not such a bad idea and may help my friends son to improve his confidence. Anyone with experience of this? Thank you

MMmomKK Wed 03-Jun-15 19:09:30

The main issue is whether secondary schools would allow him to take 11+ out of his year group.

Their school should be able to advise them if it is possible in their area. If secondaries are OK with it, there is no reason why he can't repeat a year.

EeyorePigletAndPoohToo Wed 03-Jun-15 19:25:03

DS1 is out of year group. He was born extremely prematurely and is about 18 months delayed in all areas, so even with 1:1 support it was decided that he'd be better off in the year group below his chronological one. Our village state school refused to let him move down (and to be honest I don't think I'd have wanted him to at that school, as he'd have seen his friends move on without him) but we moved him to a small private school where he's thriving.

Is your reference to taking the 11+ because your friend's son is looking at going to a grammar school, or because he needs to/is expected to pass it in order to go on to his current school's senior school? My son can't take the 11+ out of year group and I imagine that this is likely to be the rule in every 11+ county. Grammars are obviously state schools, which are generally pretty iffy about children being out of year group. It seems to be common for LAs (or the schools themselves) to want children to re-join their chronological year group at the beginning of secondary school if they've moved down during primary school, so effectively missing Year 6. Our view of the 11+ is that grammar education isn't right for DS (I went to a grammar myself way back when, and am not at all anti-grammar, but it wouldn't be right for him).

I think it differs from one private school to another, but ours is absolutely fine with DS being in the lower year group and is very supportive of him and of us as his parents. I would suggest that your friend talks to her son's school to see what they say.

LIZS Wed 03-Jun-15 19:28:47

They can but in a selective entrance exam it could put him at a disadvantage if the results are weighted by age. Not all secondaries even private would accept him out of year so options may narrow. They might be better looking at non selectives.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 03-Jun-15 19:30:53

I've known children repeat a year but they've generally moved schools to do it.

TeacupTravels Wed 03-Jun-15 19:33:30

How would the son feel being in a year lower than all his friends?

If he has always been behind despite tutoring is it possible that a selective school isnt suitable for him? Certainly repeating a year seems extreme, and will add to his sense of failure, especially with all the tutoring as well.

I'd look at the state and private options for non selective personally.

mylaptopismylapdog Wed 03-Jun-15 19:40:40

I've known kids stay at the same school and gone on to the same (quite selective) private senior school and come out ok. think it depends on the school.

Duckdeamon Wed 03-Jun-15 21:25:55

State grammars won't let DC sit entrance tests "out of year". Some selective private schools won't admit DC "out of year" or who have repeated a year, so your friend would need to check the policies of schools they might consider.

Luna9 Thu 04-Jun-15 08:39:33

Thank you; the 11 plus is to keep him at the school where he is at the moment as this has a senior school as well as prep; this is not super selective school but they are saying that he may not be able to move to the senior there is he does not pass the exam.

Duckdeamon Thu 04-Jun-15 12:54:20

It doesn't sound like his current school want him there for seniors though? other options might need to be explored.

TeacupTravels Thu 04-Jun-15 12:59:37

An extra year wont nec make him any more able to cope though will it? And seeing all his class in the year above would be soul destroying.

I think its quite well known private schools weed out the ones they dont want (for whatever reason). I wouldn't stay at a school where I was being encouraged to leave.

Millymollymama Thu 04-Jun-15 19:13:02

Frankly - he is just not bright enough to stay there! It happens. Many senior schools do not guarantee a place to those in their prep schools. I would say the parent is chasing dreams - moving schools, tutoring etc. If he is not academic, then so be it. Look for a non selective school. He might flourish if there was less pressure to succeed.

Calmonthesurfacebut Fri 05-Jun-15 09:51:21

Ours private school starts making noises about children possibly not passing the entrance exam in Yr5 too, a sort of pre warning to parents, who may start tutoring, or look elsewhere, there is another private that is known for taking kids on from ours who parents want to move them (because they aren't going to get in the seniors). Usually one or two from 40 or so children.

Personally I think if your child has been there from Reception and has got to Y5 and is struggling, then a lot of onus should be on the school to take responsibility and do something, or have intervened beforehand and put help in place to prevent this. But the fact remains, some schools only want the highest achievers, they don't care about the money you have invested over the last 7 years for a good education, but tht is a whole different debate!

As Millymomma says, maybe a different school, with less pressure may be better for him, he would probably get more support in a good state school, unless the private has good SEN provision.

Has he a learning difficulty that hasn't been identified, how long has he been there and why did he move around schools?, which is disruptive in itself.

Lots of private schools are happy to put children up or down a year, but not necessarily repeat a year, unless through illness.

I think your friend needs to speak to the school and ask them questions on what the difficulty is, do they repeat years etc. They may just be being polite and giving them the option of finding alternatives in plenty of time. If he has only been there a year or two, they may not be as understanding as if they have had him from the start.

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