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Any changes to admissions for applications in Jan 16?

(13 Posts)
NynaevesSister Mon 08-Jun-15 20:50:13

Just wondering if there's been any changes to admissions in England if you are applying for a place starting in September 2016.

- you apply if your child turns 5 between 01 Sept 15 and 31 Aug 16
- application deadline is in Jan 2015
- you can defer starting until the term your child turns 5. So if your child turns 5 in July 2017, you could start them after the Easter holidays?
- if your child had a 5th birthday in August 2017 you could ask the school if you could delay starting a year, but the school has no obligation to do so.

Does that sound correct?

prh47bridge Tue 09-Jun-15 07:53:24

There are a couple of typos in what you have written and some minor factual errors. Try this:

- you apply if your child turns 5 between 1 Sept 2016 and 31 Aug 2017

- the application deadline is 15th January 2016

- you can defer starting (or attend part time) until the start of the term following your child's fifth birthday, so if your child turns 5 in February 2017 you can start them after the Easter holidays

- if you defer entry for a full year the school does not have to hold your child's place open. So if your child is 5 in August 2017 you can defer entry for a full year but you will have a limited choice of schools

BetsyBoop Tue 09-Jun-15 08:03:33

You can also now request deferring entry but still starting in YR - but I would imagine the cases that get accepted for this wouldn't just be "summer born" there would be other issues too (eg very premature babies, development delay etc)

See Admissions Code below:

2.17 Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child50 may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1. Admission authorities must make clear in their admission arrangements the process for requesting admission out of the normal age group.
2.17A Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. They must also take into account the views of the head teacher of the school concerned. When informing a parent of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the admission authority must set out clearly the reasons for their decision.
2.17B Where an admission authority agrees to a parent’s request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child will be admitted to a relevant age group (i.e. the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school) the local authority and admission authority must process the application as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of their determined admission arrangements only, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable. They must not give the application lower priority on the basis that the child is being admitted out of their normal age group. Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.

tiggytape Tue 09-Jun-15 11:17:01

Yes Betsy - that isn't a change as such but a clarification of the position as it has been for a while to make it clear to parents they can ask if they want to.

Parents can request that their summer child start reception at just turned 5 instead of just turned 4 (i.e. starting late in the year below the normal one) and the council cannot outright refuse them. The council must give every single request proper consideration. That doesn't mean the council will agree though and, as you say, it is more likely to be granted where compelling expert opinion is provided with the request to show it is necessary.

NynaevesSister Tue 09-Jun-15 20:10:43

Thank you PRH47bridge. I find typos etc creep in when I am on my phone. Thank you for the corrections.

If someone had an August born child, and they wanted them to defer starting a year, which year do they apply? With their cohort or with the year they want their child at start?

For example. If a child turns 4 in August 2015, but they want them to start Reception in Sept 2016, would they apply in January 2016, or should they have applied in January 2015?

prh47bridge Tue 09-Jun-15 21:22:55

You would need to ask your LA that question. There is no universal rule.

tiggytape Wed 10-Jun-15 07:29:12

Definitely approach the LA wll ahead of the usual time. So well before January 2015 in your example.
As prh says, the LA will then be able to tell you the timeframe they work to and also possibly also give you an idea of the sorts of evidence they would like you to gather and submit in order to improve your chances of our request being granted.

BetsyBoop Wed 10-Jun-15 08:10:46

yes sorry tiggytape, in my haste I wasn't clear - I meant the change to the Admissions Code in Dec 2014 - which really beefed up the option for out of normal age range admissions, so that LAs can no longer have a blanket "no" (as many pretty much used to have!) and have to consider them all properly now.

OP - I would be contacting the LA now to get the ball rolling - you need the decision in good time to apply by 15 Jan 16 if you get a no and it takes time to gather all the evidence etc. (If you don't have a decision by then apply anyway in case it is a no)

tiggytape Wed 10-Jun-15 08:31:58

Yes sorry Betsy - that's a good way of explaining it - that they beefed it up.
I only clarified because the press reported it as a brand new right for parents to choose when their summer babies could start school which isn't the case (it isn't new and they cannot freely choose). Some parents then assumed it was automatic and risked getting caught out having no reception place at all.

NynaevesSister Wed 10-Jun-15 10:37:15

Yes that's my concern Tiggy. I belong to a parents group in the area and already a number of parents have stated it as their 'parental right'. I want to make sure that parents aren't given misleading advice. And of course the usual myths are arising, and people handing out advice from five years ago that's no longer true. As I am involved in this in my personal life I try to keep up to date with all the admissions changes. But the best advice I get always comes from Mumsnet. I tell people that this forum is where they really need to go but they always think I am nuts. Most people assume Mumsnet is all AIBU and people being nasty to each other! :/

tiggytape Wed 10-Jun-15 12:27:49

I agree Nynaeves - People only go through the admissions process a few times so it isn't that familiar yet they happily rely on advice years (or decades!) out of date.

It is also hard I think for people to grasp the general "computer says no" aspect of admissions i.e. the fact that listing only one school won't help secure a place because the council doesn't actually care that you only like one school. Either you live close enough or you don't. People always seem to think there must be a way to get a school that they like.

Equally, the media doesn't help when it announces summer babies are now allowed to start a year late. It has always been the case but they fail to mention the hoop jumping involved and that requests can be declined. They also imply catchment areas are fixed when often they aren't (as do Estate Agents) and people don't really know what to believe.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 11-Jun-15 11:11:26

It is also worth saying that, if someone wants to ask about deferring an August baby they absolutely should not wait until the application process for the year they want them to start. They need to engage with LA in the normal cohort application window and find out as much information as possible as early as possible. Although there is no universal process (or ease of deferring) that will ensure that they don't miss the boat.

If people aren't listening to you OP, it's worth checking out whether your LA has a myths page on their website. Ours does. Although some people don't believe it and think it's a conspiracy hmm, for others saying "Oooh, I found a link to that on the X website, I'll send it to you" is enough to get through to them. Ours specifically has things like not listing the same school five times.

NynaevesSister Fri 12-Jun-15 10:59:06

Good idea about the myths page. I'll look. Unfortunately where I live three different boroughs converge. This means that in all likelihood your three closest schools could in fact be in three different boroughs (as is the case for our street). So first I have to explain to people that they just put in one application to the borough they live in, and that can include schools in other boroughs.

Unfortunately parents whose children are older still labour under the misapprehension that you apply to each borough and confidently impart this 'knowledge'.

And I have found that parents will often rely on the advice of these friends no matter what you tell them.

I know a parent who didn't put the school they really wanted down as first choice because they didn't think they'd get it and they didn't want to lose out on a place at the other school. Honestly I explained how the system works over and over but they still wouldn't believe me. And then the school they really wanted had a freak lowest ever sibling application year - and people who lived further away than them got in.

I think though that once you grasp the concept the system isn't difficult to understand.

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