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delaying primary school start due to SEN

(10 Posts)
ruthb33 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:55:19

Hi - was after some advice please!

My nearly 3 year old (March born) daughter would be due to start Reception in Sept 2018, and typically be at the nursery at the school from Jan 2018 (so applying in a couple of months).

She was seriously ill last year, spending 7 months in hospital having chemo and has a gross motor delay of 18-24 months (can't yet walk). It's unclear when she will catch up (she's crawled for 14 months) although the specialists are optimistic she will at some point (although likely she'll lag for a significant time). In other areas she's not massively far off - 6-12 months.

There's no ECHP in place although she was referred by local paed to EY advisory service, who have visited her in preschool setting.

I genuinely don't know how she'll be in 18 months' time - but I'm wondering what I should be thinking about now if we wanted to consider her started a year later. It's just that if she was to do 2 terms in nursery then we'd have to be applying for that soon which is obviously out of sync with 'should she wait a year before starting'.

Would we stand any chance of delaying her start into reception by a year if she wasn't summer born and it's 'just' a physical delay?? Or is that sufficient grounds to get a good chance of an ECHP?

Any advice?? I'll post in SN too, but I just wondered specifically about the 'delaying school start if not summer born' question...


Kanga59 Fri 13-Jan-17 21:47:27

my son was 3 this week and has gdd due to an underlying medical condition. He attends mainstream nursery school with council funded 1-1 support.

contact your local EYSENIT team and request you are allocated one. They will support you and your child and get any 1-1 funding or additional support funding sorted.

you'll need to start the ehcp process by may this year. you'll want the ehcp in place for when you apply for reception place in January 2018. your eysenit and nursery sen will help with this. Also your community paediatrician.

get your consultant or community paed to refer for a MAD. multi disciplinary assessment.

even if you want to defer reception entry, you need to apply for your as normal next Jan. hence the ehcp needs starting this year so that you have full choice of schools.

Once you have a place allocated (April 2018 ish) you can request to defer reception entry. your EYSENIT and community paed will help with this.

is your child in receipt of DLA? This can open doors for other help so worth looking into.

my son will be deferring reception entry too. We plan to have him do.3 years in nursery.

prh47bridge Sat 14-Jan-17 01:08:57

It is unlikely you will be able to defer for a full year as, by law, your daughter must be in full time education from the start of term following her fifth birthday. You can, however, defer until Easter. You don't need any grounds for that at all. You apply in the normal way then, once you've got a place, you inform the school that you are deferring entry until the start of the summer term.

HowDoYouDrinkYourTea Sat 14-Jan-17 10:16:18

It's not that unlikely. I teach reception and we have 6 children and that have started this year 'a year late'. It's up to the head to decide.

prh47bridge Sat 14-Jan-17 11:10:22

I teach reception and we have 6 children and that have started this year 'a year late'. It's up to the head to decide.

The head has discretion over summer born children. The OP's child is not summer born. The OP's child was born in March. She will therefore be of compulsory school age on 1st April 2019 and must attend full time education from the start of the summer term in 2019. That is the law . The head has absolutely no discretion over this whatsoever.

If your head allows, say, a child who is 5 in November 2017 to delay starting school until September 2018 the parents will be breaking the law. If they are prosecuted the fact that the head said it was ok would not be a defence.

Kanga59 Sat 14-Jan-17 20:51:24

op please don't be disheartened by PP who needs to frankly chill out.

If you feel deferring is best, spk to your comm paed and eysenit in the first instance. It is possible for a non-summer born to defer where medical grounds exist.

yes its much easier if summer born but you won't be applying for.deferral under those rules so not relevant.

mrz Sat 14-Jan-17 21:27:56

It's unusual but not unheard of for a child with significant SEN to be taught out of year. I would push for an EHCP and ask for deferred entry to be included. You also need to ensure that the LA agree (in writing) that your child can continue to be taught out of year until they leave school or you may find your child has to miss either Y6 or Y7 when it comes to transfer to secondary. Good luck

ruthb33 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:03:18

Thanks all, that's really helpful. Not sure whether physical needs alone will mean an ECHP but I'll talk to her eysenit. She does get shattered after 3 hours of preschool but who knows. She'd definitely struggle with a full day anywhere at the moment and as I said, is still some way off walking unsupported. But I wouldn't describe her as having Gdd from what I've read...

Due a community paed review so I'll talk to her too. We live in Herts (where summer born deferral now v easy I understand) so I think 'out of age group'ish willl get a bit more common and hopefully won't mean a fight down the line at secondary school if that's the way we go.
Thanks again all

u123 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:56:47

Prh I have a child in my class who was born in September and should be in year 1 so they're autumn born. How come this is ok then?

prh47bridge Mon 16-Jan-17 00:10:48

Assuming you are in England...

Without knowing all the details I would say there is chance that this is ok but it is also possible that the law has been broken.

If the child should be in Y1 they must be 6 at the moment. As the law stands this child reached compulsory school age on 1st January following their fifth birthday (i.e. 1st January 2016) and was required to be in full time education from the start of the 2016 spring term. If there is no EHCP involved the only way this child could legitimately start school in Reception just before their sixth birthday would be if the parents home educated from January onwards (or made some other arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education) and your head (and the LA if it is a Community or VC school) agreed that they could join Reception a year late. If the child was not receiving a full-time education from the start of the spring term the parents were breaking the law. If the LA was aware of the situation and the parents were unable to show that their child was being suitably educated the LA could have issued an attendance order requiring the child to attend a particular school.

Some heads seem to either not know the law or think they are above the law (I have encountered both!). It is, therefore, quite possible that your head agreed to allow the parents to start their child in Reception a year late and the parents didn't do anything about educating their child in the interim. If that is what happened the law has been broken but the parents will not face any sanctions at this stage. They cannot be prosecuted until they have failed to comply with a school attendance order. As the child is now at school it is too late for the LA to issue an attendance order.

Just to be clear, the head has not committed an offence even if s/he knowingly facilitated the parents in breaking the law. The worst that is likely to happen to the head is a ticking off from the LA.

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