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Relocating To UK - Advice On Holding Back Aug Born Child

(7 Posts)
movingtouk1234 Wed 05-Apr-17 06:28:18

Hi, we are most likely relocating back to U.K. in the next couple of months from Australia. My eldest son will be turning 4 on 13th August so should technically be starting school this September. I am keen to hold him back a year as I think it is going to be too much for him to adjust to, new country, new home, new friends, and going to school everyday when he has only been in nursery 3 days a week in Sydney. In Australia with the different education system he would not be starting school until Jan 2019. I am keen to get some feed back from parents who have held children back the pros and cons, how easy is it to do in both the state and private system and what are the considerations ie when they reach secondary school? Age based competitive sport? One of my fears is that we decide to hold him back and then he is forced into first year based on his age and completely misses reception Year therefore being at a massive disadvantage to peers. Could this happen? Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Kathysclown Wed 05-Apr-17 07:13:43

We relocated to the U.K. From abroad last August. My DS is a late July baby, and started in Reception at 4 years 1 month. He has coped really well, and is coping with the learning side much better than I thought he would. He absolutely loves school - Reception is play based and he enjoys the social aspects a lot.

Previously he had only done half days in nursery, so the change in day length was a worry, but has been ok.

So, we did the opposite of what you are thinking of, and it has been fine.

Lidlfix Wed 05-Apr-17 07:27:37

The UK does not have a single unified schooling system. If you relocated to Scotland he would be starting school in August 2018 and bang in the middle of his cohort which runs March to Feb.

EyeStye Wed 05-Apr-17 07:37:17

Would you even have a school place for September? I'd start him at a good nursery who will do a phonics programme with him so if he does go up into year 1 he's not too far behind. Like others have said lots of play in reception and the "learning" phonics seems quite fun.

Then I'd also get him on waiting lists for preferred schools and if you got a mid year place I would take it. I'm not sure how much choice you'll have to apply for reception schools next year or whether you should have applied this year and deferred.
You might not even be able to get a deferred reception place.

Suspect it will be very much dependent on places unless you're going private in which case you might be able to agree half days

prh47bridge Wed 05-Apr-17 08:38:45

If you are moving to England the options available to you depend on the school and possibly also the local authority. They must consider your request to hold back your son a year properly. They cannot simply apply a blanket policy. However, most LAs and most schools won't allow you to hold him back a full year unless there is evidence of significantly delayed development.

Your son does not have to be in school until September 2018 so he doesn't have to start this year. However, if the authorities do not agree to him being held back a year he would go straight into Y1, missing Reception completely.

There are other options available to you through the state system. You can delay his start until later in the school year. He would still go into Reception but wouldn't start until January or April 2018 (or, indeed, any other date before the summer holidays but most parents opt for a start of term). If you want to do that you need to apply for a place as soon as possible then, when you've got one, tell the school that you are deferring entry. It is your choice, not theirs. They cannot refuse.

Whenever your son starts school you have the option of sending him part time until September 2018. Again, this is your choice. Some schools try to imply it is up to them but it isn't. If you want to send your son part time they have to accommodate you.

Would you even have a school place for September

Yes she would. She may have to push but, once she is in the UK, the LA is required to find a school place for him.

whether you should have applied this year and deferred

She could not have applied this year as she is not yet in the UK. She still has the option of deferring until later in the year.

You might not even be able to get a deferred reception place

She will be offered a place, although she may have to push the LA hard to make it happen. Once she is offered the place she has the absolute right to defer entry or send her son part time.

EyeStye Wed 05-Apr-17 08:56:28

Sorry I meant a reception place that she's happy with, I did know the LA have to offer something but obviously it may not be a school OP is keen on.
Glad you've come onto the thread with your wisdom prh!

Lowdoorinthewal1 Wed 05-Apr-17 08:58:11

To be honest, I would hold him back if you can. Some LAs are now being flexible about it although by no means all.

My DS is Aug 17th and he was fine in Reception where it is mostly play based. He then really struggled in Year 1 where the expectations, especially on writing, were just more than he could keep up with. His motor skills were just not there and he got really down about having to write in every lesson.

I am an experienced SEN teacher so I have been able to help him catch up (he has no SEN, but structured teaching methods have helped) but he has had to do a huge amount of extra work which I wish he could have been spared. He is now fine in Y2 and much happier because he can keep up.

However, I am still unhappy about him doing his GCSEs while still 15 and A Levels while still only 17, and no way will I let him go to university days after his 18th birthday- I hope he will take at least one gap year. I went to university a few months before I was 20 and was just barely ready. It would be better throughout his education if he could be given an extra year now.

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