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Summer born children. Should have held DS1 back, do I hold DS2 back?(22 Posts)
Both my sons were born in August. My eldest is now 6 in Y2 and my youngest is 3 and will start reception Sept 2018, less than a month after his 4th birthday.
When we were thinking about DS1 starting school my instincts were telling me he wasn't ready and we should apply to have him start reception the following year. But his nursery teachers told me he would be fine.
We should have applied to keep him back.
He is very bright (our opinion and that of his teacher's - I glow with pride) but he has struggled to do things he was physically and developmentally not ready for (it turns out he has dyspraxia which explains some of the challenge.)
Our DS2 is more confident than his older brother (so is less likely to be as anxious as his brother was/is at school) but his talking is delayed (he has speech and language therapy and a SEN plan at nursery) and he seems younger than his brother seemed at the same age. Also, he was born a month early so would have started school in 2019 if born when expected.
So I have filled out the application form to have DS2 start reception in 2019 instead of 2018.
But how will it effect his older brother when he sees his little brother finding school easier than he did?
I do feel bad that we didn't delay school for DS1 and don't want to make it worse for him.
I want to make sure I don't repeat the mistake with DS2 but either way there is an unfairness.
Because the advice I got from DS1's nursery teachers in the end was wrong I don't know who to get advice from.
Have you experienced anything similar?
What would you do?
You can't give DS2 a poor school experience just because DS1 had one.
You must do what is best for DS2.
If you hold DS2 back a year now won't he either start in year 1 or be forced to skip a year at some point, possibly the start of secondary, to catch up with the year group he would have originally been in though?
I know there were plans to change that a couple of years ago but I didn't think they had actually changed it yet?
Thats also how I understood it worked. He doesn't have to start in year in reception but would then join the following year in year 1. That would be worse IMO.
Perhaps things have changed though.
Things have changed, he will stay in that cohort throughout.
I agree, so what's best for ds2.
Talk to the school. DS has a friend in reception who was born in August 2012 (so should be in Year 1). He (like your DS) was 6 weeks early so should have been in Reception. Because of that the Headteacher agreed that he could start this year.
It was definitely the right decision - he has fitted in well and unless you knew would assume he was in the right year (or born at the time he was due)
My twins were born on August 31st, 4 weeks early. If also like to hold them back but I thought they'd have to start in year 1 rather than reception which seems worse to me x
Things haven't changed. I've just checked on the progress. Individual schools might agree to it but there is no guarantee he won't be made to rejoin his correct group at junior school or secondary school.
I personally think that would be an awful lot worse than possible being a bit less mature than his correct cohort in reception. Missing out a whole year at that level is something you might struggle to recover from
I'm going to hold back my prem August-born dc.
This will mean he will start school (reception) in the September after he turns 5. I've spoken to a couple of high schools in the area, one says he'll stay in the same year, other says they will decide (so we're not going there!).
As I understand it you need to apply for a place in the "correct" year, meet with the head of the prospective school and make the case for delayed entry, this then goes to a panel to decide. There's at least one fb group for people doing this if anyone wants more information.
I am without doubt that this is the right thing to do.
I think its a crazy risk to assume that in seven years time the secondary school will still have the same head, the same policy and will allow a child to join out of cohort. They might, they might not. The law might even have changed by then. But if they don't allow it that could have a far greater impact on the child's education than being the youngest in reception.
There's a boy in DSs class who was deferred for a year, he still went into reception with DS and is in the same class 3 years later so I don't think the rules are the same across the board.
its when you come to change schools though that the issue will arise.
I've checked as well, its down to the individual school and the admission authority, so even if OP finds a primary that will agree to it no other school has to, so they could end up having to skip a year if they moved or when the child goes up to secondary.
Which would be horrible. We are just going through the process of secondary school entrance assessments and there is a possibility that DS2 won't be able to stay at his current school (SEN). It's horrible for him to think that he might not be with his friends who are all moving up. Add to that having to go up into another year group having missed out on a whole year's worth of work and then struggling to catch up. I wouldn't take the risk. And I say this as someone with a summer born child with a learning disability who would probably benefit significantly by being in the year below.
As others have suggested, in terms of deferral to the year below, it is entirely possible but the ease differs by local admissions authority. They cannot have a blanket No policy, but don't have to bow to parental preference either. Some will just say yes, others will ask for medical evidence of the need. Once in a year group in primary, the child would normally continue in that year within that school.
However, the transition to secondary school may be an issue if a child is deferred, as most secondaries in England are now academies, and as such are their own admissions authorities. They could therefore potentially refuse to take a child out of year. It's worth exploring this with likely secondaries when making a decision, though of course what they say now may not be their position in 7-8 years time!
I have some summer babies. One of mine skipped Reception and went straight into Year One. It worked very well. The other summer-born demanded to go into Reception, so that's what happened. That was fine, too. You know what is best for your children, so I'd just go with your gut feeling.
Thank you for all the thoughts and experiences.
As I understand it whoever was education minister a few years ago tried to bring in a county wide approach/policy that allowed summer born children to start reception a year later. But this never became official so there is still a lottery. My London borough, seems to have a simple application process to request your child starts the following year if you can argue for the need. There is no insistence of going straight in to Y1 having stayed back a year. However there is the chance that at secondary school the child would have to jump forward again. Which is something I need to investigate to see what precedent there is for this. But even then who knows where we will be (government. policy etc) in over 5 years time.
I know I need to do what's best for DS2 and I'm not sure why I need to worry so much about the effect it will have on DS1 (I was a summer baby to an autumn little sister so re living my experiences on DS1).
There's a Facebook page called Flexible School Admissions for Summer Borns which has some really knowledgeable people on and people share their experiences from different areas of the country. Definitely worth a look - some of the people have had a real fight on their hands and are really good with the details in the policy etc.
OP if it reassures you, the difference which seems so great now really does disappear within a couple of years and they will all be on an even footing.
By the way, OP, if your DS1 is very bright, you have definitely done the right thing by keeping him in his "real" school year. He would probably be bored stiff if he were down a year. My DC who missed Reception is similarly bright, and would have been a nuisance in the year below.
Another option would be to defer his place so he starts later in the reception year (Jan or April). Or send him part time from Sept.
My DS is a July born and he started reception last Sept. With the Head Teachers agreement he started on a 4 day week (he also has a speech disorder and sees a speech therapist once a week at school). He has been full time since Jan and is coming along nicely. Good luck with whatever you decide.