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Can you keep an August birthday child back a year in England state schools?

(14 Posts)
Butterbean17 Wed 06-Jun-18 10:54:38

Hi,
My daughter is an August 2012 baby currently in Year 1. She has struggled to keep up with the academic side of things, hated all the tests and is particularly low in Maths. She feels like she is stupid and often tells me that as a result of how she feels compared to the rest of the class. She is 11 months and 3 weeks younger than some of the children in her class.
We live in Dubai and are moving back to England this summer. So I thought this could be a great opportunity for her to start (repeat) Year 1 rather than move up to Year 2.
As we are moving school and country she wouldn’t notice the change or feel the stigma of repeating a year.
BUT is it allowed? I’m sure I read somewhere that the parents of August babies could choose for their child to stay back a year.
Is this the case does anyone know?

Thank you! Any advice or info gratefully received.

P.s. I am a primary school teacher so I’m quite sure she’s not ready for Year 2 just yet.

OP’s posts: |
Clutterbugsmum Wed 06-Jun-18 11:00:07

Even if you can hold her back and re do yr1 (and don't think you can) .
I think you can 'hold' them back for reception year but the child will go into year 1 and not reception.

She will have to go to high school when she is 11, so is it better she is in the correct year group and then not missing the more important year 6 year which help to prepare them for high school.

brilliotic Wed 06-Jun-18 11:28:53

It is not impossible. Generally, children are thought to be best placed in their 'correct' cohort, however it is becoming more common to see summer born children in the year below.

Usually this happens by deferring entry into reception by a year. You do not have an automatic right to do this, BUT neither has the school/LA the right to automatically refuse you. They must consider each case individually and with regards to what is in the child's best interest.

Repeating a school year is something I have heard a lot less about, I think it is frowned upon because the child would then be getting an extra year of school. And because it is seen as being negative for the child to experience 'being held back' when their mates move up a year, in most cases, which adds to the general negativity around being in the 'wrong' cohort, thus tipping the scale as to what is deemed in the child's best interest.

But it does happen. And because it is becoming more common for summer borns to defer reception entry by a year, it is also becoming less problematic at the transfer points, so no need to skip Y7 and go straight into Y8 because secondary school wants them back in their 'correct' cohort.

You need the specific school's head teacher to be on board, and the LA. Some headteachers will not really consider your request at all; others might be open to discussion. But if the headteacher is 'against', you are not likely to get anywhere. So you would need to discuss this with potential schools and then pick that school (and that house) where the head is sympathetic. Plus they will need to have space in that school year!

user789653241 Wed 06-Jun-18 11:36:40

Unless you can get the guarantee that she can stay in that year group when she moves on to secondary, I wouldn't do it. Worst case scenario, she has to skip a year somewhere to move to secondary.
In ks1, children are still very young, and August born has a lot of disadvantage. But it will be less in KS2.

brilliotic Wed 06-Jun-18 11:42:26

On a separate note, I have witnessed 5 and 6 year olds saying things like 'I'm stupid' and 'I'll never learn to read, it is too hard for me' and one child's parent told me that they actually banged their head against a wall shouting 'I can't do it' (about maths).

I think this is desperately sad. And these early school experiences might very well have long-term negative effects on the child's attainment, confidence, mental health.

However I have also seen these same children two years on, and for most these things are now forgotten. They eventually 'clicked' and the early experience of 'at school I am taught things I don't understand and am asked to do things I can't' (and therefore concluding that 'I am stupid' and 'school is not for me') has been superseded by a new experience of 'I can do this, it makes sense to me, I have caught up' and even 'my hard work has paid off' and 'when I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything'

So if you can't find a school that will allow you to 'repeat', don't despair - with support at home, lots of love and showing her that you have every confidence in her, it is likely that she will eventually 'click', catch up, and by the time she is 11 no one will care if she understood addition in Y1 or only in Y3.

LIZS Wed 06-Jun-18 11:49:36

Unlikely at this stage. You can defer at reception fir a summer born but it is rare later unless sen. Tbh it would probably be fine to keep her with the cohort. Even British curriculum schools overseas have a tendency to be more rigid in testing than UK counterparts, which are used to a more diverse ability range.

brilliotic Wed 06-Jun-18 12:01:16

It does state in admissions documents (at least locally, but I assume it is a general thing) that a child arriving from abroad should start in the year that is in the child's best interests, which would usually (but not always) be the 'correct' cohort.
Anything other than the correct cohort will need the specific school's headteacher's approval, so it all depends on finding a headteacher happy to go with this.
I agree though that you might not be able to find one.

If you had professional evidence of significant needs or something, it might help. It is not required but might ease the path (e.g. headteacher is generally happy to do this but feels they need 'evidence' to justify their decision vis-a-vis governing board, or to avoid 'all parents wanting to do this'.)

Clutterbugsmum Wed 06-Jun-18 12:26:11

irvineoneohone That what I mean.

I know of 2 children who both had significant SEN and were in the year below and both jumped from year 5 to year 7 when they were due to go to high school. Both had more issues at high school because of this.

Butterbean17 Wed 06-Jun-18 14:12:41

Thanks so much for your feedback.
Sounds like it depends on the headteacher.

Now that summer borns can be held back in starting Reception it will probably become quite common. So I hope in the future the secondary schools won’t ask all those children to skip a year when the time comes to move up to high school.

Yes the school my daughter is a high achieving prep school very focused on academics and tests. Hopefully her new school will be a bit less concerned with all that.
Will have to see what happens when I meet the new headteacher!!
Thanks again x

OP’s posts: |
Butterbean17 Wed 06-Jun-18 14:21:20

I would certainly rather she did Year 2 now than repeat Year 1 and then have to jump from Year 5 to Year 7. That would be horrible!

OP’s posts: |
Clutterbugsmum Wed 06-Jun-18 14:44:21

It was very traumatic for the children involved.

I would say to try not to worry to much children can catch up and exceed with the help of very good teachers.

My DS is left handed and has hyper mobility and up now end of year 4 had problems writing but his teacher is has had this year has been amazing. DS has gone from writing like a year 1 or 2 to his hand writing to being at expected levels for year 4 in the last 3 months.

Grasslands Wed 06-Jun-18 15:40:54

Is private an option?

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 06-Jun-18 15:58:52

You don't have to automatically go to high school when you're 11. We're applying to defer reception year and when I phoned admissions of the local high school I was told that they'd keep my child in the year he'd always been in (so no jumping from y5 to y7)

Zyxcba Wed 06-Jun-18 22:01:39

There is a helpful Facebook group, flexible school admissions for summer borns. It may be possible and you will get lots of advice there if you post explaining your situation. Hope that helps.

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