This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Primary school admissions - declining an offer(14 Posts)
Looking for advice.
DD currently attends a Steiner kindergarten. She was born in July 2014, so was due to start school in September 2018, but we applied to defer entry until Sep. 2019 as we felt she was too young, which our local authority allowed as she wasn't compulsory school age.
DD now has a place at a local primary to start in Sep. 2019. However, the Steiner kindergarten has another year left and we have decided that we would like DD to finish that before going to a primary school. We need to inform the local authority by 30 April that we wish to decline the offer, but it's not clear what happens next year. Or should we accept the offer but say we want it for Sep. 2020? I assume the School will not hold DD's place for Sep. 2020 entry...?
Does anyone have any experience or sage words?
You cannot hold a place over from one school year to the next.
So, as the deferment of one year has already been accepted, you will need to reapply for year 1 in 2020. As Infant Class Size rules apply, you can only be offered a place at a school with a vacancy, which means you might not get your currently allocated school if it is full at that point.
You can’t hold a place so if you want a primary school place in a years time you will need to take what is available. So you need to weigh that up
I would also check whether the council would allow her to go into Y1 next year when her age bracket is y2. I know they had agreed to the deferral but I would check carefully.
I am now familiar with steiner but would mention that the step up in primary school between reception and year one is quite big in terms of both expectations and approach so she might find it quite a shock to the system.
Just to clarify - we didn't defer exactly. We applied in 2017/18 and after getting a place, wrote to the Council in May 2018 and requested that DD didn't start last year. The Council agreed, but we had to reapply in competition again in 2018/19, but got a place for entry in to Reception.
Is applying for Year 1 dealt with like a transfer?
You can apply for any school you like but in reality in most places many year 1/2 classes will be full, though you will be offered a place somewhere, though that may not be in a school of your choice.
You will need to talk to the council and school again re. Year group; if you end up at a different school, there is no guarantee that school will her to start a year delayed, they may decide the best thing for her is to go into year 2.
I think that you will also have a child who is 5 and therefore by law have to be in school from September 2019, having already had a year's deferment.
I would check with the LA that they are happy that the Steiner kindergarten meets this requirement.
Sorry - I should have been clearer, and not used the word deferment in a different sense. I had meant that your DD had been accepted as an out-of-age pupil into the cohort one year younger (and took it as read she was in the main applications round)
Yes, you would be applying for an ad hoc year 1 place in 2020, and as ICS rules apply, you will only be offered a school where there is a vacancy. It will be a whole fresh application (often called an in-year application) in the same way as anyone applying for a place outside the main school entrance rounds.
That you were offered a place in the main round gives you no priority whatsoever, and if the the currently offered school is full (for they must re-offer you place once they know you have declined it) when you re-apply, you cannot be allocated a place there.
Your DC has to be in education no later than the start of the term afternoon their 5th birthday, but they do not have to attend school in order to receive an education. So I think you'll be fine staying in Steiner from that POV, especially as you believe your DC benefits from a rigid and undifferentiated curriculum such as theirs.
As Admission indicates, the LA may not accept that the kindergarten classes as full time education. If they don't you will have to send him to school or home educate.
If you delay a year you will be applying for a place in Y1. As Meditrina says, most schools will be full and infant class size rules will apply in most schools, which means they cannot admit any more children as doing so would push class sizes beyond the legal limit of 30. You will probably end up with a place at an unpopular school which could be a long way from home. You may be lucky and still get a place at one of your preferred schools but you shouldn't bank on that.
It would be much easier to transition to reception than into year 1 (or 2). She would be joining a school where friendship groups etc have been established.
You have already deferred a year so her peers will be going into year 1 in September. You have been offered a place in reception for this September so already a year behind. The school won't keep the place for a whole year as this denies an education to another child. Keep in mind if you decline you may end up with a place in year 2 in a years time and no guarantee it will be a school of your choice.
Places in year 2 are very much dependent on the school being below the published admission number as they can't exceed numbers so you are risking not getting a place at the school you want. PP's have mentioned the friendship issue and that's going to be significant, I can't see why you'd want your child to stay in a kindergarten until she is 6/7.
You also need to check how deferring will affect her entrance to secondry school. They might not allow her to defer so she might skip years 5 and 6 completely and go straight into year 7 with her peers. Deferring in primary does not automatically mean secondry will be deferred.
I am assuming your child will be five by September. Normally you would be able to hold her reception place until the term after she was five or the summer term of reception whichever was sooner.
Having done an inyear transfer in year one I have to say it wasn't too bad- but the schools I preferred weren't the most popular ones.
I think the transition from a Steiner nursery to a mainstream reception will be a lot easier than the transition from a Steiner Nursery to an established Year 1 class, or even as someone suggested, what might turn out to be a Y2 class.
Better a place in the hand for a school that you like than possibly finding that you are allocated a place in a school that you don't like at all.