Can anyone help me understand funding?

(11 Posts)
pastaparadise Tue 28-Jul-20 21:57:31

I've got myself into a mess... We applied for ds2 to start reception in Sept. But he's only 4 at the end of this week, so during lockdown we applied successfully to defer his start til 2021 (school is an academy). We then had a wobble and changed our minds a few days later, but the LA had already offered his place to the first child on the waiting list who accepted. We then asked if he could go to the nursery instead, but were told they had managed to squeeze him back into reception. Reception now has 31 including ds.

How will this affect their funding? I'm confused as i thought they aren't allowed to go over 30. We would actually prefer nursery (which is under subscribed) but not sure if it's too late and ungrateful looking to ask! Any ideas??

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pastaparadise Wed 29-Jul-20 22:30:54

anyone??

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admission Thu 30-Jul-20 12:35:04

The answer is that the nursery and the main school (reception) have different funding systems. In the nursery, assuming you can get 30 free hours, then the school or the nursery, if it is separate from the school, get paid a set fee per hour. It is paid based on when the pupils start and in arrears but I cannot remember the exact schedule.
Having already changed once I suspect that the school will not be pleased if you ask about changing again, especially as they seem to have gone out on a limb and admitted your child when over the 30 maximum which is meant to be in infant classes. They are obviously betting that someone will leave in the few months.
Funding for schools in England is based on a funding formula which is mainly ( circa 80%) on the number of registered pupils on a set day in October. As an academy the school will start to receive the new funding based on the October 2020 census in September 2021. So in all honesty it will not make any real difference to the school but whatever you decide, if you are taking up the school place you need to be a registered pupil by October 2020.
Not wanting to complicate the matter further but given birth date of your child you could register at the school and then request that you delay entry until after Christmas, that is start 1st January. That will have no effect on funding for the school as you are a registered pupil.

pastaparadise Thu 30-Jul-20 21:55:55

Thanks so much for the info.

I'd be surprised if anyone leaves shortly - it's a single form entry in quite a small stable community. Is there any penalty to them having 31? I did wonder if the LA pursuaded them as they gave away our place without our confirmation in writing. Was never planning to complain but they might have thought we could? My older son also had 31 in reception class as a biy joined from abroad mid year, so i wasnt sure if this was unusual.

I know they wouldnt like us to change our minds again, but if it doesn't affect funding or other families then presumeably it's 'just' and administrative inconvenience? The head wasnt keen on a jan start- i know legally we're entitled to it but i think Im unpopular enough as it is. He offered us deferral for a year or full time in Sept...

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anothershrubbery Fri 31-Jul-20 08:38:44

You could actually defer until April if you want, but I can see why you wouldn't want to if the school's not keen. It's also not great from a social cohesion point of view. I suspect you might be right about the LA saying that the school should honour the offer because you didn't refuse in writing - very foolish of the school to re-offer the place on the basis of a verbal refusal. An extra child is more than just a purely administrative issue, depending on your definition of administrative - it's that little bit more work for the teacher, impact on the class dynamics, pressure on classroom resources etc. Obviously it's only just one child, but it does add up. That said, I imagine there's a fairly good chance that a child might leave Reception at some point; the school may already know of a family waiting for a house move to go through, or waiting for an EHCP transfer to another school etc.

Is there a strong reason you want to defer? Most summer born children do seem to cope well starting school at 4, unless there's an additional reason why they might not. Also, is there any chance you wouldn't get a place next year? If you delay a whole year then you're not actually deferring, you'd need to reapply for a place.

pastaparadise Fri 31-Jul-20 09:33:31

It was the LA who reallocated the place, based on an email from the school but not from us. But no way was i going to complain!

Yes i know we'd need to reapply but almost certain to get a place based on sibling link and location.

No real reason to defer, but i feel 4 is just too young, ds hates sitting still, cant hold a pen, hasnt been to a preschool setting (childminder as we need more flexibility), and i think reception might be a bit miserable this year with cv - no books out, no soft toys, no settling in with parent day, no nativity etc, chance of further lockdown etc.

I wonder if, despite us being a pain in the arse changing our minds, they might prefer us opting for nursery now to get number back down to 30??

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anothershrubbery Fri 31-Jul-20 09:50:28

I wouldn't base your decision on the pain in the arse factor. Yes, they'll probably think you're a bit of a pita (or at least woefully indecisive), but frankly schools have got bigger fish to fry at the moment. If you do defer, then by next September it will be largely water under the bridge and it won't take long of you being the nice parents at the school gate to make them get over it. Do what feels right for your child.

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FelicityPike Fri 31-Jul-20 09:55:01

“ and i think reception might be a bit miserable this year with cv - no books out, no soft toys, no settling in with parent day, no nativity etc,”

You don’t know that this is what it’s going to be like though.

admission Fri 31-Jul-20 15:44:20

Your post explains why they re-offered you the post, with 31 in the class. They should not have offered the place to somebody else when they did not have your confirmation that you were deferring. Their fault and praise to them for putting it right without being pushed.
I think that schools will be doing everything they possibly can to make school as exciting as possible, so I would not assume that what you might think is going to happen in the immediate future is going to be the same for the whole year or further into the future.
I would be tempted to just let your son join from September. Yes he might be one of the youngest in the class but you might be surprised how well he copes. Frequently it is the parent who is more concerned and not the child, who just wants to meet new friends and play.

butmumineedit Fri 31-Jul-20 15:50:22

I can see where you are coming from but if you defer for a year then he will go from nursery to yr1 missing out reception altogether .

Reception is very much child /play led and they go at the child's abilities , they change so much in a year .

I would grab the reception place and if you feel it's too much just ask to reduce his hours ie mornings only or 3 days a week rather than 5 full days.

anothershrubbery Fri 31-Jul-20 17:54:00

No, he'll go into Reception - from the sound of it, the school has already agreed that the PP can apply for a Reception place next year.

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