Scotland school start deferral(36 Posts)
Has anyone deferred school start? If so was it the right decision or did you regret it?
DD has a February birthday so have decide if she goes to school in August or defer until 2019. She will either be the youngest or one of the oldest in her class. Leaning towards deferral but interested in other people's opinions and experiences.
I deferred DD (now 15) also a February birthday. I haven't regretted it so far and neither has she. She was six weeks premature however very healthy and was (and still is) small for her age. I have two spring born older children (sons) and was aware from their school friends that sometimes being older in the class is advantageous. My sister is a primary teacher and said that she's never found anyone regret deferring but plenty to regret not deferring sometimes not initially but later e.g. when starting/leaving secondary. The nursery thought she'd be best to go to school at 4 as she'd repeat her pre-school year at nursery so I switched her to another nursery which also fed into her primary. They were super - she wasn't bored at all.
E didn't but we have a close friend who did. She says at the time they weren't sure it was the right decision but when their daughter actually started P1 the next year they could see it had been the best thing to do.
I think any teacher would recommend deferring. Being the oldest makes such a difference, especially in secondary.
Thanks. Just trying to think long term. She is tiny so don't want her to be the youngest and smallest.
It's difficult as don't want to make the wrong decision but think we will defer. Even if she is a bit bored at nursery I think it will be worth it.
We deferred for our January birthday DD and she'll be starting secondary school in 2018. We haven't regretted it and neither has DD. She hasn't been bored yet
Years working in education I always recommend defering unless I think there’s a chance of them choosing to leave school as soon as they are 16. I’d imagine in 11 years time this won’t be possible anyway.
It's not so much at primary school that it makes a difference- it's at secondary. I have a teacher friend who says he can see how much the younger ones struggle in comparison.
A colleague of mine wishes she had deferred her February-born DD, who has just dropped out of university, as she has not been mature enough to be away from home. This has also happened to a friend of the family's son.
I would definitely have deferred my DC had they been January or February born.
It's more for secondary that I am thinking so good to hear that it does make a difference and not worrying over nothing.
Dd is 17, about to be 18 in January. Never regretted it. She's loved being the oldest. Has friends from the year above to go clubbing with.
She's coped well with changes at school and actually said she was glad she didn't sit her exams at 15.
I'm so glad we deferred DS. My mum didn;t defer my sister and always regretted it.
I never understand the getting bored at nursery argument. How can a child be bored of playing?
Nursery provision is very patchy, especially in the councils where teachers were taken out.
I didn't defer my Feb born DD. But she was DD4 - due to 3 older sisters and the associated osmosis she was academically and socially advanced for her age.
Was only in state provision one morning per week, private the rest as I needed the hours. State nursery would have been against me if I'd pursued deferral as they had observed her tackling tasks much more in line with primary curriculum.
Was fine through primary, took varying composite classes in her stride and had friends over 2 year groups.
Now S3 and is the youngest in her friendship group (oldest of whom is a deferred girl a full year older) but you'd never tell by looking at the group their birth order. Subject prize winner in S1 and S2 so much more than "holding her own".
DD3 is a March birthday and tall for age (always taken for older than DD2) and much less resilient and confident in her social and academic skills. If she'd been 9 days earlier she'd have been a 4.5 school starter. I would have deferred her for sure. She'd have looked crazy in nursery but I wouldn't have cared.
I suppose the point I'm making is that I'd base my decision on the individual and how emotionally, socially and academically ready for school they seemed.
I realise DD4 still has the ordeal of prelims at 14 and actual exams at 15 to face but she relishes a challenge.
Deferred dd1 and ds, both Feb birthdays. Really pleased we did, especially at secondary entrance and now, with dd1 in S6. If we hadn't deferred she'd be at Uni now and she's not 18 for another 2 months!
I'm a teacher and used to work in guidance so doing primary/secondary transition. The dc who did badly in S1 were almost always 11 rather than 12 (and usually boys). I really think there's no need to rush, they're children for such a short time and adults for the rest of their lives.
I can't think of any reason not to defer, and now think we should have pushed to defer dd2 who has a late November birthday.
My daughter was April birthday in Scotland so no deferring but said being 18 in 6th year meant she got her driving test passed and could go clubbing before she left school. She had one friend who wasn't 18 until the February of her first year at university and that's where problems can lie sometimes.
As someone with a January birthday who wasn't deferred - I would say defer. I was fine academically through school but struggled socially and going to university at 17 was, in retrospect, totally wrong for me and I ended up dropping out.
My two girls are something like second youngest in their respective years and are doing brilliantly. Although they could have deferred they didn't need to. Being the youngest hasn't stopped DD2 being pretty much too of her class for the last 3 years. DD1 is doing brilliantly too. DS however is the oldest in his year and I am wondering if perhaps his talents lie elsewhere or he will have a sudden turnaround soon.
I would place it completely in the hands of the teachers. My children's nursery teachers were far more aware than I was of how my children were doing in the academic setting, as they were with them, teaching them every day, watching how they coped in classroom settings, interacting with teachers and fellow pupils. Me? I just saw reports.
I deferred both my DS's - both have November birthdays.
I've never regretted it and neither have they. They're in S1 and P5 now.
The nursery teachers said to send them to school and I quote, "have checked all the boxes on the paperwork," as if a check in a box was the only basis on which to make the decision.
They were ready to start P1 but my decision was more about how ready they'd be for various things in high school. Being that little more mature has stood them on good stead.
I haven't deferred any of mine - but their birthdays are all March - June so they're the older part of the year anyway.
I know loads of children who have been deferred, born between mid December and end of February. Not one parent of a deferred child has ever regretted it. There are so many advantages to them going to school at 5.5 rather than at 4.5. On the other hand, I know of two Jan/Feb kids who were sent at 4.5 and both ended up repeating either P2 or P3 as by that point it was very clear they weren't coping emotionally and socially.
I didn't defer feb Dd2 and i regretted it was ok younger primary but she struggled as she got older she left 6th year at 17 I just think it is far easier and more expected to defer these days parents should consider it, back when i Dd started p1 it was rare
We deferred our December born son and definitely don’t regret it. We decided when he was in his ante pre school year so he stayed in that room in nursery and didn’t move up with all the others who were going to school the next summer. So he had no idea for years that he was “held back”.
I know two families who didn’t defer entry to school and the regretted it. Basically their children were struggling to meet behavioural expectations in the school and one had some additional support needs. . One child repeated P3 and the other repeated P7.
AFAIK about half of January and February born children are deferred. And LOTS of teachers defer their children .
Honestly when you see how hard 5th year ( in high school ) is, you would want your child to be the oldest rather than the youngest. It’s not so much about being ready / not ready for P1.
I have experience from all sides. I deferred my younger DS, he's now in P1 and has done really well. I don't think he would have has as positive a start without deferral. However my older DS is a Jan birthday and I never considered deferring because I wasn't concerned. (He has now started secondary and I can see he isn't ready though. )
I also work in a school and I can see the kids who are struggling, socially and with the work, and could have done with being a bit older before starting.
I think few people regret deferral but plenty regret not doing it.
I'm in Ireland where the system is different- children have to have started school in the year they turn 6 - and my dd has an Oct birthday. So looking at dates she should have gone at 4 years 11 months but we kept her til she was 5 years 11 months. She's the oldest in her class - she was 7 in Oct and the next child will turn 7 in February. But for her it was definitely the right decision.
I'm a teacher too by the way.
I was refused a deferral for January born DS and the first year didn't go well and he later went on to be diagnosed with ASD. We moved house after P1 and he was allowed to restart P1 in a new area. It was definitely a good idea and he's at Uni now.
Dd is also a Jan birthday and the nursery persuaded me at the last minute not to defer. She did really well academically but was always a bit 'little girly' and overlooked socially. She now at Uni after spending a year abroad, and being 18 at the beginning of the semester was much better than being 17.
I also work in a secondary school and you can really tell the 11yr boys from the older bunch. I think many of them started off in P1 unready for school and they never really catch up.
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