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Deferring entry to Secondary School

(5 Posts)
Cookie17 Thu 09-Feb-17 12:06:29

I need advice ... I have been battling to defer the entrance of my little boy to secondary school for over a year now. One step forward, three steps back all the time. Has anyone else successfully gone through this process?

My son is the youngest in his year with severe dyselxia (as diagnosed in his EP report) which, historically, has meant he has struggled with literacy at school. He also has perfectionist tendencies, again highlighted in the EP report, which has exasperated the problem.

Since his primary school kept him back in year 2, which he repeated in Sept 2014, he has been thriving and made notable progress. The benefits have been on-going. He feels confident and the advantage of being the oldest in his class, offsets the disadvantage of his dyslexia. He was born early and as such, just seems to "fit-in" as a 4 student, it allows him to work at his level and in his comfort zone. Whereas he would be completely out of his depth in his "birth year-group," Year 5.

I feel it is important to stress that we do not question the fantastic support given to SEN pupils at both his primary school and future secondary school but that our main concern is our sons well-being and future development. The impact of missing year 6 at primary school and the subsequent impact of joining a secondary school in 2018, we believe will result in psychological damage and adversely affect his confidence and learning potential to the extreme.

Following a discussion with a schools appeal admission lawyer the fact that he has been kept back for such a long time by the school is a massive consideration. This is now his peer group and where he has made the most progress.

At this point, I would like to draw your attention to the Admission to Schools in Suffolk policy, where on p.20 it states:
"Children out of year group:
It is expected that children will normally be educated within their chronological year group. However, admission authorities will make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned in line with the School Admissions Code (December 2014)"
www.suffolk.gov.uk/assets/children-families-and-learning/schools/2016-08-03-Admissions-to-Schools-in-Suffolk-2017-18-Final.pdf

I need to get the LA to fund the extra year. I am having a meeting with the secondary school tomorrow. Any advice gratefully received.

Mary21 Thu 09-Feb-17 12:16:29

Does he have an EHCP. I have known children have it stipulated on their statement or EHCP that they are to be educated out of their year group.
Children are entitled to free education up to age 19. Often this end up being used to do a 3 year sixth form. GCSE retakes then Alevels/Brecht or AS retakes etc. Something to be aware of. I do know some back years student who have managed to get funding for 3 year sixth form . So nothing is impossible. All did have statements or EHCP,s

Cookie17 Thu 09-Feb-17 12:23:01

Thank you Mary21. Unfortunately despite my best efforts, he does not have an EHCP. Apparently, according to his primary school, you can no longer get one for dyslexia? But I didn't know about the entitlement of free education up to 19yrs, that's a milestone in my arsenal! Where could I find that on-line to print out and take with me

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 09-Feb-17 12:57:28

I worked in Surrey which was very very opposed to pupils being out of year. It sounds as though it should be straightforward, but lots of other considerations come into play. As far as exams are concerned, the pupils are only counted for the academic year in which they 'should' take them. That has an impact on data and, as you probably know, schools are judged on data! So there would be two years when your child's results wouldn't count- the year he should be in and the year he actually takes exams. So it's not so much for h free education until 19, it's the skewed results.

No help to you, but there are rationales for this seemingly arbitrary decision. I feel for you, particularly as he's not in the academic year he should have been anyway. To be honest, if there's no EHCP, I don't think you'll get anywhere with it. It

Cookie17 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:07:46

Thanks Foxyloxy, I have already had a discussion about GCSE. My counter-argument for that is that many children take some GCSE's early, as well as many re-sitting them the following year. Therefore, is it not conceivable that he takes a few subjects that he's good at in the correct year and take the majority the following year? He's not particularly sporty so, the team ages, are not relevant either.
But appreciate your comments. Trouble is it's all bureaucracy, there are all sorts of systems in place that make it difficult to do but nothing that actually addresses or considers the best interests of the child ... which is in their admissions statement itself.

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