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Summer born children and moving to private/independent secondary schools

(34 Posts)
Stokeymum2014 Mon 27-Feb-17 18:39:31


I wondered if anyone had any experience of private/independent secondary school admission for a summer born child who is being educated out of their cohort in primary school (i.e. who began Reception at 5, rather than 4)?

We are based in Hackney but may end up moving out of London by the time our son is ready to move, though we'll remain within commuting distance.

We have found a lovely independent primary which may enable us to delay his entry into Reception until he is 5. This school goes up to Year 6. However the head has expressed concern that none of the obvious destinations for leavers would consider admitting a child out of their 'normal' cohort for the 11+.

Does anyone have any advice? We feel strongly that it would be in our son's best interest to wait until he is 5 to start Reception, but clearly it would be worrisome if he was being made to skip forward a year at the other end (and I think he'd be pretty unlikely to get into any selective school if they made him skip a year in any case).

Many thanks for your help

Mominatrix Mon 27-Feb-17 18:53:42

Hello Stokey.

I know someone who held their daughter back when they entered private schools in the UK as they were emigrating from Germany and their children's English was not very good. It became very problematic at the 11+ transfer to senior schools and although their daughter was very bright, she was not eligible for the very competitive senior schools as she was out of year. She is as a lovely senior school now and although the school is not very selective, she is doing well and very happy there.

spanieleyes Mon 27-Feb-17 19:08:03

If he was out of year group and you wanted him to sit the 11+ in my area, he would have to do so with the other children of the same age rather than year group ( so when he was in Year 5 rather than in year 6). So he would have to skip year 6. This is because it would not be considered "fair" for a child who is a year older to compete against younger children.

Stokeymum2014 Mon 27-Feb-17 19:14:06

Thanks @Mominatrix, that's helpful to know.

What area are you in @spanieleyes, if you don't mind me asking? Thanks

spanieleyes Mon 27-Feb-17 19:55:21


nowthen321 Mon 27-Feb-17 20:54:06

Maybe start him late at 5 to give him an easy start and let you feel comfortable etc and then review in Year 4? If he makes good progress you might be able to move him up a year? Can you PM me the prep that considered a delayed start? I might be looking for similar in 2 years.

JamDonutsRule Mon 27-Feb-17 22:00:28

As others have said, the 11+ does not really accommodate out of year entrants in that your child would have to sit the exam at the correct age rather than the correct educational stage. Worth keeping in mind though that schools outside of London (including many big Public schools) are a lot more flexible and many do take out of year entrants. London is a different kettle of fish however due to the pressure of numbers.

I appreciate how hard this must be; there are not a great deal of Independent schools in Stokey / Hackney are there!!? Perhaps if you can give us in idea of the sort of Senior School you are aiming for we might be able to advise better? Have you thought about any yet?

I know you said you'd found a nice Primary, but just FYI if it's in the right sort of location, I know someone with a DC who went to Rosemary Works School who skipped a year, so they might be quite accommodating if you did want to skip a year later in the process? They are quite 'alternative' though, so if you're looking for a very traditional academic route to a big name school then it may not be to your taste.

Feel free to PM me if you want further info.

JamDonutsRule Mon 27-Feb-17 22:02:57

Ps there is another summer born thread at the moment discussing the perception of summer borns in the U.K., you may want to search for it.

weary12 Tue 28-Feb-17 08:37:14

We came to the UK 3 years ago from overseas. My end of August DS would have ended up skipping 18 months of school so was put into year 7 rather than 8, at a prep school. She has since gone onto to a selective independent school (not in London!), again out of year group. I don't know about state but certainly in the independent sector it is up to the individual heads.

Needmoresleep Tue 28-Feb-17 09:25:25

A problem that can occur is in school sports. Kids may not be able to play in, say, U16 competitions if they are not actually U16. Even if there is a clear reason like illness for them being in the year below their age.

DonkeyofDoom Tue 28-Feb-17 09:34:18

I think we will see changes in the grammar 11+ criteria now that many councils are allowing for deferred entry. We are in london and several of the highly selective independents will take summer born babies out of year. Do what's right for the child now. If they get a rough start and school is too tiring/demanding they may never get over it.

Popkids Tue 28-Feb-17 09:42:02

State grammars near me (South London) keep children in their school cohort rather than move them up a year so it's worth asking around. The 11+ is already calibrated to take account of autumn borns being a yr older than some of their peers so I assume the same rule will apply.

amidawsh Tue 28-Feb-17 10:32:21

do what is best for your dc now.
you can always review yr3 / yr4 and maybe skip a year then to catch up if you have to. don't skip yr5 or yr6, they're pretty intense (well in state primaries anyway) DD1 skipped the autumn term of yr3 (we were abroad), a really long 14 week term, and she was fine.

summer born deferrals were unheard of 10 years ago so the 11+ entrance criteria may flex a little in the future.

amidawsh Tue 28-Feb-17 10:34:15

ps i am an end of june baby - when i started school in the 70's we didn't start school until the term we turned 5, so i started reception after easter.
I hadn't had any pre-schooling (SAHM).
I remember everyone seemed to know their numbers etc... and didn't realise many had been in school since September!
It didn't affect me long term though, i had caught up completely by the time i reached yr2.

Kimlek Tue 28-Feb-17 10:57:57

Is it possible for you to speak to the potential senior schools about their thoughts? I know a girl who was an August baby at an indie 4-18 school until Year 3, she was moved to a prep and started Yr3 again as she was struggling. She then returned to the 4-18 indie in Yr7 even though her original cohort was now in yr8. So she moved down a year and still entered a selective school a year below. This was in Lancashire 2 years ago. She's taller than most of the others and excels in sport anyway but being a year older than her contemporaries!

Stokeymum2014 Tue 28-Feb-17 17:49:08

Thank you for all of these helpful responses, I really appreciate it.

My gut tells me to do what is best for our son now (or next September anyway) and just deal with any challenges further down the road.

We haven't really any thoughts about secondary schools @JamDonutsRule - we'd like to wait and see how our son gets on. I don't know if he'll be academic/sporty/musical/noneoftheabove or if he'll be naturally driven or perhaps more relaxed etc etc. We just want an environment where he can be happy and thrive. My suspicion is that it won't be one of the super competitive, academic London independents but I guess we can't rule that out. The only definite is that it wouldn't be a boarding school.

@DonkeyofDoom, are you able to mention which independents you know take deferred summer borns out of year? I was thinking I might need to just phone some of them to get a feel for the current position

Stokeymum2014 Tue 28-Feb-17 17:50:15

I like Rosemary Works, @JamDonutsRule! Not too alternative for us 😊

DonkeyofDoom Tue 28-Feb-17 19:40:51

UCS and Aldenham

Stokeymum2014 Tue 28-Feb-17 19:53:54

Thank you!

JamDonutsRule Tue 28-Feb-17 21:56:43

I've been to open days at both of those schools. FWIW my impressions were:

UCS = quite a 'lefty' school, good for very mature self motivated learners but very academically selective.... in 'old money' about 10% of kids 'only' achieve a level 4 SATS pass in Year 6 (i.e. National expected standard) the rest all achieve level 5 and top 20% achieve level 6! Quite dismissive of Special Needs. I found myself thinking it would be very nice for a mature bright child, but hell otherwise.

Aldenham = traditionally regarded as the non selective backup choice, but they do now have entrance exams from 7+. Still probably one of the least selective schools, aside from a few tiny ones. Good well rounded school with lots of happy kids and good value added. I really liked it.

Hope that helps!

JamDonutsRule Tue 28-Feb-17 22:04:36

Btw, could he just start Y1 age 5 and skip Reception? That's a very common thing to do. Perhaps just make sure the nursery work on the fundamentals a little?

I think skipping Y1 would be v hard, as would Y5-6 as they need the exam prep. Perhaps skipping Y2/3 could be doable as they mostly expand on current skills??? There are probably more threads on here from people who have done this.

getmeoutofhere123 Tue 28-Feb-17 22:36:34

Not sure how the system works outside of London, but perhaps another option to consider is a prep school that goes to 13. There are quite a few in London. This allows boys who are not ready to move at 11 to have an extra couple of years in a familiar environment. It does mean though that you would have to remain in the private sector for secondary (though if you find your DS is more confident/comfortable, should still allow the option of 11 plus for secondary, but with the back up of not having to move it does not work out at that time).

SoulAccount Wed 01-Mar-17 00:47:30

Maybe find a nice relaxed non hothousey school to send him to this year?

At this time of year I was horrified at my summer born child going to school. But over the year he really grew up and he was completely ready...but this was a state school that did a September and a January entry. January entry was perfect.

SoulAccount Wed 01-Mar-17 00:48:37

One that does lots of learning through play, rather than formal classroom.

Shouldbesleepingnow Sat 07-Apr-18 03:29:17

This is really interesting. My daughter is July born. It would be unfair for her to “compete” with children 6weeks younger than her (if I defer her a year she would be oldest by 6weeks) BUT it would be fair for children 10months older than her to be competing for same school if she goes into her cohort year.
I just don’t understand how the system thinks that’s logical!

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