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Deferring Reception for a year?

(16 Posts)
messmonster Thu 16-Jun-11 17:53:04

Hi All

Conscious there's a similar thread on here about repeating Reception year so hope no-one minds me asking for thoughts/sharing of experiences about deferring Reception for a year.

My DD (3.4) has a rare chromo condition and is currently at least 18 months behind developmentally and probably 2 yrs behind in speech and language. She is however making little steps of progress all the time. Due to start school Sept 2012.

Am slightly premature with this, since only need to apply for schools end of this year and not make final decision about start till Easter next year but....

My gut tells me to give her more time to be ready for school and defer her start till Sept 2013. LA, EP and first choice school all have the view that I'd be delaying the inevitable, that she's never likely to catch up and I'd be storing up potential problems for her later on - e.g. if she hits puberty before all her classmates. LA also told me she'd not be entitled to the last year of schooling (think b/w ages of 18 and 19) if I held her back.

Thoughts? I know of 3 Mums who all deferred and have no regrets but their kids although SN, don't have the SAL and cognitive delay my DD has.

Many thanks in advance

messmonster Thu 16-Jun-11 17:57:54

P.s. HT of first choice school did suggest we start DD at the correct time and, if we felt she needed it, perhaps she could repeat Reception but HT has no knowledge of DD apart from reading her latest preschool and SALT report.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 16-Jun-11 18:12:01

I've c&p my post from a thread on sn education on a similar theme, hope it makes sense here smile

we were thinking this time last year whether dd3 should redo nusery, knowing it would be a battle with the lea, she already has a statement. In the end we decided to move her with her peer group to reception as she had made friends of a sort and they understood her. The year hasn't gone well but, and this is a big but, it has proved that the school cannot meet her needs, she is going to a ss in september so it has got her the help she needs. If we'd kept her back in nursery then it would have been another year before she got that help because she would be in the same position next year, the gap between her and her peers is only going to widen due to her genetic syndrome, we know she won't catch up at any stage. It turned out to be the right decision for us with our set of circumstances . . . thankfully.

cansu Thu 16-Jun-11 18:16:55

I didn't delay dd2 but she didn't start until she absolutely had to and then she did part time for a term (she was doing some home schooling on an ABA programme too. She then stayed in reception for the following year when she should have gone up to year 1. DD2 has very little speech but is cognitively OK. (ASD). I was discouraged in similar ways to you by local authority etc but I just stuck to my guns and kept talking about whether dd2 was ready. In the end they agreed. She will move to y1 in sept and although she is still behind her peers, she has made massive progress socially. I do not regret it all. It also gave her more access to play than she would have had in y1. If you think it is right then go with your instinct. I am very sceptical of their claim that they won't then provide her final year of education. I would check the elagilty of this with IPSEA or similar organisation.

utah Thu 16-Jun-11 18:21:35

I had this view for most of this year but I went through statement process and school choosing with the option keeping her at a specialist nursery. You say you daughter is 3.4 so legally does not have to start school till term after her 5 bday so you could even leave it this long before you make a decision. as it is my dc will be starting a special school so I do not need to delay but it was always an option if MS was the only choice. I would go through the school process next year and make the decision at the last minute as 18 months is a long time esp with children at this stage. Trust your gut instinct. good luck

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 16-Jun-11 18:32:20

At the special school that my DS2 went to it was common to start MS reception a year late. It was a special early years school that took children up until the end of their reception year. Those who went on to MS school usually repeated their reception year in MS. This was in the days when the 30 only in infants policy was still being finalised. (About 2002) It was a very successful policy and didn't cause a problem throughout their schooling. It was sometimes the only extra help that was needed, after excellent early intervention.

It became much more complex once the 30 only law was enforced. Children of the correct age always took priority. You needed a statement to defer a year that explicitly stated a year's deferment was necessary unless there happened to be room in the year below. Which meant only less popular schools could do it. Some also insisted that children caught up with their year group before year 6 SATs.

Children who went on to special schools did not defer the year, it wasn't considered necessary.

I'd research thoroughly what it will mean for your DD later on in her school life. But, otherwise, why not? If the amount she is behind won't be helped by an extra year as the EP was implying, then MS may not be a suitable placement. FWIW puberty is a really random event, anyway. Some start periods age 9, some age 14. Who knows when your DD will? The junior school I work in currently has at least 2 children who are a year behind, with no social problems due to being older. HTH

MrsMagnolia Thu 16-Jun-11 19:07:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

messmonster Thu 16-Jun-11 20:39:36

Thanks so much everyone for your insights. I think this confusion in my mind is also linked to a dilemma about placing her in MS or SS (which I've previously posted about smile). If she were going to SS she'd go next year no problem having attended nursery 3 full days a week due to me having to work. The gulf between her and her NT peers is just so big at the moment that I thought to stand a chance of getting the most from MS, maybe she could do with another year.

Sorry for rambling. I know I have time on my side and others are dealing with these issues (and a lot worse) right now.

Thanks again. x

messmonster Thu 16-Jun-11 20:44:18

BTW Ninja didn't even know there was an SN Education forum till your post to me. How weird that a) I hadn't spotted it and b) there's a v similar thread on there right now! Guess it's the time of year...

lingle Thu 16-Jun-11 21:09:28

it has worked extremely well for us.

At our school, the reception year is quite ambitious (it's a well-heeled area with ambitious parents). that's got to mean it's harder for a reception teacher to adjust the curriculum than a nursery teacher. They talk about reception being play-based but today the kids had their first spelling test.....

Triggles Fri 17-Jun-11 11:09:36

spelling test in reception?? I think children are pushed far too quickly into school. I would love to see reception start at age 5 for all the children.

I know then they worry that SNs might not be picked up very early, but then if they focused it on nursery level, it might actually get caught then. And by age 5, more children are comfortably toilet trained and ready for a full school day.

whinge whinge LOL

As far as deferring, you know your child best. I'm curious though - at this age, I'm guessing she doesn't have a statement in place yet? What type of support would be available to her in reception? To me, that would be important to know. If she has appropriate support involved, she might make some good progress, even if she ends up repeating reception. What are the chances of her getting into the ss?

The thing is, despite language difficulties and such, and that we were really not thrilled with starting him on time for reception (just turned 4), he had really good support at the school and has made a fair bit of progress - enough so that he will be moving on with his classmates to Yr1.

You've mentioned that you would be happy for her to go to reception at the ss, but not at ms. So you must think somewhat that she may be ready, but that you're more concerned about the support levels perhaps?

lingle Fri 17-Jun-11 14:25:20

I agree triggles. and sometimes the schools do a great PR job of saying reception will be play based. but while it may be based on play, they are actually pushed quite hard on reading and writing and maths. So simple common sense tells you that means less time for work on social communication, etc.

Triggles Fri 17-Jun-11 16:57:22

DS2's school is lovely, but while reception may be "play-based," they are doing a LOT of reading, writing, and maths. And a lot is expected. It just seems we (society as a whole, I suppose) are pushing kids younger and younger to excel or grow up, and then we bemoan the fact that they are getting into things they shouldn't younger and younger.

But DS2 would never cope with reception without his 1:1. At all.

messmonster Sat 18-Jun-11 21:17:40

Sorry for the late reply. Had written one late last night and then laptop battery died and I was too tired to faff getting charger! DD does have statement currently and I would anticipate she would get full time 1:1 when the time comes. I think my dilemma is just wondering whether giving her an extra year and putting her in a class with children a year younger might just reduce the developmental gap to the extent that she might "fit in" better and be more able to participate with classmates etc.

As has been said, we don't have to make the decision for a good while and I had also considered doing what cansu did i.e. start Reception as late as possible and then repeat it.

We too live in an area where parents are ambitious, standards are high focus is on academic attainment from a very early age (we're also in an 11+ area - nuff said!).

Thanks again all. Really appreciate your replies. x

lingle Sun 19-Jun-11 10:48:17

might just reduce the developmental gap to the extent that she might "fit in" better and be more able to participate with classmates etc.

well, we deferred DS2 for precisely that reason and all I can say is that it has worked 100%. Some of his more mature peers consider that he and his best friend behave in a "silly" way - but that I count a a huge success (ie having a sustained relationship with a best friend!) At 3, I think most therapists would have thought I was being too optimistic but by 4 school was on my side - they could see he was able to interact as an equal with kids around 12-15 months younger...... teachers can adjust the curriculum but they simply cannot adjust the developmental stage of the other children and hence the likelihood of your child "getting" the games they are playing at playtime.

Had DS2 been in the year above, the teachers and I both suspect he would have been protected by his baby-face looks and mothered by the girls - but that isn't necessarily a great springboard for growth.

no idea of course if this is right for your child, good luck!

messmonster Mon 20-Jun-11 00:01:33

Thanks lingle. Good to know my thinking is similar to others and fantastic to hear how successful deferring your DS2 has been. I get on this board so late sometimes (like now) that I do often wonder if I'm talking nonsense and so it's really good to hear your story!

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