Twin Boys ‘Belong’ in Two Different Year Groups

IMG_0545Last month, I stumbled upon an article about London-based model Caprice’s biological twin boys Jax and Jett who, according to this report, were “born within weeks of each other in August and September” of 2013.

This makes one of the boys ‘autumn born‘ (most likely to start school in September 2018) and the other ‘summer born‘ (with a CSAge start in September 2018 or an ‘early’ school start in September 2017).

If Caprice decides she wants her twin boys to join the same year group, the difference in each of their admissions applications process will be palpable, and their right to a full, uninterrupted 12 years’ education will be different by virtue of their seasonal birth status.

This is not as unusual as it sounds – in our campaign group, we have cases where a child has been forced into the ‘early’ year group after being born shortly before midnight on August 31st, and while rare, it is possible for twins to be born on two different days.

2018 or 2019? Continue reading

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Chaos on Jan.15 Deadline Day as Parents Scramble to Apply for 2015 Places They Don’t Actually Want

monopoly chance cardThe Summer Born Campaign Facebook Group has seen a flurry of desperate and anxious posts in recent days and weeks as the primary school admissions application deadline approached.

There’s much confusion, anger and frustration as PARENTS OF 3-YEAR OLD CHILDREN ARE FORCED TO APPLY for a September 2015 place that they have explicitly told school and council admissions authorities THEY DON’T WANT.

Incredibly, this is in the same week the BBC has quoted the LGO as saying councils are “pulling out all the stops to ensure there is a place for every child“.

Why is this happening? Continue reading

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Second Summer Born Report Looks Inevitable as Compulsory School ‘Age 4′ Start Continues

100_2276We genuinely thought primary legislation would count for something – and ironically the Code actually says it should.

But the Department for Education’s failure to make necessary amendments to its 2014 School Admissions Code, to ensure that a summer born child can, by default, enter Reception class AT compulsory school age – and remain within that year group for the whole of their education – has only exacerbated an already unfair and inequitable admissions system, and further sanctioned the postcode lottery that exists.

And as the admission application deadline is reached today, we are already aware of numerous cases of highly questionable and possibly unlawful practices.  Many admissions authorities are insisting that parents provide ‘exceptional reasons’ and ‘documentary evidence from professionals’ to support their request for a compulsory school age start,

Continue reading

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The Times: Parents lose right to decide summer child’s school start

pre-school allianceThe headline says it all – compulsory school age LEGISLATIVE RIGHTS have in practice been eroded, just as our January 2014 Summer Born report exposed.

And as Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, and one of this campaign’s supporters, points out, “under the new guidance, admission authorities still have the right to completely disregard parents’ wishes — and worse still, parents do not have a right to appeal. This is clearly grossly unfair, and we would urge the government to reconsider its approach on this matter.

Education Editor Greg Hurst’s December 19 report, “Parents lose right to decide summer child’s school start” also included Continue reading

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Christmas Code Continues to Cause Controversy

IMG_9491Santa’s SAC (School Admissions Code) delivers a big disappointment to summer born children today.

The government’s ‘explanatory note‘, says it “clarifies the provisions relating to the admission of summer born children who wish to delay entry into reception” but our press release and recent comments submitted to the Education Committee explain why these “provisions” are entirely unpredictable and undependable:

Confusion and Complaints will Continue – as new 2014 Code maintains Postcode Lottery for Summer Born Admissions“.

Ironically, the Statutory Instrument published a few days ago has David Laws Continue reading

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Summer Born Campaign group submits Evidence to the Education Committee

c artwork for cufflink april 2011-1In response to the Education Committee’s invitation for views on the strength of evidence for the DfE’s policy on summer born children, the Summer Born Campaign has submitted the evidence below in response to the DfE’s ‘Evidence Check’ memorandum:

1. Important relevant research papers not referred to in the DfE’s evidence:
http://summerbornchildren.org/2014/12/15/important-research-papers-for-the-education-committees-evidence-check/ Continue reading

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Important Research Papers for the Education Committee’s ‘Evidence Check’

c artwork for cufflink april 2011-1Below a list of additional evidence submitted to the Education Committee following their invitation for views on the strength of the evidence in relation to the current policy on Summer Born Children and the effect of birth date on student achievement (my bold).

(Pottegård 2014) Children’s relative age in class and use of medication for ADHD: a Danish Nationwide Study.
Lack of relative age effect found “may be due to the high proportion (40%) of relatively young children held back by 1 year in the Danish school system”. Continue reading

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