The 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
We 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,
The 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
Santa’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
In 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
Below 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
The DfE’s ‘Evidence Check’ memorandum can be read here, and the numbers in our response below relate to this.
1. Re: “the point at which the other children in their year group are moving up from the reception class to year one“.
Summer born (SB) children prior to CSAge don’t yet ‘belong’ to any year group. They haven’t started school yet. Continue reading