Prospective Parliamentary Candidates Supporting Summer Born Campaign

11-Mar-14-16 rocking chair rushmoor chilworth gym birdworld 001 - CopyBelow is a list of PPCs who have responded to members of the Summer Born Campaign (mostly via Twitter) asking whether they support our call for summer born children to have the automatic right to 12 years of primary and secondary education whether they start at compulsory school age or one year early.

*Dave Anderson, Labour (Blaydon):  “…Happy to support you and the @sb_campaign…

*Laween Atroshi, Labour (Surrey Heath): “I support the fantastic @sb_campaign
Tory-led Surrey County Council should do the same.

*Malcolm Birks, Labour (Skipton & Ripon): “Yes I will – well done on your campaign

*Tom Brake, Lib Dem (Carshalton & Wallington): “Happy to support the #summerborn @sb_campaign

*Fiona Bruce, Conservative (Congleton): “Thankyou for your email which I have received and am carefully consideringContinue reading

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Elizabeth Truss Warns Viewers about Politicians’ Promises, Promises

IMG_2065During the BBC’s Question Time on April 9, Elizabeth Truss said: “Could I just say we need to beware of politicians making promises…

On September 4, 2013 when she was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Elizabeth said:

What we want to do is to empower parentsIt should be the parents who are the primary decision-makers when it comes to deciding which route is most appropriate for their child and which environment will enable their child to thrive. We are absolutely clear that parents should be able to say to a school, “We want our child, who is aged five, to enter reception”, if they feel that that is in the best interests of their child.””

Well the DfE certainly legislated to let parents say this to schools, but they also legislated for admissions authorities to have the real power, to say straight back to us: “NO

And though (then) Minister of State for Schools David Laws promised in March 2014, “we will take action if we find that schools are not paying attention to parental demand”, the Summer Born Campaign is still yet to see evidence of that.

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Institute of Education Researcher Supports Flexibility But Not Current Process

IMG_0540Tammy Campbell, researcher at the University of London’s Institute of Education, and one of the witnesses at the recent Education Committee Evidence Check, is quoted in Nel Staveley’s April 20 article, “8 reasons why summer babies face an uphill battle at school and in life“, saying:

There is evidence that some children who have just turned four are not developmentally ready for the current reception curriculum…

The fact that a parent has been able to delay her summer-born daughter starting reception is therefore positive – but this should be possible for any child who is not yet ready for reception.

Exercising this right is currently dependent on parents having the time, knowledge and resources to fight for a delay to their children’s start dates.

Posted in Education Committee Evidence, Example Cases, Media Coverage, The Department for Education | 1 Comment

April 2015 Coverage of Summer Born issue incl. ITV, BBC TV, Radio and Sky News

On April 20, ITV Good Morning Britain interviewed Rosie Dutton at 7.10am. Watch again here.

On April 19, BBC One Breakfast interviewed Rosie Dutton twice (7.15am and 8.15am).

On April 15, BBC Local Radio‘s presenter Mark Forrest interviewed Pauline Hull at 7.15pm. Listen here. Continue reading

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Summer Born Parents Wait for Postman to find out Primary School Place

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Snail Mail for Summer Born Parents

Another difference in the application process for parents of summer born compulsory school age children (and there are many) is that applications usually cannot be processed online and so the parents must wait longer than other parents do to find out which school their child has been offered a place at.

Why?   ‘The Computer Says No.

And there are other problems too, as explained in yesterday’s post on the administrative mess and wasted school places resulting from the DfE’s Code and Advice:  today one parent in the Summer Born Campaign group was offered a school place for September 2015 despite having formally withdrawn their application when they were advised that their request Reception class entry in September 2016 had been granted. Continue reading

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Critical School Places will be Wasted by Admissions Authorities on Offer Day due to Summer Born Scandal

IMG_0232Allocation of primary school places for all children will be adversely impacted tomorrow as highly sought after school places are lost to an administrative mess. How?

The DfE’s 2014 Code and Advice says parents of summer born children can only ‘request‘ Reception class entry at age 5 and should therefore submit a primary school application for an age 4 school place they do not want – while their request is being processed.

Except in many cases, parents have still not been given an answer to their request, so they don’t know whether to accept this year’s place or not. Others don’t want this year’s place but have been told (as I was) that they can hold on to it until December while they continue fighting (e.g. initiate a local complaints process and OSA/LGO correspondence) and decide whether to risk reapplying for Reception class entry in September 2016. Continue reading

Posted in Campaign Updates, Example Cases, The Department for Education | 8 Comments

Nicky Morgan’s Webchat Answers Reinforce DfE’s Inconsistent and Illogical Summer Born Policy

IMG_1927In a live Telegraph webchat today with Nicky Morgan (hosted by online Education Editor Josie Gurney-Read), the Education Secretary’s answer to Summer Born Campaign member Samantha McCormick highlighted the subjectivity and inconsistency that the DfE’s policy allows – but also her comments on other policy areas exposed the perfectly obvious flaw in children being forced to miss a year of school. Continue reading

Posted in Example Cases, Media Coverage, Members of Parliament, The Department for Education | 2 Comments