Solutions to Summer Born SEN Discussed in Schools Week Article

SB picIn a Schools Week article this weekend, Stephen Gorard, professor of public policy at Durham University, says we must Stop labelling summer-born pupils as SEN!

He makes some excellent points, but on the subject of “age-standardisation of all results”, we disagree.

This is the comment I posted beneath the article:

Unfortunately what may start out as SEN misdiagnosis can often materialise into actual problems in summer born children.

See: Investigation of SEN misdiagnosis should include DfE’s role in ‘Correct but Avoidable’ diagnosis of Summer Born children Continue reading

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BBC Radio 4’s Whodunnit? Investigates Summer Born Issue

SB - BBC Radio 4 Whodunnit summer born picThe Summer Born Campaign‘s Michelle Melson is interviewed in episode 4 of a new BBC Radio 4 five-part series asking, Whodunnit?, The Calendar Conspiracy

Presenter: Michael Blastland
Producer: Katherine Godfrey
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Children born in summer do worse than children born in autumn or winter. Continue reading

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Campaign Coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live

Michelle MelsonBBC Radio 5 Live’s presenter Sam Walker hosted an excellent discussion on the Summer Born Campaign this morning, with guests including Michelle Melson (campaign leader) and Fiona McGuckin (parent of a summer born child).

You can listen to it here (at 40 min, 1hr 55min, 2hr 13min), and below are some highlights from the debate.

Michelle Melson (pictured): “Tinkering with tests is not going to fix the summer born issue. It’s not the answer to children missing a year of school.Continue reading

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Not the First Time? Summer Born Adults Recall Being Made to Miss a Year of School in the 1970s

img_4756Anyone else miss out on a year of primary school?
A few years ago, I came across the discussion forum above.

It describes a chronological reorganisation of children in school, which does not appear to have considered their individual best interests, and includes the anecdotes below.

“…a girl in my brother’s class was suddenly found to be too old for his year, was put up to my year but was the youngest“.

I think it has something to do with them changing the school years from “children born in 1974” to “children born from Sept 1973-August 1974” – as another friend (who I was with in the first year… was born in October 1974 but he stayed behind and completed his 1st year infants and didn’t leave for secondary school until September 1986 – a full year after me.Continue reading

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Campaign Leader To Discuss Educational Change at ‘Learning Exchange’ Event in London

Michelle MelsonThe Summer Born Campaign‘s Michelle Melson has been invited to participate in a special Learning Exchange (LEX) event in London this month, where she will discuss campaigning for change in education. 

Re-imagining School is on June 24th and the topic is RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL EDUCATION CHANGE CAMPAIGN

Michelle Melson and Pauline Hull are the lead campaigners of the Summer Born Campaign Group. Both are parents of summer born boys who didn’t want them to start school a few months after their 4th birthday, and believed that it was in the boys’ best interests to wait until they reached compulsory school age.

On January 15, 2014, they published their Summer Born Report  Continue reading

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Leicestershire County Council’s Financial Settlement Following Summer Born Admissions Fight

In today’s Leicester Mercury, Fiona Dryden describes Stephanie Walsgrove’s fight with Leicestershire County Council to allow her daughter, Amelia, to enter Reception class at CSAge in September 2017: Leicestershire mum wins battle to delay her daughter’s school start.

The article refers to this 2016 Local Government Ombudsman decision, and includes a statement from the council, saying “we agreed with the Ombudsman to make a small financial settlement to Mrs Walsgrove which recognises the time and trouble caused to her.

This demonstrates yet another cost Continue reading

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Headteachers Complain of Cuts but Untold Amounts of Time and Money Spent on Summer Born Admissions

img_7588On the very same day I read this in the Guardian – Cuts, cuts, cuts. Headteachers tell of school system ‘that could implode’ – a parent in our Summer Born Campaign group described how no fewer than three head teachers had attended a meeting with her to decide the school entry fate of her summer born child.

In total, the local authority had convened a panel of seven specialists, including the three heads, an educational psychologist, and early years specialists, to spend two hours trying to convince the parent (a teacher herself, with the child’s nursery’s full support) that she does not need to ‘delay’ her child’s entry to school.

Two hours spent (wasted) answering the wrong question. Continue reading

Posted in CAMPAIGN UPDATES, EXAMPLE CASES, THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION | 2 Comments