DfE’s New Report on Summer Born Admissions Excludes SEN Benefits

IMG_6926The Summer Born Campaign welcomes the DfE’s Delayed school admissions for summer born pupils report, as it confirms:
– the DfE is fully aware of the admissions postcode lottery
– the DfE knows children are being forced to miss a year of school
– parent requests for CSAge entry are increasing
– the DfE needs to improve communication of admissions information, and ensure equitable access for, all parents (as we predicted in 2014)
– the DfE needs to widen its focus from academic attainment to social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural benefits (these don’t appear in the report or parent survey)

What’s wrong with the report?
Just some key points:

1) Exclusion of summer born children with SEN
“We have limited this analysis to pupils that do not have a SEN flag in both Reception year and Year 1.

This hides important data. Continue reading


DfE Stalls on Summer Born Admissions – Again

IMG_6841In recent weeks, parents of summer born children have been receiving correspondence confirming whether or not their child can enter Reception at CSAge without further battle.

I’ve got a yes!” “Mine’s a no.

The educational fate of these children is entirely in the hands of subjective opinion and a postcode lottery, and Stephen Hammond (Conservative MP for Wimbledon)’s efforts to push for promised progress have yet again seen the DfE stalling.

The DfE says it’s still busy “gathering evidence“, concerned that “the costs could be significant“, but given the lack of action since Nick Gibb MP‘s promises in 2015, it’s very likely that this evidence will be designed to justify a decision that has already been made.

Even the simplest financial calculation can recognise the cost-savings in SEN support alone, but the DfE will likely focus on the problem of summer born children finally getting access to the same 6 terms of pre-school funding as autumn born children.

These are Minister of State for Education’s latest responses to Mr. Hammond’s questions on March 27: Continue reading

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Nick Gibb MP Repeats 2015 Admissions Assurances But Parents Awaiting Action

IMG_6841Numerous media outlets are reporting the Schools Minister Nick Gibb’s comments at the British Library this week; e.g. The Telegraph’s Parents of summer born children will be allowed to start school aged five, minister says


Education Editor Camilla Turner reports that he said, ‘once the Department for Education (DfE) has completed a review of evidence, ministers will instigate a change to the admissions system to ensure that all summer born children have the option of starting in reception at age five.’ Continue reading


Still No Word from DfE on Summer Born Children ‘Losing Out’

17-Nov Richard House interview Michelle Melson - TEY 7.6 Critical cornerIn the latest issue of ‘Teach Early Years‘, early years campaigner Richard House interviews co-leader of the Summer Born Campaign, Michelle Melson, about why the DfE is dragging its feet over promised changes for summer born children, and the seriously adverse effects this is having on their education.

Read ‘Summer-borns are still losing out‘ here.


Summer Born Campaign’s Michelle Melson Presenting at Education Event in Wales

Michelle MelsonMichelle Melson, co-leader of the Summer Born Campaign, will be speaking at the latest CPE Learning Exchange (LEX) event: Educational Difference – Flexing and Personalising Education.

It takes place on Saturday 4 November 2017 (10am – 4.20pm) in Conwy, Wales and promises a diverse line up, interesting inputs and discussion running throughout the day (follow at #AlternativeEducationalFutures). Continue reading

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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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