This campaign has been put together by parents, carers and professionals who believe that a summer born child should be allowed to start primary school, in Reception class, aged 5.
Reception class is aimed primarily at 5 year olds.(1)
Compulsory school age is the beginning of the term following a child’s fifth birthday.(2)
The law stipulates that education be suitable to a child’s age, ability and aptitude.(3)
Everybody has the right to an effective education.(4)
Yet parents of 4-year-old children who have not reached emotional, social or academic maturity and readiness for school are being forced to enrol their child a whole year earlier or have their child’s education entitlement reduced by one year with obligatory entrance into Year 1.
This is NOT in the best interests of the child and the current ‘system’ needs to change.
(1) Section 142 of the School Standards and Framework Act (SSFA) 1998
(2) Section 8 of Education Act 1996
(3) Section 7 of Education Act 1996
(4) Human Rights Act 1998
Pauline M Hull
When we consider the laws on “equal oppurtunities” for all, and “human rights” then currently the Government and LEA’s (Local Education Authorities) are breaching these standards on a daily basis against our children, removing their rights to an equal education, equal funding, and equal oppurtunities to learn.
Summer borns have a whole year less of pre-school educational access and funding, that’s a 100% less money which is NOT invested in summer borns than say by comparison to those born in the autumn.
Autum born children have up to two years worth of pre-school funding and educational access whilst a summer born child can’t start the sessions until September and then will only receive a maximum of eleven months worth of pre-school funding before entering school.
(Government funds five free sessions per week of pre-school education for 3 – 5 year olds. Summer borns can’t start their sessions until the September following their third birthday, then only receive a maximum of 11 months worth before being forced to start school at four).
Not only is the government investing less in summer borns education but they are also deprieving these children of the same equal oppurtunites to learn.
Summer borns start school at just four years old, with less than one year’s access of pre-school education whilst autumn born children start school at five with two years worth of pre-school education, that’s double the amount of education and funding input. You do not have to be a mathmatician to work it out.
Look at any books on child development and you can see there are massive leaps between the years in early childhood in relation to differences in social, emotional development.
Scrap the “fixed academic year class groups” and introduce “rolling educational system”. All children to receive the same two year pre-school educational funding. When the child turns five in the first term thereafter enroll them into reception at school. When they turn six, in the first term thereafter move them up to year one. When they turn seven, the first term thereafter move them up to year two. That means the class room groups are not fixed or static but their is a rolling system that allows the same age related entry point and appropriate access for all with optimal learning oppurtunies for every child.
Look at the statistics: more summer borns are listed as SEN (special educational needs), yet they are receiving 100% less pre-school education and start school a whole year earlier than autumn borns. GIVE EVERY CHILD THE SAME PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND ALLOW THEM TO ACCESS THEIR FULL TIME EDUCATION AT THE APPROPRIATE AND EQUAL AGE. It would work out far cheaper, then trying to throw money at a problem that need never to have arisen, had they not been deprevied of the same pre-schoold education and funding.
In primary schools up and down the country combing two year groups into one classroom is common practice in smaller primary schools. My daughter born at end of June was co-educated in a class with the next year group up. From the age of five, she was sat in a classroom every day with children up to two years older than herself being co-taught. The age range in her year one class was from five years to seven years, a total age span of two years. This practice is very common and deemed standard practice for smaller primary schools throughout the UK. Some children are just entering school at five whilst my daughter being summer born was already in year one being co-taught with seven year olds and undoubtedly feeling far removed academically from the obviously more capable and socially adept seven year olds in her class. Surely with the laws we have parents and childrens rights are already being breached. Lets wake up and shake up the system to make it fair for ALL.
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