It’s true that there are some private schools that warn parents their summer born child must enter Reception class before compulsory school age, but for the most part, private schools are incredibly amenable to children at compulsory school age having the exact same (7 years of) primary school education as every other child.
Well apart from the unquestionable fact that they might be more willing (and able) to listen to the wishes of parents, it is evident to them that these children will have an altogether better educational experience if they start school when their parents feel they’re ready – and not before.
There’s no suggestion of a Year 1 entry or the child ‘skipping a year‘ later on in order to return to a predetermined ‘correct chronological age group‘ – because these schools understand that happy parents, a contented child and less need for special support in the classroom is a win-win situation for everyone – including the school’s own academic results tables.
There are no concerns about developmental differences within each year group either – and this is where small class sizes exist, so you might think that differentiation issues would be even more noticeable than the 30-strong class sizes in state schools.
Private schools are simply doing what schools in many other countries already do quite successfully – they allow the admissions flexibility that exists in law, and understand that developmental age is far, far more important than chronological age.
There are undoubtedly numerous challenges in trying to get a like-for-like private school service in state schools, but honestly Mr. Gove, this is a really simple one to fix.
A really, really simple one.
Just let our summer born children have access to a full primary school education – whether we choose to start their education AT or BEFORE compulsory school age. Please?