The Department for Education is advising parents of summer born children to discuss their request for their child to enter Reception class at compulsory school age “as soon as possible with the schools they are interested in applying for and the local authority.”
This is already HUGELY problematic and devoid of choice (not least because it may only be the schools you have no chance of getting a place in that say yes, while your nearest school and/or council says no), but a Guardian article this week (“New schools commissioner reveals plan for all schools to become academies“) reports on a “goal… to make every state-funded school an academy by the end of the next parliament, and perhaps even within the next “two to three years“.
Academies are their own admission authorities (although local authorities can still influence these policies), which means that parents will have to traipse round schools trying to convince individual head teachers why their child needs the same number of years of education and access to the school curriculum as every other child.
And the DfE’s July 2013 advice advocates this; using paragraph 2.17 of the Code it says, “admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case“.
But the DfE advice also says, “It is likely that most requests for children to be admitted out of their normal year group will come from parents of children born in the later summer months or those born prematurely.”
So if your child was born in April, May or June, it’s also likely that you will experience even greater resistance to your request than other parents.