Aside from the BBC’s failure to fact check something so critical in the context of this 6 O’Clock News report, it is astonishing just how accepting the National Association of Head Teachers is of its miscommunication to parents:
BBC: And from teachers’ leaders, there are some words of caution about children starting school later…
“If the child then joins us a year late in Reception, they would still have to leave primary when they’re 11, so at some point, they’d have to jump a year and catch that up. If they miss the Reception year and go straight into Year 1, then they’ve missed those very important early learning experiences.”
Simply not true according to the DfE, but even if it was true, why didn’t the NAHT submit comments and evidence to the Education Committee last week decrying this as bad practice?? This is just one more example of the pressure parents of summer born children face when they approach head teachers and council administrators to request entry to Reception class at CSAge.
Misinformation, threats and coercion are commonplace during the admissions process for summer born children.
And so is it any surprise that while 99.9% of children in Reception started at age 4, and 99.6% were full-time, a survey cited by the DfE (during the Education Committee evidence check) found only 38-55% chose this, and 22-32% wanted to wait until CSAge?
For the record, here’s what the 2014 DfE summer born non-statutory advice says:
Funding for children educated out of their normal age group
Primary schools are funded for the number of pupils they have on roll, regardless of their age, though local authorities may choose to weight that funding according to age. Similarly, secondary schools are funded on the basis of the number of pupils they have in years 7-11, regardless of their age, which again may be weighted
Moving children to their normal age group
Any decision to move a child to a different age group should be based on sound educational reasons and made by the headteacher in consultation with the parents.
It’s evident from the experience of hundreds of parents that very often, they know more about the law surrounding summer born children than the professionals – the same professionals that the DfE has given full power to ‘decide’ on the number of years’ education our children should have access to.
I’ve said this before, but really, you couldn’t make this up…
- You can tweet @NAHTnews and @The6oClockNews using hashtag #startingschool