The DfE’s 2014 Code and Advice says parents of summer born children can only ‘request‘ Reception class entry at age 5 and should therefore submit a primary school application for an age 4 school place they do not want – while their request is being processed.
Except in many cases, parents have still not been given an answer to their request, so they don’t know whether to accept this year’s place or not. Others don’t want this year’s place but have been told (as I was) that they can hold on to it until December while they continue fighting (e.g. initiate a local complaints process and OSA/LGO correspondence) and decide whether to risk reapplying for Reception class entry in September 2016. Some parents will accept their September 2015 allocation out of fear and pressure (as has happened in previous years) and then when things go wrong, request that their child is able to repeat their Reception year (also see Cost of DfE’s Code Continues: Repeating Reception is the Latest Summer Born Scandal).
All of these scenarios limit other children’s opportunities to secure a place in much sought after and/or oversubscribed schools.
DfE Confirms and Defends Unfair and Unnecessary Mess
Incredibly, one parent member of the Summer Born Campaign contacted the Department for Education just this week to complain that her local admissions authority has still not informed the outcome of her CSAge Reception class request for 2016.
The DfE official wrote back:
“You mention that the Advice on the Admission of Summer Born Children recommends that admission authorities let parents know the outcome of their request before primary national offer day, which is 16 April. This is, however, just advice to admission authorities and not something they are required to follow. It is intended to make it easier for admission authorities to manage the supply of demand for places, because empty places won’t need to be held pending a decision…
“You will be able to hold onto any offer you are made for September 2015 until you know the outcome of your request.”
Think back to all the statements from the DfE about the various versions of its Summer Born Advice, and how helpful it would be in clarifying how things should be done – and here we have absolute confirmation of what the Summer Born Campaign has said all along.
The DfE’s Advice is worthless if admissions authorities are not required to follow it – some will and some won’t – and all this results in is the continuation of an admissions postcode lottery for summer born children…
…and one that is also impacting on all children and their chance of a school place.
- DfE Promised Flexibility but Look what it Chose to Change in the Code
- Three Ministers in three years Promise us Flexibility – but Actions Speak Louder than Words – will Nick Gibb DO something between now and April Offer Day?
- Money Talks: Could the publication of SEN costs FINALLY mean Fairness for Summer Born Admissions?
- Investigation of SEN misdiagnosis should include DfE’s role in ‘Correct but Avoidable’ diagnosis of Summer Born children
- Education Committee Recommendations Miss the Mark – 2014 DfE Code and Advice ARE the Problem so Why Recommend Further Implementation?
- Why a Right of Appeal is so Wrong – it still Means NO Right to a FULL Education for ALL Summer Born Children
- NAHT guest on BBC News gets Summer Born Fact so Wrong it only further Proves our Point
- Labour MP Stephen Twigg Formally Supports Our Campaign: ‘No child should be forced to miss a vital year of learning’
- Kent: Boy Forced to Miss Year of School with Devastating Consequences and Unnecessary SEN