Critical School Places will be Wasted by Admissions Authorities on Offer Day due to Summer Born Scandal

IMG_0232Allocation of primary school places for all children will be adversely impacted tomorrow as highly sought after school places are lost to an administrative mess. How?

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.

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11 Responses to Critical School Places will be Wasted by Admissions Authorities on Offer Day due to Summer Born Scandal

  1. Pingback: Summer Born Parents Wait for Postman to find out Primary School Place | summerbornchildren

  2. Rachel says:

    Still waiting to hear. Received an offer for September but no mention of request for delay. I hope no-one will lose out on a place because of this chaos!


  3. Kelly says:

    I was told to apply for a place which I got today but will be declining as my child will go to school at CS age. I’m still battling with my LA for a delay for my son who has SEN. Outrageous that inconsistencies are allowed between different regions.


  4. Andrea says:

    I was advised by local authority to apply for a school place for sept 2015 even though I have made it clear that my son wasn’t starting school until compulsory school age in sept 2016! I am awaiting to hear if my request for a reception place at csa has been successful, how ever they have told me that I will need to re-apply in the autumn. My son has been given a place this September so I have to decide whether I reject it and reapply In the autumn or keep it until it is certain I have a reception place at csa! If I give it up I risk losing a place completely at my chosen school as they are over subscribed and there may not be a yr 1 place for him if I am not successful in gaining a reception place.


  5. RDutton says:

    I was advised by my local authority to apply for a school place last year (prior to compulsory school age). I was even told by the admissions team when I first made contact that there was not even an option of applying for a reception start at compulsory school age. No one in admissions had a clue and I was passed from pillar to post. The website didn’t include any information on my rights to request a reception start either. It wasn’t until I found the summer born campaign facebook group that I found the help, support and advice I needed to challenge them. I requested information from my LA and even found myself quoting the legislation to them. I asked for copies of their guidance they sent out to schools on the issue and it hadn’t been updated since 2009! 2009! We are now in 2015. Jeeeez. No wonder schools and headteachers aren’t aware of what to do or even that we are allowed to request it. Some families are thrown at the first hurdle and understandably so. This is an absolute shambles and a disgrace!!


  6. EO says:

    We had a wasted place last year. Finally had CSAge reception start agreed and gave it up a day before the parents introductory meeting. This school had 10 appeals for places and 15 on the waiting list! If they had allowed us to delay it would of meant one less appeal ergo costing the education system less money. Crazy crazy world when a parent can not choose a full education for their child.


  7. Petra says:

    We have received offer letter for our 1st choice school today. The LA did not mention anything regarding our request for delay which we have submitted back in October 2014. We don’t know whether to accept the place or wait what will happen and risk our place at this year’s Reception. I cannot believe what a mess this is. If we will be successful ( and we hope we will be ), they have just wasted this year place which could be taken by somebody else.


  8. Rachel Birch says:

    We have been offered a place we applied for when we felt under pressure. We since wrote a letter to Birmingham LEA asking to withdraw our application. Yesterday we received and offer of a place at our first place school.


  9. Pingback: Campaign Does Not Support “2 Bites of the Cherry” for Summer Born Children | summerbornchildren

  10. Pingback: More Broken Promises – this time Empty Election ones from Education Secretary | summerbornchildren

  11. Pingback: MP Requests Update on Cost Assessment – Campaign Suggests Links | summerbornchildren

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