Summer Born Parents Wait for Postman to find out Primary School Place

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Snail Mail for Summer Born Parents

Another difference in the application process for parents of summer born compulsory school age children (and there are many) is that applications usually cannot be processed online and so the parents must wait longer than other parents do to find out which school their child has been offered a place at.

Why?   ‘The Computer Says No.

And there are other problems too, as explained in yesterday’s post on the administrative mess and wasted school places resulting from the DfE’s Code and Advice:  today one parent in the Summer Born Campaign group was offered a school place for September 2015 despite having formally withdrawn their application when they were advised that their request Reception class entry in September 2016 had been granted.Other key differences for parents of summer born children include:

  • being forced to apply for a school place they don’t want, a whole year earlier than they actually want it
  • being forced to produce ‘evidence’ as to why their child is not ‘ready’ to start school at the ‘normal’ time (i.e. one year earlier than CSAge)
  • being forced to visit schools and ask head teachers to agree a CSAge start in Reception class and a subsequently uninterrupted education (in the context of NAHT views such as this one)
  • entering into very early discussions with their local council ahead of a formal ‘request’ for CSAge entry into Reception class and often facing an uphill battle as standard
  • juggling the responses from the various admissions authorities they have approached (importantly: for the exact same child, different free schools, academies and voluntary-aided schools can make different decisions to the council; and where parents live on the border of two council areas, different councils can make different decisions about the same child too)
  • if they DO decide to go ahead and apply for CSAge entrance to Reception class, their application form list of preferences can only include the names of schools where the admissions authorities have agreed to this request; if any AAs have not agreed they cannot be included and an in-year application for Year 1 must be made instead

In our own child’s case:

  •  our request was refused by my local voluntary aided school (where one sibling was already in situ)
  • Surrey County Council agreed to my request if I could find a maintained school to support it
  • we found a local maintained school head teacher that supported our request
  • we hand delivered a paper application form because the online form could not process our child’s year of birth
  • Surrey CC changed its position and overruled the supportive head teacher’s offer to accept our application for Reception class at CSAge
  • our request was formally denied and a Year 1 application only offered
  • we received a postal offer of a Reception class place at CSAge for a different local maintained school
  • the offer was confirmed by administrators by phone
  • the offer was retracted via email by the same admissions team that overruled the supportive head teacher

Checkmate.

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14 Responses to Summer Born Parents Wait for Postman to find out Primary School Place

  1. Rachel says:

    Received my offer letter for my first choice school. No mention regarding my request for delay. I emailed admissions and they’re still awaiting reply from one of my schools. All my local heads are against delay, so I anticipate a negative response. I’m still waiting at this time….

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  2. JC says:

    We are still waiting for the postman. Everyone else had their decisions today online or via e-mail.
    We delayed entry by a year and so had no choice but to do a paper application this year because the system would not accept my son’s date of birth.
    School were unable to confirm whether we had a place today, so we will have to sit tight and wait.

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  3. kelly wright says:

    I have a place in a Kent school that I don’t want. Forced to apply a year before compulsory school age with the threat of missing reception year entirely.

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  4. Nick says:

    I’ve got a place but I don’t want it this year. Who really makes the decision here… the Head teacher of this school has fully backed us so we’re waiting on the LA. This is a lottery on different levels ~ you’ve got to get the LA’s agreement and the head of each school you apply for. Is that fair???!

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  5. Siu Chui Li says:

    We received our offer in the post today from Essex confirming a place in Reception for our son who will be 5 this August. We seem to be one of very few who know the results on offer day and who have also had a delay agreed. I am saddened by all the cases similar to my own which are receiving negative answers knowing how draining this process is for parents who just want the best start for their (very) young children.

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  6. H beards says:

    On advise from DfE we applied for a place this year whilst fighting for acceptance for access to reception place at CSA next year. We received an offer today. It is not one of any of our first 3 choices and it is in fact a school I could never consider sending my child to. I don’t even want a place this year. Yet as places are so limited I find myself scrambling for one because I am realising that without the DfE legislating to support us we will need the lea & the exact school we happen to get into to be on board with a CSA reception start. For the jigsaw to even begin to fit. It’s seems clear that it’s extremely unlikely that we will be able to get a state school that we can actually get into who will also agree to a reception start at CSA – it wud prob be a miracle to land it on both counts. We are hard working tax payers yet Unless we privately educate without the DfE changing the admissions code these local lottery of decisions makes it impossible for a child like mine to stand any chance in the state school system to truly get his individual needs met. Shame on the system 😦 it cannot properly provide for summerborns even tho it has advise out aknowledgong the problem nothing is being done to support families like us whatsoever.

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  7. RDutton says:

    We were told we had to apply via a paper application. Prior to this we had already faced so much inconvenience battling backwards and forwards, unsure if we could even submit a request at compulsory school age (after being told it wasn’t even possible at first). I don’t know why things should be made harder for parents requesting a compulsory school age start, this is not a fair process. In the end I decided to submit my application online anyway and add a note in the comments section that I wasn’t able to enter the correct date of birth so I had to fill in the wrong date so my application was accepted. I followed this up with an email and it was accepted. So it can be that easy, why can’t admissions authorities make it that easy. Call me cynical but perhaps it’s just another way to dissuade us from requesting a compulsory school age start?!

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  8. EO says:

    We were lucky today we received confirmation of our 1st choice school and reception place at CSA (previously agreed). Different story to last year when we were battling and battling and battling and had a place in an oversubscribed school which we didnt want. In all credit to our LEA they have changed the online application procedure so we found out with all others. She wouldnt of coped last year, she will thrive this year. Parents really should have the choice – it works in Scotland. It can work here. Regardless of choice it should be our childrens RIGHT to access full education at CSAge… every other group has rights. Why not our summerborns? Are they not valid individuals who will contribute as well educated adults??? grrr!!!!!

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  9. mmelson2013 says:

    I asked my LA “Is the on-line system is geared up for summer born children entering reception class at compulsory school age or is there a different process we need to follow?”

    It was not, and was advised “You can apply by completing an application form which is contained within our “Applying for School Places – guide for parents and carers 2015-16” information booklet.” or alternatively call them and complete a form over the phone.

    So, I downloaded a copy of the application form, filled it in, scanned it, sent it to LA admissions and received an acknowledgement.

    I hope that our application has been processed. I’m sure it has, though thinking back, I know of cases in different councils where paper applications have gone missing, or critical information hasn’t been transcribed correctly or just plain missed off, or parents have received offer with another child’s details.

    So, it’s a waiting game, applications not completed on-line are sent out 2nd class post, post around here is delivered around or after lunchtime. I hope to hear something tomorrow, or at least by Saturday.

    Desperate to know if application has actually been processed, processed with correct details, what our school place offer is, and also, whether the year group agreed (reception class at compulsory school age) has been adhered to.

    Nail biting.

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  10. Brita says:

    We live in Bedfordshire and the LA has advised us that even thou we would like to defer our son (who is born 31 Aug to start reception class 2016 when he turns 5) that we still have to apply for a place this year. We have done this, been offered our 3rd choice 😦 I have called the LA again informing them of our intention to delay and I am still waiting for information as to what steps need to follow. Has anyone from our area have the experience of delaying?? Can we then reapply for our first 2 choices?? I guess we will need to present a case and our reasons why but surely being only 8h from the cut off line to next year being a strong reason itself. I am stunned that this country makes these decisions with such a resistance and it is so dificult for us parents but mostly not fair for our children that are sometimes forced to school at young age and the results to a child emotional state can be devastating. Surely the child should be the most important and the LA and Head Teachers should trust parents about these decisions and not base it on paper without even meeting the child. I hope we will be succesful in deferring our son.

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  11. 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 have been advised that the Head may wish to delay the recommendation whether it would be more suitable to place our son to the Reception or Year 1, this was back in November 2014. We understood at the time, but we don’t understand why we need to wait since October last year and why this decision wasn’t made before the primary national offer day. We are still waiting to find out whether our request was successful or not. We hope that we will be successful in delaying our son especially after all this time waiting.

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  12. Rachel Birch says:

    So we applied under duress after the governors at our eldest son’s school refused to grant our request for a delay. 3 weeks ago we sent a letter stating we wished to withdraw our application, we have received no acknowledgement of our letter and yesterday we were offered our first choice school. It’s a joke, but it’s not funny!

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  13. A Wallace says:

    I moved from Scotland in 1995 with twins born in august 1994. They were premature and should have been born at the end of September. Had we stayed in Scotland they would have just turned 5 when they started school. On moving to England I was shocked at children turning 4 in August having to go to school. I was fortunate to have a Head teacher on board with me and listen to my plight in wanting to hold my twins back a year but still start in reception. The local education authority said we would have to pay for their last year in education but that did not transpire.
    A word of warning though – if your child loves sport they will be age barred in competitive school sport as its mainly based on age and not school year. My children excelled in sport and could not represent their year group – they did not want to play for the year above as they felt they weren’t any different to their year group and wanted to play for their year group. Emotionally it was hard for them although academically they have been excellent. I feel there should be a ruling that gives parents the choice for July/August births and if accepted in holding back then this should also allow them to participate in competitive sport with the year they are in.

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  14. Pingback: Postal Delay for Parents of Summer Born Children | summerbornchildren

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