These summer born children are so far (see caveat below) some of the lucky ones – by virtue of their address. Their parents’ requests for Reception class entry at CSAge were agreed – albeit some after a lengthy battle, others without question; some only with compulsory ‘documented evidence‘ or SEN, others with no ‘exceptional circumstances‘ required at all – just ‘lawfully summer born‘ and ‘best interests‘.
So the question is – given there is NO evidence to justify the loss of a whole year of school being in any child’s best interests – why does the DfE’s 2014 Code allow other schools and councils to REFUSE the same fair access to other SB children?
2015 Compulsory School Age entry
SEBASTIAN – Born August 2010
No difficulties with request at all; Sheffield LEA agreed to him starting in Reception at just turned 5 years old.
THOMAS – Born August 25, 2010
Evidence submitted incl. SALT, community paediatrician and nursery. Agreement from followings Vale of Glamorgan, Essex and Halton LEAs.
“I’m currently in my 2nd year of preschool and loving it!“
OLIVIA – Born August 31, 2010
Request made in Staffordshire and agreed by local foundation school.
“I can start school in Reception after my 5th birthday and my mummy didn’t have to give any special reasons or evidence at all. Although I might not be able to stay with my friends as the school can move me up into the next class at any point.”
AIDEN – Born July 31, 2010
Request agreed by Cheshire East LEA.
“I can start school in Reception class after my 5th birthday with no ‘special reason’ or ‘exceptional circumstances’; it’s just best for me not to miss Reception and everybody agreed – eventually. Hopefully no one will try and make me skip a year in the future – or my mummy will have something to say about that! Sort it Gov, I don’t want her to have to carry on campaigning until 2022!”
TOBY – Born July 2010
Toby has a statement of SEN but it was crystal clear after two years of fighting that he was only allowed to enter Reception at CSAge because he was summer born, and not because of his SEN – the exact opposite to what other parents have experienced. Read more on this case here.
ERYK – Born June 7, 2010
“It was hard battle in Leeds for my mum, and even harder because the school and my nursery was against my right to wait until CSAge (even they knew about my health problems and speech delay). But she didn’t give up and LEA agreed! Now I have one extra year in preschool!”
JOSEPH – Born August 28, 2010
“My parents’ battle was last year in Worcestershire. Thank you to the head teacher who trusted my parents to make the right decision for me and helped them fight the LEA. I can’t wait to start in Reception a few days after my 5th birthday.”
ABIGAIL – Born August 21, 2010
Parents’ request agreed in Derbyshire; no SEN, just food intolerances and summer born.
“My mummy fought really hard to give me an extra year to play and develop which I have loved – I even still get to nap when I want.”
JONNY – Born June 2010
Parents’ request agreed; straight forward process in Bristol with a supportive head teacher. No SEN; just needed more time to play. “This picture was taken in April 2015 on the afternoon school run to collect my sister.”
MAX – Born June 24, 2010
“Easy for me in Hampshire… Just summer born!“
TIEN – Born August 30, 2010
Parents’ request agreed, but with support letters from nursery, forest school and playgroup; application was accepted by Essex and Cambridge Councils (family lives near border, but request denied by an academy school and voluntary aided school, which is being investigated further.
WILLIAM – Born July 21, 2010
Parents’ request agreed by North Yorkshire LEA. Submitted letters from speech therapist and preschool letter but no SEN. Attended meeting to discuss with LEA but generally not a difficult or obstructive process. All agreed in May 2014 so no anxiety over which year would be allocated at CSAge. Felt best interests of child taken into account and listened to parents; also supportive head teacher.
“I wasn’t ready for big school. I had an extra year of preschool and am now excited to go in September when I’m 5. The extra year with my speech therapist has to helped me with my sounds before starting at school.”
LEO – Born August 2010.
Request agreed in Cambridge with help of determined Nursery, due to speech delay and not being socially and emotionally ready. He has had so many tests and referrals, which were all inconclusive.
“I don’t want to go to big school; I want to play with my friends in the nursery and my 3 year-old sister who will be with me in nursery.”
2016 Compulsory School Age entry
MAX – Born April 7, 2011
Request agreed in West Berkshire but we had to prove exceptional circumstances. Max has a speech delay, and we included a SALT report, nursery report and paediatrician report, plus lots of general evidence.
CLARK – Born July 2011
Request agreed by an academy school in Dorset.
academy. Growth and development delay due to illness (soon to be treated) but no proof of this required. Received full support from preschool who were able to informally guide the school.
BEN – June 20, 2011
Request supported with a long statement from us, letter from Consultant Paediatrician, letter from his current nursery and letters from the head teachers of our two preferred schools in East Sussex. Ben has a condition called Achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) with various resulting developmental delays.
LEO – Born August 18, 2011
Request agreed but we had to battle for it in Surrey even with SEN and we only have agreement from one academy school, not the Council or other schools.
“I have ASD and speech delay. I had lots of reports from people who help me to say that I needed another year before I started school.”
DYLAN – Born August 3, 2011
Request made to South Gloucestershire LEA via email January 2015; agreed and confirmed in writing April 2015. A smooth process. Bit more difficult arranging EYE funding as they were not up to speed with new summer born admissions policy.
AMELIE – Born July 2011
No SEN and had request agreed by LEA for Reception class entry without a fight.
“I start school in September 2016 when I will be more ready for school. At the moment I love spending time with my mummy and I need to nap in the afternoon too (growing and developing can be very tiring) I think I would really struggle if I had to go to school this year.”
MATILDA – Born May 12, 2011
“I am a normal child but I won’t be ready to sit still and listen this September. Luckily Sheffield County Council agree; my parents simply had to request that I start next year instead. This photo was taken this month, April 2015.”
Crucially, the DfE’s 2014 Code doesn’t protect any of these children from being forced to miss a year of school at any point later on. Their parents won’t want to move house to in case this happens, and will hope that any new head teacher doesn’t share the views of this NAHT spokesperson.
Only time will tell who the luckiest summer born children are – the ones who will have access to a full education spanning the same 12 years of primary and secondary school curriculum that they would be entitled to if their parents enrolled them in school EARLY.
This is a shocking and scandalous state of affairs in England.