The House of Commons Education Committee has today published ‘MPs are promised action on summer born admissions‘ alongside a letter from Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb, wrote to its Chair, Neil Carmichael, earlier this month.
And the Chair says, “It’s very encouraging to see that the Minister recognises the issues raised by the previous Committee. Parents told us that there is still a problem here, despite previous work on the School Admissions Code which aimed to clear this up.
No child should miss out on a year of schooling, and admissions decisions need to be made in the best interests of the child, not administrative neatness.”
In a meeting last month with the Summer Born Campaign‘s Michelle Melson, Mr Gibb promised to review the summer born issue with ministerial colleagues at the earliest opportunity, and today’s news shows he has been true to his word on this.Parents of summer born children have been buoyed by the words and sentiments of other Education Minsters in the past, only to be failed dramatically when the new 2014 School Admissions Code changes were finally published.
But the Telegraph’s Chief Political Correspondent, Christopher Hope, reports on the paper’s front page today that the DfE’s “review will look at tightening the Schools Admissions Code… and will be finished in time for the start of next year’s academic year.”
He also quotes Mr Gibb as saying:
“It is fair that children who are born in the summer have the opportunity to excel at school, and if that means starting Reception a year later, that option should be available.
“It is important that children do not miss the vital teaching that takes place in the Reception class, particularly reading and early arithmetic.”
There are lives and quality of lives that could be changed dramatically if the Minister listens to parents on this issue, and the Summer Born Campaign would hear of fewer cases like this one:
Today’s news is an excellent first step.
- Nick Gibb’s letter to the Committee (PDF 88KB) ( PDF 89 KB)
- Committee’s original letter to Nick Gibb (PDF 82KB) ( PDF 82 KB)
- Education Committee Recommendations Miss the Mark – 2014 DfE Code and Advice ARE the Problem so Why Recommend Further Implementation?
- Inquiry: Evidence check: Starting school
- Education Committee
Written by author and journalist Pauline Hull