Pre-School says ‘4 Year-Old Theo’ Not Welcome Back After Summer Holidays

Faye Sturgess son NorthamptonBecause he ‘should’ be going to school in September…
Some parents, including Faye Sturgess in Northampton, face a doubly distressing battle to ensure their summer born children have the best start to their education.

Not only has her local school and council refused to agree to her request for Reception class entry in September 2016 when Theo reaches CSAge, but now Faye says the pre-school Theo attends doesn’t want him to return in September 2015.

All three – pre-school, school and council – are seeking to make the decision on timing of school entry instead of the parents; they conclude it is in Theo’s best interests to start school at just turned 4 years of age, against his parents’ wishes.

Yet Theo is the youngest of three summer born boys in his family, and his parents have first-hand experience of the “struggles” their eldest in particular has had in school; they want to avoid repeating this experience with Theo, and they know him best, – but they’ve been told if they don’t enrol him this yearhe must start school in Year 1, and he’ll lose his pre-school place too.

We don’t call it the Summer Born Scandal for nothing.

On a more positive note, one of the Summer Born Campaign‘s Supporters Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre‑school Learning Alliance, said in a press release on Friday:

We warmly welcome the schools minister’s promise to tackle the problem of summer-born admissions, as well as his acknowledgement that recent changes to the schools admissions code have failed to solve this long-running problem.

“It’s now vital that definitive action is taken to prevent any more parents being denied the right to defer their child’s entry into reception.

As it stands, admissions authorities still have the final say on such decisions, while parents don’t even have the right to appeal.

This simply has to change.

Parents are clearly best placed to understand the needs of their own children, and so the decision as to whether or not to defer entry should be theirs to make.

The fact that Mr Gibb has publicly acknowledged that previous action taken by government to address this problem has been ineffective is a positive first step.

We hope that the Department for Education will now waste no time in implementing the changes necessary to ensure that all future decisions on school admissions are made on the basis of what is best for the child, and not what is easiest for admissions authorities to administer.

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5 Responses to Pre-School says ‘4 Year-Old Theo’ Not Welcome Back After Summer Holidays

  1. H says:

    I just cannot understand how the preschool council and school can be allowed to use bullying tactics and threats to try to force a mother to send her child to school under age, before is legally expected & against her better judgement. This is all alongside the soundly based evidence we have to say that in many cases this is harmful to children who are not ready. Are we forgetting that this mother also has a moral & legal obligation to put her childs best interest first and to protect him. What is going wrong when a system, that should be encouraging and nurturing, carrying, loving supporting families, can bully a mother into putting her child in harms way when her instinct and judgment tells her otherwise!?

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  2. H says:

    typo ****what is going wrong, when a system that should be encouraging caring, loving and supportive families, can join up together to bully a mother into putting her child into ……

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  3. maggie may says:

    Such a disgrace. Something should be done and fast. Tired of hearing “he’ll be fine ,we’ll give support ,we have many summer born…” .. they should concentrate on a individual child and this is our right ! Also in our case LA asking for evidence to start at csa.. is this all a joke?

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  4. Kelly says:

    This is an absolute disgrace. The parents of Theo must be so outraged at this. It’s called compulsory school age for a reason. I really feel for everyone involved. Just hope the right decision is made for Theo. It needs to be a parents right when their child should go to school and no one else!

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  5. Charlotte says:

    Exactly the same has happened to me In Norfolk. My daughter has attended the pre-school attached to the primary school in our catchment area for the last academic year, she will not be compulsory school age until September 2016 yet I am now left with no place for her in the pre-school for September 2015. It is a conveyer belt system. In September 60 new children arrive, 30 in the morning, 30 on the afternoon, there is no space for any summer born children to remain in the pre-school. I was told she could not stay there is no space, so the choice is get in school or go else where. I am now looking at private nurseries for September 2015. It appears, in my experience, the system with a government funded pre-school attached to the school does not allow flexibility for summer born children to stay on.

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