Because 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 year, he 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.
“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.”