A member of the National Governors’ Association has told the Summer Born Campaign that its June 5, 2015 newsletter reads:
“The NGA encourages governing boards who are the admissions authority for their school
to allow summer-born children to defer and begin reception a year later should parents wish for this to happen.”
The NGA’s newsletter article in full, which is applicable to governors of all state funded schools in England, reads:“Parents campaign for summer-born children to defer start in reception
Fran Abrams, writing in the Guardian this week, reports on admissions authorities failing to allow summer-born children to start in Reception; a year later than their peers.
Current DfE guidance, released in 2014, states that decisions on whether summer-born children should be allowed to defer entry should be taken on a case-by-case basis by the admissions authority.
However, following numerous emails and letters from parents to the Education Select Committee, Graham Stuart, ex-Chair of the Committee, wrote to Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools, in March this year stating that ‘parents are having increasing difficulty in securing entry for summer-born or premature children into reception at compulsory school age rather than into year 1, and that the situation has worsened following the government’s new guidance’.
Mr Gibb responded by stating that admissions authorities should not reject a parents request to defer their summer-born child for the sake of ‘bureaucratic neatness’.
The NGA encourages governing boards who are the admissions authority for their school to allow summer-born children to defer and begin reception a year later should parents wish for this to happen.”
- Emma Knights is Chief Executive of the NGA and readers who wish to thank her can do so at @NGAMedia
- Also special thanks to Rosie Dutton and Michelle Melson who respectively brought the NGA and its newsletters to the attention of the SBC group, and which led to unearthing this most encouraging position statement.
Written by Pauline Hull
Author, journalist and mother of a summer born child refused access to Reception class at compulsory school age by a school’s governing body