Earlier this month, in the BBC News report ‘Lancashire County Council at ‘cliff edge’, says leader‘, the council’s leader, Jennifer Mein, describes the struggle to balance budgets in the face of steep cuts over the next two years.
And yet – the council appears to have sufficient finances and staff resources to fight parents who simply wish to enrol their summer born children in Reception class (not Year 1) at CSAge.
Perhaps instead of complaining to the government that it needs more money, the council should implement the DfE’s proposed changes, – as other councils have done – and stop wasting money fighting against what is in the best interests of children?
A number of parents in our Facebook group have described lengthy correspondence, phone calls and complaints to Lancashire CC (a costly trail of unnecessary bureaucracy), and this is despite the fact that in September 2015, Schools Minister Nick Gibb made it perfectly clear that he wanted council to take immediate action, and allow summer born children access to a full education at CSAge.
The irony here is palpable.
The BBC reports that: “The government says the authority should be able to manage but Ms Mein said the situation was “very, very bleak”.”
Well indeed many parents of summer born children are often told that their children “should be able to manage” too – be that forced entry to school at age 4 or being forced to miss any arbitrary school year after that, just so that they are educated ‘in their correct chronological age group‘.
On this, the Summer Born Campaign would echo the council leader’s words:
The situation as it stands for summer born children in England, – with an ever worsening postcode lottery, is indeed “very, very bleak“.
And evidently, only a change in the law can change that.
- Written by author and journalist Pauline Hull