DfE Stalls on Summer Born Admissions – Again

IMG_6841In recent weeks, parents of summer born children have been receiving correspondence confirming whether or not their child can enter Reception at CSAge without further battle.

I’ve got a yes!” “Mine’s a no.

The educational fate of these children is entirely in the hands of subjective opinion and a postcode lottery, and Stephen Hammond (Conservative MP for Wimbledon)’s efforts to push for promised progress have yet again seen the DfE stalling.

The DfE says it’s still busy “gathering evidence“, concerned that “the costs could be significant“, but given the lack of action since Nick Gibb MP‘s promises in 2015, it’s very likely that this evidence will be designed to justify a decision that has already been made.

Even the simplest financial calculation can recognise the cost-savings in SEN support alone, but the DfE will likely focus on the problem of summer born children finally getting access to the same 6 terms of pre-school funding as autumn born children.

These are Minister of State for Education’s latest responses to Mr. Hammond’s questions on March 27:

Hammond: “To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of giving summer-born and premature children the right to start reception at the age of five.

Gibb: “The costs of this change would depend on the level of take up, which is difficult to predict. We are gathering evidence to help us better estimate the likely take up and costs. If large numbers of parents choose to delay their summer born child’s entry to reception, the costs could be significant.HC Deb, 27 March 2018, cW

Hammond: “To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on giving summer-born and premature children the right to start reception at the age of five.

Gibb: The Department is giving careful consideration to how these changes may be made in a way that avoids unintended consequences elsewhere in the system. Any changes to the Admissions Code will require a statutory process, including consultation and parliamentary scrutiny. The Department will consider the appropriate time for consulting on these changes in the context of competing pressures on the parliamentary timetable. HC Deb, 27 March 2018, cW

Note that the long-term standard of “in due course” has changed to “the appropriate time“.

Meanwhile there are children who were born in summer of the year Nick Gibb MP made his promise (2015), whose parents will THIS YEAR be forced to apply for an early school place they do not want for their child – or begin the process of a lengthy battle with their local schools’ admissions authority/ies.

And in terms of cost, many of these battles involve the services of countless NHS health professionals (being asked to assess and submit reports on the physical and mental health of 3 year-old children), plus special ‘request/decision panels’ (involving school head teachers and local council staff), plus LGO and OSA processing of parents’ complaints, plus repeated Reception classes.

The biggest cost is shouldered by parents and children.

In recent months, we’ve learned of more cases where children are being made to skip a whole year (and a later year, not the Reception class) of their primary school education, simply because the head teacher or council says the child ‘must’ be returned to their ‘correct’ chronological age group.

This, coupled with the 4 year-old children forced to enter Reception class against their parents’ wishes (or risk losing a school place altogether if they wait to apply for Year 1 entry), heading down a well-evidenced path of being more likely to struggle, fall behind, need SEN (incl. mental health) support, and achieve worse exam results.

But still, the DfE refuses to act.

  • Written by author and journalist Pauline Hull
This entry was posted in CAMPAIGN UPDATES, THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to DfE Stalls on Summer Born Admissions – Again

  1. E says:

    The subjective opinion mentioned in this article even relates to one single case; we have had 2 Academy Schools refuse a Reception start at CSA while 5 other Surrey schools said Yes-the same information was given to all schools. We are in the process of responding to the 2 schools that refused as they have not complied with the DfE School Admissions Code 2014 and The DfE Guidelines on the Admission of Summer Born Children.


  2. R Dutton says:

    I can’t believe we are still waiting. Lots of admission authorities are denying requests, more than ever before.

    My daughter is transferring to junior school (after a CSAge start) and I was told at first there was no allocated space for her, that she should have gone last year! Little things like that are a real hassle, there is no guarantee she can stay with her cohort, we face the threat she could be forced to miss a year at any point.

    We need action soon.


  3. Hayley Beards says:

    I feel I cannot stomach another fobbing off from this government on this issue. Cost has been sighted as a reason for the continued ignoring of this extremely damaging practice to force children into school under age at just 4. There is no excuse for it to be happening in the first place and This wrong should be put right no matter the cost, yet I will say this…. This practice continues at the cost of children’s lives , at the cost of family breakdowns, at the cost of children’s future mental health, at the cost of teachers being overwhelmed with stress, at the cost of unnecessary interventions, at the cost of thousands of children’s self esteem…. the list goes on… I don’t need to explain AGAIN, I’m sure all the overwhelming evidence against this unacceptable practice of children being pushed into school under age ….
    Mr Gibb your lack of action is simply unacceptable and u hold thousands of children’s lives and mental health in ur hands …. how long are u going to let them perish????


  4. N davies says:

    Our son is the oldest in his year in reception rather than the youngest. He is rated as average by the teachers yet he is a pleasure to have in the class. I can’t imagine what his rating or behaviour would be like if he were on the traditional cohort.
    We had a massive battle to get him this place. I wholeheartedly support this option for parents with summerborns, it won’t suit every child but allow parents the right to exercise choice for their children.
    It’s a scandal how many parents are turned down or bullied into sending their children at the traditional point.


  5. Michelle Carnegie says:

    The postcode lottery on this must end. It is so unfair. My child was allowed to start reception at CSA rather than year one and it has been the making of his education. He is now broadly meeting age related expectations, is happy and his self-esteem has not suffered. Furthermore this has all been achieved without extra input from the school/cost. As part of the Flexible Admissions for Summerborns group I watch daily how one parent with a high achieving April born is supported to start at CSA and another parent with a premature or SEN August born is not or the same child is supported by one school and not by another dependent upon the views of the headteacher, I think clear and fair legislation on this point is urgently needed (the waste of money/time on this point in almost every LA is ludicrous),


    • Hawa says:

      With very little knowledge on child development and the education system, I placed my August born into our education system where she was the youngest in her class and she continued to struggle and play catch throughout both primary and high school. After 2 gap years into her adult education, she then managed to reach her potential and achieve academical success.
      23 yrs later there’s still no change into supporting summer borns to start later so that they’re mentally and physically ready to start learning. It almost feels like this government want such children to fail. The system is unfair and unjust. This government is not only letting down these children but also famlies who are trying to give the best start in life to their children. Despite all the research done on the lack of achievement for summer borns, there’s still nothing done about supporting such children in order to close the barrier to their learning.
      The lack of action on this issue from our government is unacceptable. We as parents want to see change for the betterment of our summer born children. How many more children is the government wanting to fail before they look into this issue?


  6. Arena says:

    My August-born SEN child stands little chance of being granted a Reception start at compulsory school age- simply because of where we live! Instead, he will be expected to start school before he is emotionally ready to- at 4 years and a week old. How is it fair that he should struggle through school because of a postcode lottery?


  7. Sarah says:

    I feel like the government are backtracking here and it’s very concerning. What more can we as parents do to help make this change happen?


  8. Claire Brown says:

    We are lucky, our son started at CSA in September. He is doing well, he is happy and according to his teacher a stable member of the class. This would not have been the case had he started when he was 4. Our process was relatively easy but the disparity in the approach from some councils is a sad indictment of a post code lottery through our county. The fight does on for many, however changes to the code could massively benefit so many more children.


  9. This situation has gone on far too long – almost 3 years
    Whilst the fate of thousands of children is decided by totally subjective and inconsistent rules and opinions.

    My son has had a yes for reception at CSA from three schools. But friends at neighbouring schools a few miles away are getting nos

    Once my son does start at CSA there is no guarantee that he can stay with his adopted cohort. I’m beyond fed up with the delay to this and the ‘in due course’ comment is getting very old now we are coming up to two years


    • Ps if cost is being cited as the main barrier what about the cost of the millions of summer born children diagnosed with SEN. When in fact a massive proportion are just too young to be in the system and facing the level of expectation.


  10. Kristabel says:

    I have now been granted a CSA start for my son born August 29th 2014. However I had to fight to get it, whereas the neighbouring LA say yes automatically to everyone. And of course I’m delighted that I now have the yes, but what about those parents who don’t have the time, energy, literacy skills etc to be able to fight? Don’t their children deserve the same?

    The two biggest concerns that need addressing in my opinion are:
    1. LAs saying that teachers can differentiate. As an early years teacher myself, of course we can differentiate. But we can’t make up for a child being a quarter of a lifetime younger. And even if we could, the increasing pressures on teachers mean that year 1 is increasingly formalised. Even my able (predicted greater depth across the board) October born year 1 son has struggled this year with the lack of play and intensity of formal learning. He’s doing well, but he wasn’t emotionally ready for this level of formalisation. School don’t see it – he’s mature, sensible, capable at school. But he’s tired and cranky at home having held it together all day. He cried every day for weeks saying he didn’t want to go to school. Imagine if he was a year younger dealing with that? Of course some children cope, some even thrive, but many, especially boys, are not ready even if they are the oldest in the year (5 is still younger than most other European countries start school).

    2. The inequality faced by parents of summer born children is unfair. Autumn and spring Born parents can send their child to school at csa and be guaranteed some reception time AND have equal/fair chance of getting into the schools they prefer. Summer born parents have to make choices within that. All the schools where I live are oversubscribed. My oldest didn’t even get into the catchment school because being in catchment couldn’t guarantee you a place at the school unless you had siblings there. All the other surrounding schools are full from within catchment, so you can’t get in them either. Imagine adding to that not even being in the admission round due to having to apply for an in-year place in year 1?! Working parents have childcare arrangements in place, it’s not an acceptable risk to find the only in year place could be on the other side of the city. Then childcare arrangements would need to be changed. And unlike usual school starting admissions you don’t get a few months to work out these arrangements. It’s a risk many can’t take and so they send their children before they are ready

    Why can’t the school starting age be the September of the year you turn compulsory school age? Birthdays would run April to March, with summer borns the oldest and spring borns the youngest. Autumn born children would be in exactly the same position they are now. Spring born parents could send their child in September and they would be at 4 years 5 months old, but needn’t start them until after Easter if they didn’t want to. They could still choose csa and reception.


  11. Julia Burgoyne says:

    Surely we want every child to reach their full potential. For a lot of children the odds are stacked against them when they begin their school life with children almost 12 months older than them. Summer borns often need significant additional help in the classroom and can often experience delays in establishing SEN because for most of their life at primary school poor performance is explained by teachers as ‘well it’s probably because they are summer born’. Summer borns also fail to keep up emotionally with their older peers and often have poor self esteem which makes them targets for bullying later in their school life. The increasing pressures our children are facing at school could lead to a rise in mental health related conditions. If it all has to come down to cost then surely a reduction in demand for additional classroom help coupled with less strain on our mental health teams is cost saving enough?
    So little seems to have changed over the last few years despite growing evidence that shows the advantages of starting summer borns in reception at the same age as their winter born peers. The fact that some children are given this right and some aren’t just because of where they live is baffling and just plain wrong.


  12. Helen says:

    This needs to be resolved!!
    As a pre-school teacher I say goodbye to many children who have just turned 4 that are not ready for the pressures of our education system! Their parents feel uneasy about it – but many feel bullied into sending them!

    I was lucky enough to secure a CSA start for my August born son – and whilst I wholeheartedly stand by this as the right thing for him there is a shadow hanging over that at some point in his school career he will be forced to return to his normal cohort! ?!

    This must be sorted!!


  13. Joanna says:

    I find it hard to believe services that are meant to work ‘for’ children so often work against them. We are now considering moving area 15 minutes up the area to a council who handles CSA more sympathetically – until the code is changed county councils like the one we are currently in seem to believe they have the right to make decisions regarding children they have never met. I know numerous parents who have moved – so due to our move the area we live in will lose 2 shortage subject teachers who have found new jobs! How ironic how we have dedicated our lives to education only for education to fail our own children. How in a progressive country like England your date of birth depicts what sort of access to education you are entitled to is disgusting.


  14. Nic says:

    There is plenty of academic research on this subject, which shows that children can suffer by being forced into the education system before they are academically, socially and/or emotionally ready. The school admissions code currently allows for parents to choose to send their summerborn at the age of 5 instead of 4, if they consider this to be in the best interests of their child. However, the current postcode lottery means that some children are forced in to school before they are ready because an admissions authority takes away this right from parents.
    Even where parents are fortunate enough to secure a reception start at compulsory school age, there is unsettling uncertainty for many as to whether their child will be forced to skip a year at some point, and whether they will be able to attend secondary school with the peer group they have been educated in.
    The government need to formalise Nick Gibbs promise to amend the code quickly, to avoid more children having to start school before they are ready and to provide certainty to parents that they will not be forced to skip a year at some point throughout their education .


  15. Rachael says:

    The government need to act on this and fast. It’s unfair that so many parents are having to fight for the right for their child to start reception at age 5 rather than age 4. I can’t see how it is that complicated further down the education line if this was the case. Surely the only legislation to change would be that children can leave school once they have completed their GCSE’s rather than in the June of the year they turn 16. I don’t see why everyone is over complicating something that ir really not complicated. In terms of finance surely it make a more financial sense to send children when they are school ready. In the short term this would save money with SEN and the need for teachers to spend more time with children not school ready. In the long term this would save money in mental health services and other primary care services. Giving no children a good start early on has so many long term societal benefits.


  16. Heidi Webb says:

    The postcode lottery on this subject needs to end now. It’s so unfair to give parents all this added worry and stress not to mention the ridiculous back and forward letter/email writing to the local education authority. Parents should not need a degree in the policies of their local education authority in order to get a positive reply from them!! As a parent of a summer born child who has got a yes in this awful system I beg you please make this more simple and straight down the line. At the end of the day the law states that compulsory school age is 5 NOT 4 so if I request for my child to start in reception aged 5 it should be very simple.


  17. Claire P says:

    I am so exhausted from fighting all the way for my August-born, SEN son not to have to go to school at 4 years and 2 weeks old. Meanwhile, the neighbouring LA say yes automatically. Ridiculous. Furthermore, our LA has wasted time and money turning down our request by answering the wrong question. Now they will have to deal with my complaints and the ombudsman. So inefficient.


  18. Nat says:

    I remember being so excited when Nick Gibb made his statement in 2015!! I did win my 18 months battle for my 2012 born son to start at csa. This should still not be happening. These children deserve better.


  19. Julie Thomson says:

    My son started at CSA in reception in 2013 but it was a huge battle.
    My son is now 9 and we’ve been advised to still apply for a high school place at the end of the year even though he won’t be transferring until 2020. The continued lack of action from the DfE doesn’t just impact on those families going through the application process for reception, every single family who has had a yes past and present continues to experience uncertainty and confusion as our children progress through school.


  20. Rachel says:

    I am a summer born baby. I was not ready for school, due to this my confidence had been knocked and effected my education for that it has shaped my future, why put children through this?? Let the children have a Choice, these children are our future we need them to be confident and successful, why fight that, invest in our children, listen to the parents they know and understand their children better then anyone. Stop fighting start listening.


  21. Catherine Vallejo Veiga says:

    This postcode lottery is a disgrace and so unfair. Not only is it a lottery in relation to whether a parent will get agreement for a reception start at CSA but it’s a lottery in relation to whether the admissions authority will follow the admissions code at all or will instead persistently overstep its remit and mislead parents into thinking they need permission to start their children at CSA. We should not be having to educate admissions authority on the current law in relation to admissions as well as fighting our child’s corner in the interests of them having access to the education other children can have with no hoops to jump through.


  22. Summermummy says:

    My LA insist my child should miss a year of school and skip to year 1 as he will be ‘a year advanced’ over the children starting in reception that same September. They obviously have some funny calenders stuck up in their offices as there is only 3 weeks difference between him and a child automatically entitled to a reception place…


  23. Kerry Hartigan says:

    This postcode lottery is unfair on the children…parents have the right to a CSA start, please make it formal that they can start in Reception and fair for all. As parents we know our children best, and only have their best interests in mind.


  24. Julia Brown says:

    Don’t we want all of our children to thrive? What does the Government have to gain by stalling?Every year children are suffering simply by being sent to school too young. Education is of the utmost importance but so is timing. Given that there is so much research supporting the need for time to develop before formal studies and nothing against it, when is the Government going to put an end to the willful discrimination against children born in the summer?
    My daughter has thankfully be granted a reception start at CSA but this is because of a medical issue. I would be expecting the same rights for her if she had not been so unfortunate.


  25. Nina Fitzgerald says:

    my August born son started school at just 4 ! with bad information. he regressed in all areas especially emotional! and was still unable to read or hold his pencil spell his name wipe his own bum near the end of his foundation year. his report for the year stated insufficient learning for the year . ! an this was literally because he was to young for school ! I had to get my doctor ,MP, and a solicitor involved to push for what was right for my child ! He is at the moment repeating reception in a new school with amazing results! emotionally, academically . his teacher said what a difference from when he started and well done to me for fighting for what was definitely right for my boy !!!


  26. Kate Downey-evans says:

    The situation is a scandal. The lack of understanding of the issue amongst both council and schools is truly shocking – demonstrated by the inability to follow the correct process and the consistent way in which the legalities are misquoted…never mind the actual advice and guidance around summerborns which is so often completely ignored/misrepresented.

    Like many large institutions, the government has multiple competing agendas. Like many large organisations, the government has to tackle complex issues like this one. However, the failure to make any meaningful progress with this over the past three years is simply negligent. It cannot be THAT difficult if smart people put their minds to it, so the obvious conclusion is that this issue is simply not being addressed.

    There are little children who are suffering right now as a result, up and down the country. Parents who are devastated because they, knowing their children better than anyone, can see the impact this will have on them, potentially for the rest of their lives.

    Why don’t the government and the local councils get out into the communities and meet children who have been forced to either start school before they are ready or worse still, start year one without completing reception because that’s what the LA has concluded (perversely) is in their best interest. Speak to them, look into their eyes, hear their suffering and see if you still come to the same conclusion.


  27. Amy says:

    We are having to fight for our August boy with SENs and an EHCP. Our LA are refusing to abide by the 2014 code. I never thought I’d have any problems getting our CSA reception start agreed, yet we are now having to waste time going down the formal complaint route and we will go to the LGO also when it comes to that. But if feels like such a waste of time and resources when it’s so clear that my son needs this. Parents know their child best and should be able to make the choice that they feel is right for their child.


  28. T Kahlon says:

    We’ve been lucky enough to have a CSA start for my daughter who is now in reception. The threat of possibly having to miss a year later in her education is very worrying and acts as a barrier to us moving to another area where there CSA start is not supported.

    We need changes to the admissions code now


  29. Kim says:

    My son is summer born. Unlucky for him he was born in a country where it’s more important to follow procedure that is age old then listen to a well educated parent!
    We are now forced to apply outside of our narrow minded and dated local authority and drive miles to allow our child to start at age 5 instead of age 4!
    Victorian times have implemented an age 4 schooling to get mothers to work quicker and children out of school and into work earlier.
    Nowhere in the world does any child start age 4. Countries with an advanced schooling system that show amazing results with children starting age 6 or 7.
    How can an entire country do this to their children? Even worse fund schools that have kids struggle simply because they are too young! I am certain those schools love our summer born boys and girls as it’s certain cash! How can any educational psychologist be so narrow minded and clearly outdated on their knowledge to deny a single child who’s parent’s wish to start their child at compulsory age? Ofsted/Dfe….are you soundly asleep? Because this would be your ONLY excuse!


  30. Zoe Cole says:

    We were forced by West Sussex County Council to send our summer born boy to school at 4 years old; we were informed by our LEA we could ‘choose’ for him to start at aged 5 *in Yr1* thereby *missing reception*. This was despite support from the Headteacher at our chosen school and from his preschool. How on earth is this is a child’s best interests? Unfortunately the LGO agreed with the LEA. Yet another decision lottery it seems.
    I am really concerned about how my son will cope with the demands of Yr 1 next year, a worry which should be unnecessary if the summer born fiasco was clarified by the Government.


  31. Alison Doggrell says:

    My son has missed a term and a half of Reception because 5 people within Trafford Council felt they knew what was best for a child they had never spoken with or met! But apparently every school day missed is detrimental to a child – so why is Nick Gibb allowing this postcode lottery to continue! Uts beyond a joke. CSA should mean CSA in Reception. The system is so unfair and my son is one of the unlucky ones!


  32. Sara Santiano says:

    The post code lottery is shocking, but even more shocking is how the Summer born question is disregarded. Hundreds of children are forced into school too early or forced to miss one year of education. A great amount of this children end up on SEN, when they are probably just too young to cope, costing the Government even more than it would if allowed to start school when they are supposed to. Let’s not forget that Summer born children reach Compulsory School Age the September AFTER they turn 5 and they should be accepted into Reception like any other child born in the Autumn or Winter term. A Summer born children usually has access to only three terms at nursery, against the five terms of a Autumn born and four terms of a Winter born. Also, according to the SATS KS1 national results, every year between 30-35% of Summer born fail to reach the expected standards. The DfE cannot carry on simply ignoring this issues! Children are people, not just number on statistics, and their emotional and mental health is as much important as their education.


  33. Ellie says:

    I live in a city council where NO is pretty much guaranteed when you request a Compulsory school age start at 5 in reception for your summer born child…but the county council just a few miles away says YES. That means I am looking to move away from the city just so I can have my son start at 5 in reception…if all the hassle of bureaucratic and administrative issues could end, and the whole country could agree on granting the right for parents to exercise their actual prime role of educators and decide when to send their children at school, how good would that be!?Instead of focusing on academic achievements, the government should care about the wellbeing, emotional readiness and mental health of children and leave parents the right to choose what is best for their children.


  34. Jennie says:

    This postcode lottery is a tragedy for our summerborn children. I lost my fight for my eldest, because Manchester, unlike Sheffield, Cheshire or many of the surrounding LAs, refuses outright to consider a CSA start unless the DFE actually changes their code. These “letters” and “consultations” mean that a little boy with a speech delay and anxiety is being forced into school before he is developmentally ready. It means my family is having to look at private tutoring and begin the fight for extra support in the classroom before he even turns five. This needs stop.


  35. H N says:

    I have serious doubts this will be sorted in time for my 31st August 2017 born son, if he was born just 1 hour later we would not be forced to fight for him to start at compulsory school age in reception. My LEA has it written on their website that all summerborns who start at csa will go straight to yr1 unless they have severe sen as they feel their early education is excellent. None of them truly believe that skipping an entire year is in any child’s best interest, they all say it’s extremely detrimental for parents to take a child on holiday in term time. How can missing a year of school entirely not be detrimental but missing a week or two per year is supposedly detrimental?


  36. Sara CORREIA says:

    I find Lambeth’s case particularly worrying. Last year they accepted most of the requests, but this year they are refusing everyone. They even send the same letter, ipsis verbis with only the name changed, leading us parents to suspect there is a blanket policy in place. They tend to “answer the wrong question” avoiding to assume that it is on a child’s best interest to skip reception and go straight to year one, and instead parentage they are being pushed into sending their children for reception before CSA. All very dodgy. I must add that its not only about a post code lottery though. On my experience offering support to parents in my borough through our Facebook group, Lambeth parents that are less educated, less fluent in English, and those that follow the suggestions given by officials without questioning them, tend to be rejected. Those that are educated and dominate the legal jargon pull it through, either straight away or at complaint stage. I have myself received wrong information which,had I followed it, would have undermined my case.


  37. Jenny Harrison says:

    I’m waiting anxiously for a decision on my request for my late August born daughter to start in reception when she starts school at CSA. If the answer is “no”, I will fight to the end and if it’s still no, I will move to a more supportive council,which will entail changing jobs, and leaving the life and support I’ve built up here in Hackney as a single mother with no family support. My late summer born child is not emotionally ready and I know she will do so much better if we wait a year. It shouldn’t be this complicated for parents to do what’s in their child’s best interests.


  38. Emma Sims-Hall says:

    Having started my request in August 2017 it has taken me 8 months to receive a favourable outcome for my 31.08.14 born son. That outcome was after hours of research, stress, worry and tears. Numerous emails and calls to the LA and contacting my MP. I aren’t sure I would have had the strength to fight if it wasn’t for the support from others in my position and inevitably my son would have missed a year of his education all because of 15 hours.
    Ive felt like I’d let him down since the moment he was born on 31.08 and the promise from Nick Gibb in 2015 gave some hope but it SHOULDNT be that hard and I’m one of the lucky ones. I still fear of trouble ahead, HT’s trying to force a skipped year in primary or high school but I’ll face that battle if it arises. I really do hope that the gov will have addressed this issue long before 2026!


  39. Nisha Allen says:

    I can’t believe we are still waiting. It’s a postcode lottery with different admission authorities making different decisions.

    Where children are premature on top of fighting this battle, it is even more unfair.

    I am nervous that there is no guarantee my daughter can stay with her cohort. I am nervous that by the time she faces secondary school, she could be forced to miss a year at any point.

    We need action soon.


  40. Bex says:

    My son who is an aug born child. He successfully started his education journey in Yr at just 5yrs rather than just 4yrs (isle of wight).

    We moved to Basingstoke, Hampshire, a few months ago and the admissions authority did not raise any questions about him carrying on his education journey from where he left off. However, the junior school after a week had noticed his date of birth and on nothing more than that, has stated he has to skip a year of education or get out the school.

    We met the head teacher to discuss it and she said that her reasons are that a) it sets a bad precedent at the school to allow it b) believes he may possibly get bullied for it later on.

    The head teacher nor the inclusion co-ordinator have not even read any of his notes from his previous school to even make a sound decision if it was in his best interest and provided no evidence what so ever that keeping him in his current year would lead to bullying later.

    I feel that there is a clear procedure on what parents can do to appeal the decision. We have emailed the school of governors who said they cannot get involved at this time. The independent board seems to be more about being admitted to a school rather than appealing a decision on year groups. I have lodged a complaint with the dfe about the school as I believe they haven’t followed section 2.17a in the admissions code by having a blanket ban on teaching children outside their year group.

    It shouldn’t be this much of a headache. The children are not getting a year extra of schooling. They won’t even be a year older as school generally starts a week into September where some children may have also just turned a year older.


  41. Michelle says:

    My son has significant development delay, is non verbal, in nappies and undergoing Autism assessment; his birthday is 17th Aug so I asked to defer him and have just had my application denied and told there is no appeal process, I’m in bits. They assured me that it’s in my sons best interests in order to not “delay support and assessment he needs” but I dont understand why they cant do those assessments of him in nursery


    • Maggie Dorsman says:

      No appeal, because it is not the right procedure. However, you can, and must, complain. Please see the DfE advice on the admission of summer born children May 2021 if you are in England.


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