This was a Q&A on summer born admissions in Parliament yesterday (Hansard HC Deb, 4 June 2018, cW):
Tracy Brabin Shadow Minister (Education)
“To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of school start deferral requests for summer-born children between 2015 and 2017.“
Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)
“The Department recently published a research report on delayed school admissions for summer born pupils, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-born-children-school-admission.
The report includes the findings of a survey of local authorities. The findings show that there has recently been an 84% increase in the number of requests for summer born children to be admitted to reception, rather than year one, at the age of five. Such requests represent 0.5% of the five-year-old population, and 75% were granted.
The findings also show that there are fewer requests made in areas where the local authority’s policy is only to grant requests supported by strong evidence, and there are more requests in areas with a higher proportion of granted requests. The report suggests this may be because parents are more likely to submit a request if they believe there is a higher chance of it being granted. The increase in requests may also be due, in part, to greater awareness of this option amongst parents. The Department remains committed to amending the School Admissions Code to ensure summer born children can be admitted to reception at age five where this is what their parents want.”
You can also read my appraisal of the DfE’s May 2018 report here.
With thanks to Tracy Brabin MP for raising the issue.
- Pauline Hull, author and journalist
Really great to hear “The Department remains committed to amending the School Admissions Code to ensure summer born children can be admitted to reception at age five where this is what their parents want.” It is crazy that there is still such a postcode lottery to determine what year group your child could be put into.
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Glad to hear the government still prefer to trust parents to make this choice, however, with every passing year (it’s been 4 since the updates to the Code I believe), more parents are actually being denied the right to choose, due to the delay in implementing proper legislation. Get on with it please.
It would be nice to see some action rather than confirmation of something said many years ago. Parents are finding that LAs that initially took the request to take parents opinions seriously are now wavering because legislation has still not changed.
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It is very positive to see that Nick Gibb is still showing his commitment to amending the code to allow summer born children and their parents the right to decide whether to start them in Reception at aged 5. I do hope it’s not another 3 years of an empty promise. I am fighting for my 2014 summer born son to be allowed to start in Reception when he is 5 in 2019 rather than 2018 but not having much luck with the academy so far. I also have a 2017 July born son and so would be very happy if the code has changed by the time he stays school. I hope this will also make more people aware that they have rights and if they don’t feel that their sinner born child is ready for school at age 4 they have the knowledge and confidence to know they can send them at age 5. Fingers crossed
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As a parent of an August born 2013 boy I am deeply saddened that the government have not acted upon this sooner. I was denied CSA start by Bury LEA who told me that unless he was premature or SEN it was a no. With deep regret I sent him to school this year. He has found it very difficult and I am still frustrated and angry by the fact he had to go. ( I felt missing reception and starting in Y1 would be more detrimental.) My friends little girl is literally 2 weeks younger than him and has had another year to play and develop. This needs sorting ASAP!
“Remains committed” is good but we need a change of the Code now for Families who live in the 26% of
Local Authorities that hardly ever agree on Reception start at CSA.
Commit to change the Code…Now!
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It’s great to read the Govt are still committed to this but the delays seem never ending. The postcode lottery that exists at the moment in unacceptable, when will this be completed?
From my point of view one of the other reasons is uncertainty of what will happen when the child transitions into a new school.
It’s time to change the code since you have said you are committed to, so all parents are given the choice and can make it with the knowledge of what will happen when their child moves school.
It is good to read “The Department remains committed to amending the School Admissions Code to ensure summer born children can be admitted to reception at age five where this is what their parents want.” However, the reality is that since 2014 when these changes were promised, too many summer born children have been forced to start school early at just turned 4 or worse, to start straight into Year 1 and too many parents have been subjected to high levels of stress and anxiety in fighting for the right for their child to access all years of Education when starting at CSA. I myself am currently at Stage 1 in the Complaints Process with a Surrey Infant Academy School who believe it is in our son’s best interests to start school straight into Year 1 against the evidence provided by his preschool, medical consultants, his parents and against the support of our local MP. We should not have to fight this hard to exercise what is meant to be a legal right. Giving parents of summer borns the legal right to start school at Compulsory School Age (CSA) means nothing if that child is to be denied the foundational Reception year. NO parent wanting to choose a start at CSA wants their child to miss Reception.
I am pleased they remain committed, although I feel it could go further. As a summer born grown-up who would really have benefited from a CSA start I am so grateful to be able to apply for one for my August born son, who is not ready to go to school in September when he will be days past his 4th birthday (and would have done all his settling in and preparation at aged 3). It should be easier to ensure the right start for a child – given how early our education system makes them go to school anyway and despite evidence from other countries that later starts can be beneficial. It seems at present that well informed heads are hard to find and parents face a battle to ensure a CSA start in reception is offered and do right by their very young children.
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