In January this year, I registered the Summer Born Campaign as a Stakeholder for an update of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline: Social and emotional well-being in primary and secondary education of guideline
In May, I submitted comments on the draft Scope (my comments and NICE’s responses can be read on pages 84-119 of the Stakeholder comments table).
The final Scope was published here on July 31st, and the NICE guideline development team has recognised the issues faced by summer born children (both generally, and for those who enter school at CSAge; see bold text below) in its Equality impact assessment:
“2.1 Have any potential equality issues been identified during consultation, and, if so, what are they?
“Children usually start school in the September following their fourth birthday but can delay this until they reach compulsory school age (age 5).
Stakeholders highlighted that children born between 1st April and 31st August are more likely than their peers to face challenges with developmental needs.
In 2018, 61% of children born in the summer at age 5 achieved a good level of development compared with 81% of those pupils born in the autumn (Early years foundation stage profile results: 2017 to 2018, Department for Education).
“These children can encounter difficulties depending on when they start school. For
example, a child who starts school when they have just turned 4 may not be ‘school ready’ relative to their classmates who were born earlier in the year. This may lead to challenges for the child that may mean they require extra support to ‘catch up’ to their peers.
“Another example is for a child who delays school entry until aged 5 (compulsory school age) may also experience disruption to their education such skipping a school year where the school decides to put them in the year group they would have been in if they had started school the September after they had turned 4.
“These challenges can have knock on effects through periods of transition should there be different policies and procedures in areas the family may move to for example. This puts these children at risk of poorer social and emotional wellbeing and academic attainment.”
The Summer Born Campaign is grateful for this opportunity to be involved in such an important health guideline, and will continue to provide comments during the guideline development process in the hope that new recommendations will support a legal, full and best interests education for all summer born children whose parents enrol them in school at CSAge.
- Written by author and journalist Pauline Hull
- With thanks to a member of the SBC group for their help with NICE communication and reviewing my comments ahead of submission (they prefer to remain anonymous)