In this week’s Watford Observer article (Everything you need to know about applying for school places in Hertfordshire this year) Matthew Lennon highlights just how simple and straightforward some admission authorities are making the summer born application process.
Lennon reports: “In line with Department for Education guidance, parents of summer-born children (born between April 1 and August 31 2013) who do not believe their child will be ready to start Reception in September 2017 may instead apply for a place in September 2018 when that process begins next November. Continue reading
Head of Drama and English teacher at an Independent Preparatory School, Joanna Britland (Kingston)
There is a long standing obsession with keeping children taught in chronological age groups without looking at what is best for individual children. This needs to change. I have taught children in classes in the independent sector with ages ranging up to 17 months apart, and this has made no difference in my teaching methods or to the attainment and outcomes of the class. As a professional with 8 years’ experience, I would welcome parental choice on when a child starts school, and would welcome more flexibility in the system going forward. The rigid year groupings we have become culturally accustomed to needs to change, and although the government has made positive steps forward, I would like to see this secured in policy.
Primary school teacher and children’s yoga teacher, Amy Turton (Surrey)
In 2013, the Good Schools Guide advised parents to avoid getting pregnant between July and November, and this week headteacher Steve Woodhouse has given summer born pregnancy advice too.
Mr. Woodhouse emphasises how he has only very recently learned just how educationally disadvantaged summer born children can be, statistically, and his first instinct is to suggest that test results should take month of birth into account (an approach the Summer Born Campaign disagrees with completely, not least because academic attainment and achieving a league table veneer of improved results do not address the key issues).
After reading this guest blog by Mine Conkbayir, author of ‘Early Childhood Theories and Contemporary Issues’ and early years lecturer, researcher and NEYTCO training coordinator, I contacted Mine and asked her what she thinks about the issues so many summer born children are facing.
She told me: “I am very much in agreement about the detrimental effects of forcing younger children into Reception when they are not ready.
Children are not afforded the time to make the transition, often with detrimental effects on their emotional well-being. Continue reading
Here is a list of some of the councils and schools that now allow summer born children the automatic right to enter Reception class at CSAge – without any costly, combative and time-consuming requirements for parents to provide arbitrary reasons and evidence.
Also, unlike other admissions authorities, they do not require parents to submit a primary school application for age 4 entry while their age 5 entry request is being processed – there is no appetite or need for two bites of the cherry. We say thank you to: Continue reading
This week (October 19), the Lancashire Evening Post reported that ‘Lancashire tops chart for issuing fines to parents if kids miss school’.
The irony of this is not lost on parents of summer born children, many of whom are fighting for their children’s access to Reception class at CSAge – instead of missing an “essential” year of education (DfE definition) and going straight into Year 1.
In fact it’s shocking just how many admissions authorities throughout the country are willing to fine parents on the one hand, while advising parents of summer born children that even if they do enter Reception class at CSAge, they will be made to miss a whole year of school later on.
The phrase ‘Robbing Peter to Pay Paul‘ comes to mind with Lancashire County Council:
— Council Cries Poverty While Wasting £££s on Summer Born Admissions
— LGO Finds Fault with Lancashire County Council’s Summer Born Admissions Process Continue reading
The Local Government Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against Lancashire County Council, which was made by a parent member of the Summer Born Campaign.
In summary, the LGO concluded: “There was fault in the way the Council considered Mrs X’s request for delayed entry to reception for her daughter. It should arrange for her request to be reconsidered. There was also fault in the way the Council dealt with Mrs X’s complaint.” Continue reading