Parents of summer born children

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO READ PARENTS’ COMMENTS.

Please write to us with your experiences (example questions only below):

Have you been able to delay your child’s entry into reception class?

Are you facing/ did you face opposition from your local school and/or local education authority?

Why do you want your child to wait an extra year before starting school?

What has been the reaction from other parents or family members?

Have you been denied the opportunity to delay your child’s entry into reception but decided to defer their starting date until late in the reception year?

If you have an older child whose entrance into reception was delayed, are you happy with this decision or do you have any regrets?

If possible, please tell us the area you live in, as we’d really like to build up a picture of what is happening around the country. If you’ve had a positive experience with a very supportive school, please provide the name of that school, as we think it’s important to highlight good practice and to demonstrate that WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY.

311 Responses to Parents of summer born children

  1. Fiona Walker says:

    Hi. My son was five in June. In Scotland where we currently live he started school in primary 1 a few weeks ago after completing his preschool year in nursery last term. However, we are now moving to England (West Sussex) and I am told he has to go straight into year 1 where he will be among peers who have spent a year in reception learning phonics and numbers and, as I understand it, many children can read and write already. I am very worried about him as he is emotionally immature and has only learned about four sounds to date! I am so worried that he will start to feel like the dunce of the class and that this will put him off school.

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    • Ruth Bradley says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your son Fiona! I truly share in the worry and stress putting your child you know who isn’t ready in a grade he may struggle with. I was NOT successful in my try to get my boy held back, but over the summer I have learned a lot. First, contact your council’s admissions and ask what can be done (they will more than likely not be able to help, but a good place to start). See if there is a parent partnership you can contact as. Of all the people I have contacted they were the most knowledgeable. Next, go to your children’s center (where you would have a child weighed), and ask!!! I know school starts soon, but you just have to ask until you get answers.

      As a parent we have a right to hold our children back, especially if we know what is right for our child. I wish you all the luck, and fight hard for your little guy!!!

      Like

  2. D M says:

    Hi, my son’s birthday is the 29th of Aug. He is just 10 years old now. He started school at 4 years and 2 days. because his speech and language skills were behind he was diagnosed with a speech and language disorder. He was given a statement of educational needs and given a place in a special school from the start. after a couple of years it was clear he was a bright boy but just delayed because he was so young in his school year. by year 4 in the special school we decided (against recommendation from the school ) to move him to our local mainstream primary. He has done exceptionally well. BUT by being the youngest in the year has a huge impact on all levels including academically and maturity as many of his peers are a year older. He is always trying to keep up with the others. He has private a tutor once a week.
    We have asked if he can repeat year 6. The LEA don’t seem to have a problem with this but have said it is up to the secondary school if they would take him a year behind. The secondary school have told me NO they wouldn’t. He would have to start in year 8, if he repeated an extra year in primary. So obviously he couldn’t miss a whole year at primary.
    It is clear late summer born children are at a huge disavantage educationally.
    Has anyone been in this situation and can give me any advice?

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  3. Miriam says:

    Dear Summer Born Children,
    I’m very happy I’ve found your website. My August born daughter is due to start school next year but I’ll try to delay it as she doesn’t speak any English. I called the Havering council and they told me to apply for the place and then support the evidence and just wait. I only have letter from the nursery where it’s says she doesn’t speak English. I hope that will be enough. Fingers crossed.

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  4. Penny says:

    I am currently looking into this area for my son although he’s only a baby. His date of birth is 2nd August and he has a big sister who was five 20/6. She is very bright academically but being the baby in her class lacks the maturity of her peers and it’s taken her four terms to settle. I have been told that she is challenging as she asks lots of questions, fidgets and doodles.
    I am aware he will barely be a 4 yrs and a month when he starts and ideally I would like to have the opportunity to defer reception until he’s five should he need to. I live in Norfolk and have been told that if I defer he will have to start straight in year 1 which is hard enough for transition with reception. The workload alone for little ones is crazy. I am now considering moving to Suffolk as word of mouth suggests it is possible to defer however I cannot find evidence to support this. Any tips welcome. Is a petition circulating or worth starting?

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  5. Dana Markey says:

    Hi, today we have received this reply from West Sussex county. What can we do now?? Our nursery don’t want to give us any supportive letter.

    Thank you for application form for a delayed entry.

    Whilst parents of summer born children have the right to ask for delayed reception entry to the following year, there is still no automatic right for this to happen. For us to consider each child individually we do need evidence from a professional or your pre-school setting in writing on headed paper to support your case. I would suggest that you send this as soon as possible to allow us to consider the application further.

    In the meantime, you should apply for a place for September 2017 via the Council’s website. The closing date is 15 January 2017.

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    • Annie says:

      Dana,
      Your best bet is a full cognitive assessment conducted by an educational psychologist. That is the ultimate evidence, it was not until I have sent that 66 pages report that my son was allowed to apply for reception class once he turned 5. Previously I provided letter from GP, letter from paediatrician, list of studies, even my MP wrote to the schools, still rejected. I had to pay out £800 and have my son assessed by an educational psychologist, once this was provided, no more arguments or brick walls. Good luck, it can be done, fight with whatever you have.

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      • E L says:

        Hi Annie – can you recommend the educational psychologist you used or advise how we find one? Thank you.

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      • E L says:

        Hi Annie, please could you share the details of the psychologist or tips on how to find one? Thank you.

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      • Annie says:

        Hi E L,

        On the 3 w’s then bps then a dot then org then a dot uk site (put the URL together as I don’t think I can post it as it is) I have searched for educational psychologists in my area, but I have to say that I have ended up calling around 20 of them before I found one which was not pre-booked for months in advance. Most of them were able to give me appointments in 2-3 months time only! Also be aware that they charge anything between £600 – £1000 for the full assessment, and you likely won’t be able to find one on the cheaper end of the fee scale if you need to have it done quickly.
        I first took my son to a clinical psychologist, for a one off appointment, and the clinical psychologist also provided me with a letter, but if you live in an area where they reject whenever they can, your best bet is the full cognitive assessment.

        Good luck!

        Regards,
        Annie

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  6. Dana Markey says:

    Oh wow that’s a lt of evidence. I’m not sure I want to pay £800 for something we shouldn’t really need…what about if the psychology was to say he was ready to start school in 2017?

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  7. Annie says:

    I can only speak for our case, my son is immature with short attention span and possible ADHD, so I was determined to fight for his best interest, whatever it took, I even sought legal advice and was ready to take legal action if all else failed. I also have a speech therapist privately working with him and every other possible support I can give him so that when he does start school, hopefully he will not struggle too much. If you are to ask for deferral for major reasons like I did, the fee for an assessment will not be your biggest concern, when it comes to impact on your child’s long term future. I agree it’s an unnecessary waste of money in terms of medical need, but the system is as it is, and the fight is very tough if you don’t live in the correct postcode. It’s up to you to decide what you do, but I thought I share what won our fight. Best of luck.

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    • Kristin says:

      Dear Annie,
      my son is 4,5 years and I kept him in nursery instead of sending him into reception, with the plan to apply for deferral and start in reception in 2017. I have been initially misinformed by the local authorities in terms of what to submit for such an application, which I only found out recently, and with the deadline for applications fast approaching, I am now extremely worried to collect enough evidence. Would there be any chance of contacting you directly and ask you for some advice?
      Many thanks for your help in advance.
      Best wishes,
      Kristin

      Like

      • Annie says:

        Hi Kristin,

        I am not sure if it is allowed to add email addresses here, you can try messaging me here with your email, if it displays, I will email you directly.
        Being so short of time, I am not sure what you should prioritize as I have spent months to prepare my son’s case and have spent lots of time and effort with researching, as well as ended up having to use medical professionals, and having to see them took up lots of time due to appointments having to be pre-booked well in advance (not to mention money). Public research evidence is pretty much listed on this website but I also found the SCALES study conducted by Courtenay Norbury (you can search for this on google and will find the page with the information) and I included that in my list of evidence. However, my case was extremely difficult because in my borough there seems to be a blanket ban on summer born deferrals. On the contrary, there are parts of the country where they agree to the request on pretty much no professional evidence. It really depends where you live. I hope you will be successful and best of luck!

        Regards,
        Annie

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  8. Ruth Nilsson says:

    Why doesn’t your nursery want to help? Do they feel they know their child better than you? I would go back and speak to them about why you feel so strongly/ perhaps offer to write the statement yourself and ask the man to print it? Perhaps they feel insecure in knowing what/how to write it. My son is at a West Sussex nursery who were happy to support my decision – Brighton and Hove agreed to a delay based on a speech therapy report and a simple comment from the nursery. Change nursery?

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  9. SIMON ASTBURY says:

    Hi does anyone have any experience of how kids born in the earlier part of the summer (April and May) fare? My daughter was born end of May and in terms of speech is behind where her older sister was at the same age. Just trying to decide the best path to take for her. The more I read the more I see what a big influence it can have on their life chances.

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    • Annie says:

      Simon, I think it depends on the individual child really, if you have serious concerns about your daughter being behind, I would get her evaluated by a speech therapist, that will either reassure you, or confirms that she is behind enough so that you should be looking at requesting her to be deferred. From experience, when I noticed that my son’s speech is and was behind compared to his older brother’s, I have commissioned a private speech therapist (NHS waiting times were very long and we would have ran out of time before having to decide) and she has confirmed what areas my son is behind and how much work likely will be needed to get his speech up to the level he should be at. She provided a detailed report and that helped us hugely to ensure we make the right decision. I wish you the best of luck!
      Annie

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  10. Lisa Diaz says:

    Of course Kristin, here’s my email: lisabentley1981@gmail.com. We can either communicate by email and I could give you a quick ring too if you like.
    Lisa

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  11. Lisa Diaz says:

    I honestly can’t get over the hoops that some LEAs are making parents jump through. I didn’t have to provide any evidence whatsoever and sent a letter with a few reasons I believed my daughter should start reception a year later. Is disgusting.

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  12. Kristin says:

    Last minute NO for support from head teacher in the borough of Waltham Forest for an application for admission into reception of my 4,5 year old son at compulsory school age in September 2017

    So far the head teacher was very supportive in general, but when I have asked whether I could send on her email to the LA, stating her support for this application (the LA requested that the school is informed and willing to look at such an application), she withdrew her support with the following reason: “However, I am unwilling at this time to support this application…My reasons are that by allowing some Summer Born children whose parents can keep them at home for longer we are potentially creating a situation where we are increasing the disadvantage gap – the gap between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged in our communities. The age of the eldest child in the class will potentially increase by 5 months meaning that the difference between the eldest and the youngest children could be as much as 17 months (1st April born to 31st August the following year). This could be a very big issue for a one form entry school.”

    Has anybody had a similar case or any specific advice?

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  13. Annie says:

    Kristin,
    I had no support from the head of school either, absolutely zero, in fact she emphasized how well the school supports those being behind, how much extra effort my son will be spent on to make sure he is ok etc.
    The thing is that I didn’t want my son to just be ok, I wanted him to thrive. I also told the school that even if they do support my son that well, research shows that being summer born may well impact my son all the way up to his GCSE’s, where will XY primary will be then and what will they do for him?
    What you should tell them is that the law already says that they have to make a decision in the best interest of each child, taking into account that child’s individual circumstances. Failing to do so is simply not following the code and you have the right to launch a complaint and take it to the DfE. Nick Gibb pointed out that “there is already flexibility in the system”. If the head teacher bases her/his support on the potential increase of age gap between children in the class, and thereby issues a blanket refusal of support, she is not acting in line with the code, simple as that.
    I have sent several well formulated replies back and forth before we won our case, and they have tried on everything with us to convince us / make us back down. My advice is do not back down if you are 100% sure that the best interest of your child is deferred entry. Best of luck!
    Annie

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  14. Neelam says:

    Dear everyone
    I have some wonderful happu news. Croydon council took the decision to delay my sons entry into Reception

    When I spoke to them in December 2016 they told me to expect a “no” because my son didn’t have any medical condition.

    He was born on 26 July and at 3.5 years is only now speaking in short sentences. I submitted the evidence from his nursery which clearly placed him 1 year behind in his speach and understanding development. They took this on board and today I received the happy news.
    It is such a burden off my shoulders because there is no way he could keep up with his peers if he had joined Reception this September.
    Thank you to this website and best of luck everyone.

    Like

  15. Kate says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I had a very positive response from North Somerset council and local headteacher. I had prepared for an enormous battle to hold my august boy back a year to start reception in sept 18. I was met with complete understanding a very strong recommendation from the head to county (it turns out she held her own daughter back) and a lovely letter stating that he could indeed defer. I know I’m lucky, I have no medical or Sen concerns other than anaemia and a low birth weight, born 3 weeks early. They accepted the argument that he was tired and emotional and as shy seen to work below expected level. I felt he should have opportunity to flourish not just cope. So happy and excited that the thinking is more progressive than in other areas. Interestingly even though I work in education none of my friends or colleagues support the idea of deferring entry, I teach preschool and would recommemd holding back quite a few of my class! Hope this brings hope to some of you and good luck xxx

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  16. Link says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Been following this site for a while as a source of news and updates resource, and think it is also a great support resource for affected parents.

    Is there a guide anywhere, for how to initiate the enquiry process? I.e. when to start approaching the school? How to do it? Best practice approaches? Key phrases and arguments?

    I thought the new ruling was supposed to enable the parents to decide when their own child is ready but a lot of the comments above regarding rejections and extensive requirements of evidence are quite discouraging.

    Our son is only 2 this summer so it is still early, and we will decide closer to the time if he will be ready, but want to be properly educated and informed on the matter before the time comes, and exercise our rights if necessary.

    If evidence is required, what is the criteria? What if they have nothing medical or diagnosed but simply underdeveloped vs their peers (ie undersized, still require naps, less physically developed) and you feel as a parent they will thrive better by being delayed?

    Thanks

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  17. Gemma Walsh says:

    Please can I get some advice from others! I am in Leicestershire and feel delaying my son who is 4 on 15th august for a year to start reception/foundation class in September 2018 is beneficial to him! He has had hearing issues now corrected with grommets and now awaiting a tongue tie correction so feel we have a good case! I have applied for his school place for 2017 start but do feel he is going to be ready speech wise!
    Any advice on how to get the ball rolling will be great fully received!!

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  18. Caroline says:

    Hello. Good call- we did the same for my son. What I did was book a meeting with the head of the school I wanted him to go to. To prepare for this I got his medical records together and gained the support of preschool- this is really useful if they work in partnership with the school. If you can get it raised at preschool forum even better as county will be aware of pending request then. It depends on your local authority, but in ours it’s the head of the future school who signed the county agreement template- they’re about to become your new best friend! Ask around locally as to characteristics of the head. Some are very happy to have an open discussion others won’t be told what to do in their own school so go asking ‘for their expertise’. Pick your approach based on what you find out.
    Good luck. Just for information before I approached the head I spoke to admissions at county and got an outright no- so just keep asking!

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  19. Martina johnson says:

    Hello everyone,

    As anyone ever dealt with Essex Council in relation to allowing a summer born baby to start reception in the September of the year he turns 5. Essex said I have to apply in January 2018. They said I could not apply in January of this year and defer it until 2018 which is when my son 5.

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  20. G says:

    Hi. Hope everyone is having a great day.
    I want to keep this as short as possible. My son is 6 years old, a summer born and is currently in year 2. I am trying to put him back to year 1 and im in talks with the school. I came on here to get some advice. Has anyone been through anything similar, is there anything else I can do? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

    Like

    • Mami says:

      I have a daughter in year 2 (August born) whom is struggling socially and emotionally at this level. I have contacted the council and am meeting with the school next week. I will let you know how we get on.

      Like

  21. G says:

    Hello. I have attended a hour long meeting with the school I was talking about earlier and I did not succeed and there said there wouldn’t put him back but even if there were to put him back to year 1 he would be leaving school the same time as year 2 so it made no sense. Maybe this school is very strict but I still believe more can be done with the right help. Let me know how you get along and good luck and I hope everything goes well.

    Like

    • Mami says:

      Thank you, and you too. This is obviously becoming widespread. The more we can shout about it, hopefully things will change. I’ll let you know how we get on.

      Like

  22. Charlotte says:

    Hello! Just wondering if anyone has had any luck in Oxfordshire? My son is 4 on 9th August so due to start school this year- I am currently trying to defer him from Reception for a year. His nursery think he will just ‘catch up’ at school so won’t support us but I don’t want him to have to catch up, I want him to do well and not feel put down about being behind. He’s good with counting and phonics and can spell some short words (mainly as I’ve forced that on him because I worry so much) but I worry so much about him socially. I even remember the summer born boys from school
    When I was there being behind and so socially immature- they’re a whole year younger some of them- so why wouldn’t they be?! My son was actually due mid September but was born prematurely at 35 weeks so I was hoping that would help our application but it sounds like a really tough process? To make it worse my hubby is in the military and we’ve just found out we are due to move at some point in may/June but as we only have a rough idea of the area we are moving to until they can secure a house for us we need to apply for more schools and start the deferral process again after that? It’s so much for a 4 year old to take on and considering they don’t legally have to start school until the term after their 5th birthday I don’t understand why it’s so difficult?!
    It’s very frustrating!!

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  23. Jessica says:

    Hi everyone, my son was able to get deferred to start school sept 2018. But now the issue is about sports. I’ve been told that my son will now not be able to play on any sports teams throughout his academic life!!!. I am very worried as I grew playing on many school sports teams. I don’t know if I should defer my son now. I don’t want him to miss out playing sports and who knows he might be a great athlete so I don’t want him to miss out on any opportunities. I was wondering if anyone has heard of this? I’m from America, so the education system is already confusing for me. His birthday is August 3, 2013. So he will be able to start reception sept 2018.

    Thanks
    Jessica

    Like

    • Martina says:

      Why can’t he play sports? Is this some sort of scaremongering tactic. Autumn born children who go after their 5th birthday are not prevented from playing games sports!

      Like

  24. G says:

    I totally agree. This is ridiculous. I think that school could get in bother for giving out wrong information.

    Like

  25. Jessica says:

    The school said that sports will be an issue because in the UK during teamed sports or competitions with other schools they have to inform about the child’s birthdate. So, because school children and sports cut off dates are Sept 1 – August 31… My son even though deferred can play on teams or be part of running clubs with other children from his age group not with children from his year group in school. (I hope that made sense) So, this will eventually affect him playing sports at senior/secondary school. So, he won’t be able to be part of the sports teams or clubs in his final year of school (Year 12 or 13) because he will be out of the age bracket/group. And this will then affect his chances of being scouted for other clubs/teams/universities. Coming from the states and especially from a very athletic family (I played on all teamed sports throughout my years in elementary and high school) this is hurting me. I just feel this is unfair for my son. It kind of defeats the purpose of deferring him. I know sports may not be a big issue to many parents but to me it’s very important especially coming from a family who has been greatly involved in various different sports. As well, I almost forgot… the school also said since my son would be put back a year… his ultimate chances of playing on teamed sports will be low because the other children will have an extra years knowledge of playing that sport whereas my son will not. So that will be another reason for the coach to not choose my son to be part of the team because he won’t have the extra years worth of skillset.

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  26. Caroline says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’m American too and I feel your pain! Regarding the sports issue, from what I understand, your son could start playing for local clubs now before he even starts school, and so he wouldn’t be behind in skills at all. I get the impression most children over here play for their local club (in their village or town), rather than for their school.

    Caroline

    Like

  27. Carly says:

    I am in the process of applying to defer my summer born son does anyone have a letter template or example if he letter they wrote to admissions
    Would be so useful
    Thanks

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  28. Mandy says:

    I am also trying to deffer. The headteacher seems sympathetic however told me to secure nursery place for his emotional and social needs to develop.( My argument is that he is reserved and shy among other issues). His current preschool refused to keep him for another year. Local school nursery also refused (the school I am applying to has not got a nursery) and even said they have no obligation to take him as his age group should be in reception class. Do I have no option but to go private or keep him at home?

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  29. ema says:

    Can anyone help me to write a formal letter to headtecher requesting to deffer my daughters entry to reception till summer term when she will reach 5.I have read that’s every parent right and they cant say NO, just have to send them a polite letter. English in not my first language, so would be very greatfull if anyone can help me. Many thanks.Ema

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  30. Janine Darwin says:

    Having been through the education system as a summer born child, my 15 year old has faced disadvantages at every stage, therefore I am determined that my 3 yr old who was also born at the end of August, will get the best start in his education, by deferring his start into mainstream education for a year.
    I cannot express how frustrating I have found this process, considering the emotional well-being of my son should be at the heart of everything. I have been given incorrect information and no support from my local primary school. My pre school seem to be hell bent on following the admissions departments lead, that unless my child has a ‘medical condition’ he will not be deferred. I am astonished as I know this is not the case.
    What on earth are you supposed to do as a parent when you are constantly given negative advise, I am constantly facing a brick wall.
    I have just told my pre school teacher that if we all sat back and failed to challenge authority, we would still not be allowing women to vote!!! However, why on earth are local authorities making it so difficult?
    HELP!

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  31. John Fellows says:

    Our son is 4 on 30th August and we think it will be better for him to deferr one year. We have had one refusal from Cambridge Council following our second choice for a school in Castle Camps and we are waiting to hear from Essex Council where our first choice is in Saffron Walden. We have spoken to the head mistress there and she was sympathetic with our request to deferr so it will be interesting to see if the LEA adopt the same ‘we know better attitude as Cambridge’. My wife is Polish where they start school at 6 so she cannot understand why the LEA’S in the UK seem obsessed with forcing 4 year old’s to start formal education so young. The average in Europe seems to be 5 or 6 with some at 7 and we don’t appear to achieve any higher level of educational standards by following this dogma, if anything the statistics show the opposite. Our son is learning two languages, is having some behavioural issues and we as his closest mentors feel that he is not ready for school emotionally. However at the moment it seems that the remote LEA know better. It can be a very frustrating world sometimes.

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  32. Martina says:

    I know exactly how you feel. We are also waiting for Essex. The headteacher of the only school in our village is anti. In fact she promised that she will adopt the worse option for my child, which is to send him to Year 1, if I send him at CSA.

    We have had to go further afield to get yesses even though she told me ” no headteacher round here will say yes to that request”.

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  33. John Fellows says:

    The response we got from Cambridge also contained the threat that our son would be forced into tear 1 if we held him back a year. This suggests that they have some hidden agenda and no interest in the welfare of the children they are supposedly working for. Has anyone approached their MP on this

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  34. Martina says:

    Are you on Facebook? If you are join the Facebook group for this campaign group called flexible schools admission for summerborns. Lots of people have contacted their MP. I have but not sure how much difference it makes for your particular case but it a good idea to do so for the campaign in general so that we can put the pressure on the politicians to act more quickly.

    Like

  35. John says:

    I was not aware of the Facebook group and have now sent a request to join it. Thanks

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  36. Martina says:

    Don’t mention it. We are in this together. You will find tremendous support on the Facebook group.

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  37. KAY Lill says:

    My Son is 3.5 years old and we were told in December by his preschool they he had a couple of issues with social Interaction, delayed speech and anxiety and is not currently potty traibed. We have been working with the Pre school to get him the help he needs and they have been excellent. He has now been assessed by the Area SENCO which showed he has MLD moderate learning difficulties and a report has been sent to our local authority to defer his school placement for Reception in 2018 but we had to apply for Low Flyer Status. We are just waiting on the results of the admissions panel to hear if we have been successful. I did not want to defer his schooling but following his assessment we visited our local mainstream schools and two special schools to see where he would fit in best. Following the visits we chose a mainstream school with an MLD unit but as the places were filling up we decided to defer to give us a better chance of gainig a place at that school plus we have still got to get a EHCP in place and we ‘re having difficulty in getting him referred to a pediatrician for assessment. We have allowed the reports now to take to our GP so fingers crossed. My my son’s difficulties were only picked up in December and we have been very fortunate to have got this far so quickly as he is also listed with a speech therapist. We have had great support from his pre school and the SENCO. Is anyone else experiencing problem getting referrals to help with their case.

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  38. Mariam Sheikh says:

    I have applied a school deferral for my son who was born late August on the 08/12/2016 at Haringey council in London. Since then I have not heard heard from them although that I have called and emailed them twice after that.

    I do not want my son to go to reception this year as he is the youngest and I am sure that he is not ready for school yet. I do not know what else to do to defer him.

    Please help me.
    Mariam

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  39. LJW says:

    Hi There, we have delayed my son’s start date into reception, he will now be starting in Sept 2018, he was born 31st August. I have to say in the last 12 months since we have been looking into our options we have been met with lost and lots of opinions on the subject but very few facts, it has been down to us speaking with the local school admissions and the school he will be joining to sort it out. Also we were told by the school admissions that ‘delaying’ and ‘deferring’ were very different and not to get confused between the two, delay would mean he would be starting in reception 2018, deferring meant that he would be missing a year and heading straight in to foundation KS1, which is utter madness to me and defies the whole point, well for us anyway.

    We still had to choose schools this year, but email the admissions to say we were declining the offer, and we now have to submit a paper application in November.

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  40. John Fellows says:

    We are in a nearly identical situation with our son born on 30th August with a due date of 4th September. As a result of us wanting to do what we feel is the best for him it feels as if we are being labelled as ignorant and mis-informed parents. We applied to four schools for a delay till 2018, two of which refused with the threat of making it a deferral and forcing him to miss the reception year, fortunately two of them have agreed to a delay.
    How can so called professional bodies responsible for protecting the education of our children come to totally different views on what is best for our son. These ‘juries’ have no direct knowledge of our son and have made a decision based on what they think is best rather than what we know to be the best having listened to a lot of worldwide views on when children should start their education and the direct contact we have with him day to day.

    The threat of making him miss his reception year is outrageous and the system is well overdue for change.

    Like

  41. Jo Palmer says:

    My son”s due date was 14th September. ‘How clever of us’ we thought when we first found out. As the pregnancy progressed so did a number of complications, meaning that I gave birth 5 weeks early. My son”s birthday is 16th August. I work in education, so I know that I can support my child with his learning of phonics and number, he attends his childminder 5 days a week and is learning great social skills and at 32 months has entered the previous school room, which offers more challenging activities, which he is loving. So educationally, I’m trying not to worry. However, I do worry about things such as using the toilet – he is refusing any form of potty training. He stI’ll needs naps and I think he will do for a long time, especially in a learning environment. He also struggles with expressing emotions. He gets cross and frustrated easily and resorts to hitting or shouting as he just doesn’t have the vocabulary at the moment.
    He will be starting school in September 2018, a couple of weeks after his 4th birthday, so we have a little while to overcome these difficulties, but rushing him through them feels unfair.
    We feel frustrated that his due date is now long forgotten, unlike during his first year or so where every measurement, weight and milestone was backdated.
    I am hoping that we are teaching him resilience and that it’s OK to get things wrong as well as strategies to cope with difficult situations. We are encouraging reading, ‘writing’ and an interest in number so that he is prepared for school. Even so, the worry of having a summer born does not fade, especially in these crucial Early Years of education.

    Like

  42. penberry says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you know if there is a correlation between the age a child starts school and absenteeism, or how I could find this data?

    Thanks,

    Like

  43. Sarah Cashell says:

    Hello,
    I’m looking for HELP! I live in Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire. My son is currently 3 (born 20th July 2013), he should enter reception in 2017 but I submitted a deferral request to Sept 2018 with a supporting letter from his pre-school. The Head of my chosen school (where my other child attends) has rejected it saying he will only approve deferrals based on medical grounds or Special Educational needs. There is no mention of needing these grounds in the local authorities published process or in the Admissions Code, or on the schools website where they have the document regarding summer born children. I was previously advised I wouldn’t need to provide this kind of evidence, now the local authority have changed their tune. I tried going to my other school preferences but all the schools in this region have clubbed together with an agreement that they will all honour the decision of the first preference. This head has never met my son. The local authority seem to put all the power of decision making in the Heads hands. I do not have the first clue on how to get a SEN assessment on a 3 year old- how can he have a special education need when he’s not even in education yet? There are no medical grounds as he is healthy, just immature for his age and not ready for school. Does anyone have any advice?

    Like

    • Annie says:

      Been in the exact same situation. Unless your child is visibly impaired and failed to reach essential milestones, your GP will regard referring your child to a specialist a waste of NHS resource at the age of just 3. Assessments by the local authority have long waiting list and it is likely that their own appointed expert won’t be unbiased.
      I ended up going private. Very bad for the financial situation of my family but I felt I had no other options to win the fight, as I have been refused by the head and everyone else too.
      What you need is a full cognitive assessment conducted by a qualified educational psychologist. Depending on where you live, expect to pay anywhere between £500-£1200
      Find and commission your own expert and you get what you pay for. I have been provided a 66 pages long report on my son which crystal clearly stated how and why my son is not recommended to start reception class just after his 4th birthday.
      My son has no obvious / visible disabilities or impairments but has a very short attention span and very immature and emotionally sensitive, and our first choice school is famously pushing the kids for academic performance (they are in certain place in the performance tables and aim to remain there), and I know my son would have struggled and wasn’t ready. It is a cause worth fighting for, good luck!
      Annie

      Like

  44. Sarah Cashell says:

    Thank you Annie. Any ideas how you go about finding a private educational psychologist?

    Like

    • Annie says:

      If you enter where you live on http://www.achippp.org.uk or http://www.bps.org.uk and select educational psychologists per expertise, you can search for those possibly available in your area. Be consistent and patient when calling them, I ended up calling about 15 different ones before I found one who could do the assessment reasonably soon, because many of them were booked up for months in advance (they usually don’t only work privately but also for government bodies, and so don’t always have appointments soon). Another point to note is that due to conflict of interest, you can’t hire one who also works for your local council. You are building a case to argue your local authority and so they will not take you on if they also work for your council. Mine was a few boroughs away, he was only working part time as he was half way retired, but with a PHD (not all of them have PHDs) and over 30 years experience in the profession as well as multiple books published in educational psychology, I couldn’t have found a better and more convincing expert, it was every penny well spent. Good luck!

      Like

  45. Claire Wood says:

    My son is an august baby and is currently in year 2. He really struggles at school, his reading is year 1 level and his writing is meeting reception standards. He has fantastic ideas but can’t put anything down in writing, I’m really worried about him moving up to year 3 and feel he will fall further behind. Can I request that he repeat year 2?

    Like

  46. Claire Wood says:

    Also, should add that socially and emotionally he is well behind his classmates. He’s only just started concentrating on the carpet but during lessons he is often disruptive, making silly noises or saying things like nickers which gets him in trouble. I’m sure he’ll outgrow it but feel it’s unfair to make him grow out of it before he is cognitively ready.

    Like

  47. Lou says:

    Hello. My little one was born in August. I sent a letter in enfield council for deleying him for a year. So he will be starting year 1 at the age of 6 . My main concern is what will happen if we move from enfield and go somewhere else. There is a possibility that the other authority will not accept Enfield s decision and jump him a year. I am really worried. It’s been told that law will change for summer born children and that they will have the right to go to school one year later. Do we really have the right to do it?

    Like

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