Delaying school entry(13 Posts)
I was wondering if anyone in Cambridge had successfully argued for their DC to start reception a year later? We have applied for a primary place in the usual way but are concerned about the emotional readiness of DC who was born prematurely in the summer (and would be in the year below were it not for that). It seems the Cambridge is particularly resistant to these applications. If anyone has managed it, what was your experience?
IIRC children don't have to be at school until the term after they turn 5 which would delay the start date for your DC by a year. Although then they would start in Year 1 which I don't think is what you want. I think it's unusual to be allowed to delay the entry into Reception which is what I think you are hoping to do. I don't think this is just Cambridge though. As far as I know delaying by a year is much more common in Independent schools - is that an option or were you looking at state schools.
Yes, I'm afraid from what I've seen nobody has managed this in the state sector. Independent might well be far more receptive to this if you can afford it. What happened to that move to allow parents of summer-borns to elect to delay by a year? Did it never come to fruition?
Although you can delay entry to school until your child is 5, your child would start school in year one rather than reception. I personally think this could turn out to have a detrimental effect on children as they start off being a whole school year behind their peers.
You could also run the risk of there not being a school place at your chosen school available for your child. The school don't have to keep a place for you so you'll be applying for a mid year entry place and these can be difficult to come by as parents don't tend to move their children from school to school.
Worth joining the fb group called something like 'flexible school admission for summer borns'.....lots of members so you might be able to find some other Cambridgeshire people....
There are children in Cambs who delayed a year then went into reception but it's a hard battle and is usually because of some kind of speci need. Is your child in a nursery or preschool now?
Have you tried asking on bliss, they have a lot of people in the same boat
Thank you everyone, for sharing your thoughts. I should perhaps have explained that I am familiar with the procedural and legal sitaution, and I agree with you 2ducks that starting in Year 1 is not a better option. DC is in preschool now and doing fine as far as I can tell, but this doesn't necessarily bode well for going through the rest of the educational system in the 'wrong' year.
Orchardy, that initiative was announced but nothing has been enforced. As I understand it, many local authorities have changed their attitudes, but Cambridge continues to make it very difficult. I understand the arguments for that in terms of the cohort, but it inevitably feels unfair to see your child make a traumatic early arrival, NICU etc, then have to go to school a year earlier as a consequence. However there are no special needs.
Independent isn't something we had considered and I imagine it would be too late now anyway, but I suppose worth bearing in mind if things don't go well.
Thanks for the suggestion of Bliss, I never thought of that.
Big thanks to all of you.
I heard that they had changed the admissions policy so that you can use your child's due date rather than their actual birth date.
Have you tried calling admissions and asking them?
We will be going through this in a few years, as m DS was due in October but arrived in early august.
It may be worth seeing how flexible your preferred schools are on part time start. One local primary near us allows part time until 5 (in whatever combination of half days you choose), the other only does full time from the start (whatever the age of child).
Admissions just sent us a leaflet which I find discouraging, though perhaps I shouldn't. They didn't engage at all with the content of our message which raised the specific issue of prematurity. A part time start is probably not that helpful in our case, as DC is in full time childcare at the moment in the preschool setting, so it would be hard to try and manage the shift in a sensible way (I appreciate that this is not an educational problem, just a practical and personal one).
Perhaps I'm worrying about nothing just because I am so rankled by the unfairness of this being a consequence of prematurity. I can't imagine what it's like for families with children born very early indeed.
My son is late August born premmie and we went to an independent school starting in Reception a year later. It worked well, but when we decided to leave the independent sector we had to apply for a deferral. I produced 14 documents to support the application for deferred entry. The most compelling factor though was that he had always been part of a different yeargroup.
Starting Reception later (at 5) in the state sector is possible but tricky. Prematurity can be considered a good grounds by the LEA, any special needs - however minor they are - are helpful to an application to delay. I hesitate to describe things as 'good grounds' etc. - just trying to find a way to convey how the process seems to pan out.
Once one has a deferral/deferred entry it's permanent. Going into secondary my son isn't even the oldest in his year so there are others out there who are in different year groups.
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