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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
My friend's daughter was born end of July and she wrote to the school she was due to start that she wishes to defer entry until the child turns 5. She has just had a meeting with the Headteacher who has told her that he wont keep the place as its up to him to decide to keep the place open or not. She thought it was now law that they have to keep the place but Headteacher is threatening to give the place to someone and he needs to hear asap what date she will be starting. Is this right? If there is law that he has to keep the place is there any chance of a link to the document please?. I looked at the Kent Council Website and couldnt find much information. Its a heavily oversubscribed school and so my friend is really worried now that they could give the place to someone.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:38 pm 
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I'm no expert but I thought the law regarding starting full time education relates the term following their 5th birthday but not that the school have to hold a place. What I think I mean is - she is not breaking the law by keeping her at home until she is 5.
The school probably want the space filled and are not obliged to hold one open. Probably down to money - usually is!
The LEA are obliged to find her a place when the child is 5 but it could be anywhere!
This is just my understanding of the system not gospel .
Hope someone comes along with a more info soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Here is the relevant bit of the School Admissions Code:

Deferred entry to primary schools
2.69 Admission authorities must allow parents of children who are offered a place at the school before they are of compulsory school age to defer their child’s entry until later in the school year. Where entry is deferred, admission authorities must hold the place for that child and not offer it to another child. The parent would not however be able to defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. This must be made clear in the admission arrangements for the school.


So it is possible to defer until the last term of the school year but not through until the next school year.

The link to the School Admissions Code through the DfE website is:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adm ... egulations


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I have parents who have deferred entry until after Easter. Their children are 5 in June and July. One parent wanted to defer until the term after they were 5, eg Sept 2012, but school is not legally obliged to keep the place open for them. The LEA advised that they must start school 2 weeks before the end of the summer term to ensure their place is kept. The parents decided to start part-time at Easter and full-time after Whit half term as a compromise. I would suggest they check with the LEA on the actual rules of deferring entry.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
Thank you all. My friend thought that since the law says a child has to start a term after her 5th birthday which will be Sept 2012 for her DD, the school could hold a place until then.

The Head is very unhappy that she is deferring entry so he really pushed hard for her to start first in January at least and then April latest. She stood her ground and said she could let her start after half term in June. The Head then asked her to write a letter asap as to what day she wants her to start but still wouldn't confirm if place would be kept. The passage you quoted Alex will be very useful for her to include in the letter to the Head.

Its such a shame that the Head is really trying to blackmail her. He suggested her daughter will probably be in the bottom table when she starts because other kids will be ahead of her. She isnt just keeping her at home, she does three day at a Montessori preschool and the other days she just does bit and bobs with her.

She is now planning on drafting a letter to the Head with June start date and a quoting the Admissions quote as a reminder to the Head and cc it to Kent County Council. Hopefully the Head will see sense in it.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
sherry_d wrote:

Its such a shame that the Head is really trying to blackmail her.


To be fair to the Head he is probably not just being "difficult" for the sake of it. Whilst the law supports parents who want to defer entry it has financial implications for the school - they still have to employ the same teacher and support staff but have lost the per capita funding for the child. If lots of parents defer the school can end up with a serious cash shortfall.

Quote:
He suggested her daughter will probably be in the bottom table when she starts because other kids will be ahead of her. She isnt just keeping her at home, she does three day at a Montessori preschool and the other days she just does bit and bobs with her.


There are lots of arguments for and against deferring entry and I think the parent usually can work out what is best for their child, but it is worth knowing exactly what the Foundation years curriculum is covering so that the child is not missing out on any areas that their peers are experiencing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:00 am 
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Hi Sherry,

I would also have your friend contact the LEA to ensure she has followed all the correct procedure for deferring until later in the year.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:51 am 
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I believe that the head count (or bums-on-seats) count takes place in January - In other words that the schools gets it's money based on the number of kids in January so if the child isn't there in by then the school will lose that funding


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:16 am 
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Location: South Bucks
Is there a particular reason why your friend wishes to defer entry? The Reception curriculum is very play based and is much more about 'school readiness' than school (book learning). It could be a real mistake to miss out on. The move into Y1 can be a very big shock by comparison.

My quiet 'homebody' DD is also end July birthday and really blossomed in Reception.

Could I suggest watching the excellent programme by Channel 4, The Secret Life of the Classroom http://www.channel4.com/programmes/secr ... ssroom/4od


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Erm, I tend to agree there should be a really good reason to defer...
Your friends child could miss out on building valuable relationships with peers and only spending a few weeks in year R (just when they are winding down and the teacher has begun to prepare for her next new intake in september...) would not be the best start in her school life (IMHO)
I work in a Preschool and although we follow the EYFS there is a limit to how much we will do with the children..prefering to concentrate on preparing them for school socially and physically, so even though your friends child will still attend a nursery they will not necessarily be doing age related activities because we arent meant to be teaching school age children :oops:
Anyway, we dont know the circumstances and i know it wasnt what you asked for intitially! sorry!


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