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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:05 pm 
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We are moving back to the UK after 9 years with our 9 year old son. He has never been to school in the UK and has been to 6 schools so far all over - Thailand, Middle East and now NZ. His DOB is 24/8/01. Would it be possible for him to start year 5 instead if 6 in Sept as he is only 1 week from the cut off and as NZ's year runs Feb to Dec. This would give him time to prep for 11 plus - otherwise we do not feel his academic levels are adequate and he'll miss out. Does anyone know of cases where a child has just turned 12 when they start year 7 at grammar?? Any thoughts gratefully appreciated!


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:21 pm 
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This would be a decision for the admission authority or individual school. The current admissions code states:
Quote:
Although most children will be admitted to a school within their own age group, from time to time parents seek places outside their normal age group for gifted and talented children, or those who have experienced problems or missed part of a year, for example due to ill health. Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case. Parents refused an application for a place at the school have a statutory right of appeal, but this does not apply if parents are offered a place other than the year group in which they applied for.

There is (just in my experience) a tendency for schools to want to admit only to the 'correct' year group.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:14 am 
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I knew a chld born in august but due in november - he was put in the class for the year he should have been born in, rather than his birth year and this worked well HOWEVER this was an indpendent school - I know the LEA had not been helpful despite requests from paediatricians etc.


edit: other option if you can't get a place in the year below would be to start on the prep for 11 plus now - plenty of DIY advice on here and books can be got online etc etc


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:45 am 
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Specifically with regard to the 11+, my own LA has the following policy:
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Very occasionally, a child who is over the age of 11 will be accepted for the 11+ tests. This will be either due to educational reasons in the past which resulted in a decision to place your child in a lower year group and which have continued, or if a child has missed a year or more of schooling through illness or living abroad. Going to a school in another country is not, in itself, a reason for taking the 11+ at an older age. The tests should be sat, in this case, at the same time as the year group that the child has normally been working with. Again, before a decision is made, we would ask your child’s current headteacher for details surrounding the circumstances to place your child in a lower year group, this must not be just because your child was born late in the school year.

You will need to check with the relevant admission authority what their policy is.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:09 am 
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Thanks for your replies - very kind of you to take the time.
Etienne - Which LA does this apply to? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:18 am 
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The policy above is for Buckinghamshire where the 11+ is run by the LA.

Depending on the area, you might find yourself dealing with a LA, or with an individual grammar school that organises its own 11+.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:52 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The CSSE guide for the Essex grammars does not even mention admission for those above the correct age. There is a mention of under-age pupils being discouraged from entry.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
As you have probably gathered from the replies so far, being out of the year group for chronological age can be problematic. Individual schools and individual LAs make individual decisions. If you know the area in which you will be living you would be best advised to check with every secondary school to which you might apply, every primary school to which you might apply and the LA as well. In my county the LA ask you to submit, with an application for a place in secondary out of year group, a letter from the primary affirming that they are willing to educate the child for another year and a letter from the secondaries applied for also agreeing to accept the child, if (s)he is successful in gaining a place.

Depending on area, another option may be to delay entering your child for the 11+ as late as possible rather than taking it along with the rest of the cohort. Again you would need to check carefully with the schools/LA whether this is possible. Where I am it is possible to take the tests (usually sat in September) up until beginning of January, leaving enough time to submit a late application by end of January which will be dealt with along with the rest; if you know there may be vacancies in the school after allocations you can delay right up until the summer term.

However, if you have the time and energy to devote to tutoring your child for the next three or four months you can probably manage to prepare adequately to take at the normal time for most areas.

Edited to add: Yes, I do know of a case where the Grammar accepted late entry - very similar circumstances to yours - child young in year and educated abroad - but don't know any further details I am afraid.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:14 am 
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Difficult situation. We had been in Switzerland for three and half years. Where children begin school much older. On moving to Switzerland my (summer born) daughter left year 3 in England to go into year 2 in Switzerland - in fact technically she should have been in year 1 but there is much more flexibility in Switzerland about year groups. (Since she was now being educated in French entering year 2 was not in itself problematic.)

Since we were not going to be permanent residents in Switzerland we decided that it was important that she return to the UK at the beginning of Year 7, with all the other children. This meant that she would have to completely skip year 6. I took an executive decision that there was no way that we would get her through very selective entrance exams (despite the fact that she is very bright - in the top few percent). No national curiculum, no science, last few years education entirely in French. We opted for a mixture of state (comprehensive) and private, but with entrance exams only in English and Maths - not science. I tutored her in maths myself (as we had a years work to catch up on) and found an excellent English tutor who gave her ten hourly lessons once and week and lots of homework. She got offered places at all the schools she applied to including an offer of a music scholarship at one of the two indies (first reserve for the other).

Nevertheless I think that 11+ would have been a struggle and selective London indies (e.g. Alleyns) a non-starter. You do, however, have the advantage of a child being educated in English, so if bright enough tutoring might be more feasible.

In the UK out of year entry is usually almost impossible in the state sector (up or down) and frequently very difficult even with indies. A friend with a summer born very premature child has really struggled over this one. In the end she took her child out of one indie because she felt that he really should be with the year group below his birth age. She struggled to find an indie that would take him on this basis and concluded that at least in London the state sector was a non-starter for an out of year group child, certainly for the 11+ but I think even for a comp.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:38 am 
The state primary my younger children attend can and does place children with younger age groups where this is felt to be appropriate. This is normally because of special needs but very occasionally because a child has arrived from a country with very poor primary schooling (NZ would not be in this category I'm pretty sure!) and is a long way behind.

In both cases, however, children are expected to transfer to secondary school at the correct age- whether to mainstream or special schools. For that reason, children will if at all possible be moved into their correct year group by year 6. Certainly a 9 year old child who is considering a grammar school (i.e. bright) would be placed in the correct year group from day one.

Here in Kent I believe that some grammars will allow a child to take the 11+ a year EARLY if they have been accelerated a year at primary school, but I'm pretty sure that none of them would consider taking a child a year late. The way your son's situation would be addressed in our area is through the headteacher appeal stage of the 11+. That is a process whereby primary/junior school headteachers of children who have not passed the 11+ have the opportunity to put forward extenuating circumstances and evidence of academic potential to a panel of other headteachers. If the panel decides that the child would be best suited to a grammar, the child is treated as having passed the 11+. This happens before the results are released and is responsible for about 16% of the "selective assessments" given. As regards his August birthday, scores are age standardised anyway so that he would only be compared with other children born in the same month.

Private schools have more flexibility and may take a child into a younger year group if they deem it appropriate. It would be a hard sell though and, going forward, possibly not what you would want for your son anyway? It would probably be better if going private to send him to a prep school for years 6-8 with a view to transferring to secondary school at 13+ (by which time he will have had time to catch up).


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