Read the 15/01/14 Summer Born Campaign Report
We are currently working with the Summer Born Campaign, BLISS and TAMBA so we can all help ensure that flexible school admissions become a reality for parents of summer-born and premature children in England. In the first instance, we are going to be producing a questionnaire in the new year that will assess a) parental awareness of the new advice issued by the DfE, and b) success of the advice by those parents who have followed it.
BLISS, the charity for premature babies, along with TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association) and the Summerborn Campaign, all worked together this year to campaign for flexible admissions of summer borns. This, in association with the evidence provided by the Too Much Too Soon Campaign, resulted in the Department for Education producing advice on this matter in July. This advice states that it is perfectly legal and acceptable for parents of summer born children to defer their child/children starting reception for one year. However, the advice also makes clear that it is ultimately up to the local admissions authority (whether that be a school or a Local Authority) to allow this deferral.
We are unsure how many parents actually know about this new DfE advice and when they do, we are concerned that school admissions authorities are still making it very difficult for parents to defer the start of reception for one year.
See the current DfE guidelines: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/a/advice_summer_born_children.pdf
See the recent Parliamentary debate about Summerborn Children
Read about the Institute of Fiscal Studies Report - urgent policy action needed to help summer-born children
See the September 2013 update from the Institute of Fiscal Studies
See the Cambridge Assessment 2009 Birthdate Effects Report
See the recent Nursery World article - Children starting school years behind expected developmental level
The number of children identified with learning difficulties in England is five times the European average. A fifth of pupils, or 1.6million, have been identified as having special educational needs (SEN). They represent 19.8 per cent of the school population, compared with an EU average of 4 per cent, according to an analysis of European Commission figures from 29 countries. The statistics are revealed in a book from the ARK Schools chain of academies and the CentreForum think-tank which claims youngsters are being routinely over-classified as having SEN.