Children born in summer could be allowed to start school a year later

The government has addressed plans to change the admissions process

By Katie Jones

If your child is yet to start school and was born during the summer months, you might be given the choice to delay when they start reception class.

The government has addressed plans to change the admissions process so that children born between April 1 and August 31 are able to start school a year later, with the option of joining either a reception or a Year One class.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb, who first raised the issue in 2015, said the government is ‘concerned’ about the education of summer born children during a presentation on the international literacy test results at the British Library on Tuesday.

“I do accept there is a link between the month that your child is born and academic results, particularly in the early years of primary school and that’s why we want to give parents that option,” Gibb said, according to The Telegraph.

“So we are looking now at the impact of changing the admissions code will have on the system as a whole and when the opportunity arises we will seek to change the admissions code to give parents more discretion over when their child will start school.”

Currently, children start school start school in the September after they have turned four. Although parents can choose to delay the entry of those born between April 1 and August 31, they are often advised to go straight into year one.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after recent data revealed that almost two-fifths of summer-born children fail to reach the government’s benchmark at the end of reception, compared with one-fifth of pupils born in the autumn, TES.com reports.

The Summer Born Children campaign has welcomed the Schools Minister’s commitment to the changes, although it is ‘disappointed it has taken so long’, the group said via Twitter.

The campaign, which was set up in 2013, is urging the government to make an amendment to the admissions code ‘that ensures fair and equal access to Reception class for summer born children starting school at compulsory school age, without penalty’.

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