Mum Wins Right To Delay Daughter's Start To School Without Missing Reception Year

17 April 2015

Child School

A mother has won a landmark legal ruling, allowing her daughter to start school a year later than usual due to her summer birthday.

Rosie Dutton opted to delay her daughter's start to school because the little girl, whose birthday is in August, turned four years old just a few weeks before she was due to start school.

But the council informed the family that Olivia would have to go straight to Year 1 when she started school, missing out on her Reception year entirely.

The Daily Mail reports:

Now, Olivia has been given a place in Reception at her top choice of school, Heathfields Infants School in Tamworth, after the council accepted Ms Dutton's appeal.

The decision could open the floodgates to a tide of similar cases regarding parents of 'summer babies' who want their child to start Reception class after they turn five. 

According to campaigners, Olivia's case is just one of 250,000 across the country where summer-born children are being compelled to catch up with older classmates after skipping a year of education. 

Schools usually review such requests on a case by case basis, with 'exceptional circumstances' such as a baby being born prematurely being take into account when determining whether to accept an application to delay the start of a child's education.

Alongside the worry of whether your child will be offered a place at the primary school of your choice, many parents feel particularly anxious about the possibility that their child will be held back at school due to being younger than their peers.

Is this something that worries you? Do you welcome this news, on the basis that you would consider delaying your own child's start to school, or do you think parents who delay their child's education aren't thinking far enough ahead, or taking their child's own interests into account?

We'd love to hear your views on this.

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  • Natster1976
    My son was born on the 13th August so only got in by a couple of weeks. He is doing well in all areas, sometimes out performing the older children. I think this comes down to how much you support your child at home
  • NAS1809
    I was a summer baby and had no issues, but this isn't the case for all. I think parental support affects children regardless of the month they were born in, however for some Summer babies, they are just not mature enough to enter the schooling system and just need more time. Both my girls are Autumn/Winter babies and I would love to delay their start to school as I feel 4/5 is still so young - so much so that I am now considering Home Education, at least for the first year or 2 of school. In other countries formal schooling doesn't start till age 7 and seems not to hinder the child in any way.

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