Today is the big day. Parents across the country have been waiting to hear the results of their primary school admissions applications. Some have found out already. I was up late, reading the threads on Mumsnet and people were cyber-hand holding since early in the day yesterday. At midnight, some had their news in hand.
But some of us are still waiting. And waiting. I am waiting on an email from Redbridge Council to arrive sometime after 6pm today. So, sometime after the girls have had their dinner, possibly a bath, I will be glued to my iPad waiting for an email. Feels a little like waiting for that guy to call back in high school. . .
Adding to this stress is the fact that I’m very reticent about sending her to school in September anyway, as she is a summer-born child and still, today, just three years old. She’s having a big old meltdown at the moment after I tore out a sheet of colouring paper for her baby sister and started colouring it. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to do that. It has caused her to come apart.
Is she ready for school? She will be 4 years old on August 1 and won’t be 5 years old (compulsory school age) at ANY time during the Reception Year. We thought hard about trying for a deferral, as is our legal right, but were discouraged because our borough is very oversubscribed and we wanted her to have a place at a specific school. We couldn’t risk it; we felt we had to apply, though we have the legal right to pursue the deferral.
We shouldn’t feel that way about exercising our rights under the law.
My daughter is still whimpering after she has tried cleaning her colouring page with water and it has fallen to pieces. Is she ready for school? Sometimes I think yeah, maybe; sometimes I think NO WAY.
The Summer-Born Campaign has this to say about today’s decision and how it affects families with children born in the Summer (April to August):
“Today is primary offer day. In addition to the worry and stress that parents are going through if their child is not offered a place in their preferred school, for parents of summer-borns wishing their child to start school in reception class AT compulsory school age this stress is significantly magnified. Different admissions authorities are at liberty to reach different decisions for the SAME child. Parental preference is effectively removed if one of those admission authorities (either school and/or local authority) refuses to admit these children into reception class. They are left with whichever admission authority will accept their child into reception, which may not be in a preferred school. They may also be denied access to a reception class education at all and be forced to miss this crucial year and join Year 1 in any school that has a place. As the School Admissions Code was amended so that no child should be forced by the admissions process to miss even one term of reception class, it is scandalous that admission authorities and the Department for Education now think it is reasonable for a child to miss the whole of reception class – simply for starting school at compulsory school age.”
If you’d like more information, please visit the blog: summerbornchildren.org