Parents could get automatic right to delay school for summer-born babies

The Telegraph is reporting that summer-born children could be given the right to start reception a year later after official figures showed that August-born 11 year olds are 50 per cent more likely to be identified as having special needs…

The Government has launched the review because of concerns that summer-born children are being unfairly discriminated against at school and are falling behind solely because they are young for their year…

Under a review launched by Education minister Nick Gibb, the parents could be given the right for their summer-born children to delay their arrival for a year and then start school in reception.

Mr Gibb has ordered the review after new Department for Education figures showed that children born in August were far more likely to be judged to have Special Educational Needs by the end of primary school.

The figures raised concerns that thousands of teenagers could be unfairly told they have special needs when in fact they are just young for their year group…

The figures show that typically in England 15,000 11 year olds who are born in August are being identified as having SEN, compared with 10,000 of those born in September.

For 16 year olds taking their GCSEs, the difference narrows, so that 12,000 August-born children have SEN, compared to 10,000 of those born in September.

Mr Gibb told MPs on the Commons’ Education select committee: “Summer-born children are likely to be behind their peers in their development simply by virtue of being younger than them. It appears that many schools may consequently have identified them as SEN…”

Mr Gibb’s review wants to look at giving parents an automatic right to hold back their summer born children and start them in reception year when they are five…

More at: Parents could get automatic right to delay school for summer-born babies


The figures quoted for the number of August born versus September born children idetified as having special needs is striking. 

What do you make of them, and do you support the idea that delaying entry into reception should be an optional right for all parents of summer-born children?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


Should parents have the right to delay entry into reception for summer-borns until they are 5?


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  1. tony dimmer

    It would be interesting to know the boy/girl balance within these stats. Being summer born may well compound the differences in maturity which are often evident between genders in early years. It would be interesting to research the effects on confidence and attitudes into later life.

  2. dawson_serena

    MaryMyatt I deferred entry for two of my summer born. Only person ever to do so at that primary, and they went straight into year 1.

  3. MaryMyatt

    dawson_serena my daughter born at 23.50 on 31 Aug, ten minutes later and she would have been the year below

  4. dawson_serena

    MaryMyatt Ooh, close! I wanted to defer for 4th August born elder son, but school pressurised me saying I’d lose place. Regretted it.

  5. yearninglearnin

    MaryMyatt dawson_serena best thing in moving to Oz was my August born boy didn’t start school until he was 5 and a half. 7 repeated Prep!

  6. Nairb

    Gibb is being typically disingenuous on this important issue. The main reason summer born children tend to cope less well is that the government expects all children to have reached the same level by the end of KS1. While schools are judged entirely on data which can be ‘league tabled’ children who’s only ‘problem’ is to be younger than the rest of their year group will continue to suffer pressure to catch up. As usual government policy, remembering that Gibb is a passionate devotee of tests and league tables, flies in the face of reality and as usual schools get the blame.

  7. PrestonScience

    Is it possible that this will shift the exact same problem to September-born children, as they will become the youngest in their cohort?

Let us know what you think...