Summer Birthday

by catriona >> Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:55 PM
Last updated on: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:55 PM

We were thinking of keeping our son down a year as not only is he young for his year, he seems young for his age, is the youngest in a large family and has a very successful older brother in the academic year above him. Our prep school Head warns that some independent senior schools will not accept a child out of year. How does one find out which ones will accept and which not?

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Re: Summer Birthday

by Sandra Hutchinson >> Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:49 PM
Last updated on: Wed Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM

Like state schools, independent schools can and do accept children out of year. It isn't a path that is recommended lightly but for some children it is the best path for them. The key is to make an informed and considered decision. Do speak with schools - they may even vary their own policy year on year and will advise according to the cohort your child might join. You need to think carefully about issues such as sport - where he may not be able to play for a team because his birthday is out of kilter.

However, over the years we have encountered a number of children for whom an out of year placement has been very successful indeed. Remember though the tiny 13 year-old can quickly become a strapping 14 year-old...Maturity and social skills usually have a greater bearing on school decisions than academic progress.

In Scotland (with a March cut-off) and Northern Ireland (with a June cut-off) the school year is completely different - so the summer born (July/August) issue does not tend to apply.

Sandra Hutchinson
The Good Schools Guide - Special Educational Needs

Re: Summer Birthday

by catriona >> Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:18 PM
Last updated on: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:29 PM

Thank you.

Re: Summer Birthday

by susan >> Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:48 AM
Last updated on: Wed Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM

Hi Catriona,
Very few UK schools like to take children out of their chronological age group - it can cause all kinds of difficulties later and, unless he has missed a lot of school through illness or some kind of educational difficulty, it's not usually a great idea. You can ask individual schools about their policy on this and some may be prepared to flex their rules for an individual but there is no overall way of looking this up without doing the leg work. In general - and a lot of late summer birthday children seem 'behind' when they are very young - they do catch up and, of course, assessment for 11+ in many cases is age weighted - which may help him. The Good Schools Guide Advice Service - www.gsgexpertschoolsconsultants.co.uk - of which I am Director - would be very happy to guide you over this if you want a more personal discussion. Susan Hamlyn

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