Conservatives to 'look again' at delaying school start for summer-borns

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A Conservative Government would revisit the issue of parents being able to defer their summer-born child’s school start.

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The education secretary Nicky Morgan said she understood that delaying a summer-born child's school entry is an issue for many parents

The education secretary Nicky Morgan has revealed that if the party wins the election, it would consider what more can be done to ensure local authorities are being flexible in their approach to letting children born in the summer months start school a year later.

Nursery World reported in March that parents are experiencing more difficulties delaying their summer-born child’s entry to school.

In some cases, parents are being told by their admission authority that their if their child starts school after their fifth birthday, they will have to go straight into Year 1 and miss Reception class. Others are told that their child will have to miss a year of secondary education.

Taking part in a Mumsnet webchat, in which Ms Morgan received several questions from users on the issue of parents being able to defer their summer-born child’s entry to school, she said, ‘I completely understand that this is an issue for many parents and something we are going to look at again if we are in a position to after the election.

‘But we have already done some work in this area – we’ve actually revised the Government’s guidance to make it more flexible because we do believe that the parents of summer-born children should have greater choice about this.’

She added, ‘As the schools minister Nick Gibb told the Education Select Committee just last month, admissions authorities and head teachers do need to do what is in the best interest of the child.

‘The Select Committee has now asked us to consider what more we can do and we are happy to look at that.’

During the webchat, the education secretary was also asked a question about whether the Conservatives would consider making the phonics check more flexible for some children.

In her response she said they would consider looking at providing opportunities for children who are more advanced to do the phonics check at an earlier point.

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