What does summer-born child mean?
Children who are born between 1st April and 31st August are sometimes referred to as summer-born children.
Are summer-born children at a disadvantage?
For children born in July or August, they can be nearly a year younger than their classmates. For primary aged children, this can mean huge developmental gaps with the older children more physically capable and with better language and concentration skills. Parents of summer-born children have long argued that their children are at a disadvantage because of this. Historically children born in the Summer have performed worse academically than those children born in the Autumn.
Delayed school start for summer-born children?
Most children start school in the September after they turn 4. Parents of summer-born children are increasingly asking their local authority to delay their child’s start to reception for a year. If a parent wants to the delay their child’s admission to school they must request that the local authority allow their child to be admitted outside of their normal age group.
It very much depends on which local authority area you live in as to whether the council will allow delayed entry. Often schools and councils will tell parents that their child must go straight into year 1 and miss out on the reception year altogether.
The government is currently delaying plans to let children born between April and August go to school a year later over fears that parents will use this change to play the school application process. Places at popular schools can be in very high demand. The government is worried that some parents of summer-born children will use the change to delay entry if their child does not get a place at their chosen school. Parents could then apply again a year later, essentially doubling their chances at gaining a place in a popular school.
Read more about summer born children and the campaign to allow delayed school entry at summerbornchildren.org.