As soon as the school year started I emailed our local admissions team to ask if I could speak to someone about delaying Esther and William’s school start.
Today they called me back and without asking for any information about us, about the children or their situation, about anything at all they categorically said that Esther and William may not delay their school start until September 2015.
The person I spoke to on the phone told me they can start reception in September 2014, January 2015 or Easter 2015. If they start in September 2015 then they must go straight into Year One.
Earlier this summer the DfE published guidance for school admissions of summer born children with specific mention of children born prematurely.
I have now written to the admissions team sharing the guidance that they should already be familiar with which clearly states that there is no statutory reason why my children cannot start school in 2015, when they are 5 and start in a reception class.
Esther and William were born in July 2010 but they were not supposed to be born until October 2010. If they had been born on their due date there would be absolutely no question of them starting school until September 2015.
I feel passionately that this should be taken into account when they start school.
Those three months were not an advantage to them. They were in hospital for most of that time, learning to breathe without the help of machines, learning to regulate their own body temperature, working hard to survive a day at a time.
I feel passionately that Esther and William should not be forced to start school when by their corrected age they are still three because I got sick and could not carry the pregnancy to term.
I feel passionately that they are entitled to experience education at the time that is right for them not when they are too young and too small to cope with all that school brings.
I feel passionately that just because Esther and William are bright and intelligent they should not be forced to start school before they are physically and emotionally ready.
It is not their fault that they were born too soon!!
They deserve to be given the best opportunity at making the most of their education and as the law says they can start reception year when they are 5 then I am going to fight for this to happen.
Judging by this morning’s conversation I think that there are going to be lots of obstacles along the way but I know what is best for my children and I will try my hardest to make it so.