My Summer Born Premature Twins and Starting School

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.

You can read my letter here.

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.

9 thoughts on “My Summer Born Premature Twins and Starting School

  1. Good luck! You have every right to delay the starting date of your children beginning school and I hope that you are able to. As you have written, you are completely within your rights to do so, I only hope that it isn’t a long and difficult battle for you.

  2. reading through your latest posts, I fully agreed with your choice. The twins deserve the best opportunity for success!

    You know your children more than anyone, plus you have the experience within an educational environment too. It completely annoys me when people seem to forget that age does not always match the child’s ability especially when taking into consideration other factors like prematurity.

    Wishing you all the best with getting the delay x x

  3. My youngest was born two weeks early on the 29th of August and only yesterday I was watching the children line up in the playground and realised if she was born on her due date or even only a few days later she would be in year 1 instead of year 2!! The difference between her and the size of her and her classmates is evident especially when she is stood next to the children in the year below her….
    Luckily she has adapted well despite the fact she has had heart problems and is 95% deaf in one of her ears…Learning wise has caught up to children who are nearly a year older then her she still has problems but she does me proud!!
    Good luck! I hope you can get the start date delayed I wish I had the know how how to do it when my girl was starting school….

  4. My twin boys were due on 25 September & born on 1 September 2011, if they had been born 10 hours earlier they would be the youngest in their year when they start school.
    As their mommy, you know what is best for them.
    Good luck xx

  5. I was prem born in August so started school very young too, and honestly I think you’re doing the right thing. Aside from anything else, always being a bit behind is a hard start for 2 kids. Fight on tiger mummy!!!

  6. Reading and following on from my comment on your letter…

    Offering the opportunity to start at Easter or in Yr1 has to be the most ridiculous thing I read when investigating for Ethan. It helps even less for them to go into a class late when all the other children have settled – infuriating! x

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