It is just not right!   10 comments

As you may be aware I attended my twin grandsons birthday party on Sunday. It was to celebrate their 3rd birthdays.

We all had a lovely time especially all the children as the party was held in a soft play centre.

As I can hardly help myself – I spent some time observing the twins – Ben and Joshua playing with their best friend William.

I know William goes to the same nursery as the twins and that they are very close and enjoy doing things together (William is not 100 % sure who is who and so addresses them both as BenJosh)

I could observe this closeness and the similarities in their development, their speech, their confidence when together – but also the need for a familiar person to be within sight – secure in the knowledge that if they encountered difficulties and shouted (or cried) that person would come to their aid. I observed the physical abilities – gross motor very good, particularly ball skills – fine motor (as in eating birthday meal and playing games) still developing but about right for their age. No issues at all – with any of them.

But then I got talking with William’s mummy after some general chat – she said ‘ William is going to miss the twins when they go to school next September’

I asked why William will not be going to school at the same time. Mummy replied he is not three until October – so will go to school a year later than the boys.

Now of course I already knew that Ben and Josh will be going to full time school in September 2013. I have already commented in other posts and places that the odds will be against them

They are twins

They are boys

Their birthday is 27th August

They were born 9 weeks prem

So as I say I knew all this – but standing there talking to William’s mummy it all became a reality.

If the boys had not been born so early they would have a October birthday – just like William.

Even if born a few weeks early as twins often are. they still would have had a September birthday and would be starting school in September 14 – just like William

The twins have made amazing progress and are developing well – just like William

SO why are the twins expected to (in the governments words) be ready for school in Sept 2013 and William will have a whole extra year at nursery?


If the twins and William remain friends after September 13 when the twins go to school – I shall be continuing to observe them at birthday parties and making assessments of their progress – the three children who should all be having another 2 years in nursery and should all start school in September 14 BUT just because born early two of them( Ben and Josh) will start school a whole year earlier than their friend.


If anyone finds themselves in a similar position re school starting, I have been passed on the following links (details in comment section but posting link here so easy to find) which provides information about options available

Click for link to information about options about delayed school entry

Link to Summer Born Children

10 responses to “It is just not right!

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  1. Hi Penny, I am curious about this post as I understood that children in N.I were the youngest in Europe to go to formal schooling but now it seems I was wrong. When your grandsons got to school full-time in 2013, will this be reception or year 1? Our cut off date is 2nd July so the youngest child could be 4 on the 1st July before starting Primary 1. I thought this was bad, but to be an end of August 4 & start the following September seems cruel. Kierna

    • Hello Kierna

      They will go into reception – and should still be following the Early years foundation stage BUT it is full time , on a school time table and much more formal than nursery provision.

      I would be interested in finding out the difference in Primary I and reception classess


  2. Hi Penny I have just read about your Grandson’s. It is very sad that our system does not have more flexibility isn’t it. They should be able to take the expected birthday in cases such as these. What would happen if their mum kept them in Nursery for another year and put them straight into Year One?

    • Yes she could do this – but the jump from nursery to Year one is huge – even less play and more formal activities (lessons)

      As it is possible to take exams at ANY age – it is only our silly system that says all children must move up per birth year group.

      Whatever happened the child comes first?

      In this country it seems the system comes first

  3. I know exactly where you are coming from. We have successfully delayed our youngest daughter’s school start by a year, she’s born August 26th and was meant to start school in September 2013. She’ll now start *in Reception* next year.
    I urge you to take action if you think that a school start at compulsory school age, without missing Reception, is in the twins best interest.

    I’ve set up a support group for parents in similar situations, and there are also people from Bliss on the list:

    The twins’ chances to be granted a delay is not a bad one as they were born prematurely and would have naturally fallen into the later year had they been born full term.

    Best of luck.

    • Thank you for your reply – my daughter did ask the head about a delayed entry – and yes they could BUT they would have to go into Year One the following year instead of Reception – and the Head was not budging. In fact neither was the head of their second choice school.

      My daughter and her husband agreed that they did not want the twins to miss reception as they thought the jump from nursery to year one would be too much

      • You must realise that this is the standard reply most parents get, and the Year 1 start is presented as the only option. It is not. If your daughter feels strongly enough then it is not too late to challenge this.

        Our group has all the info and support. If the twins are not ready then they do not have to start school now, and unless a start in Year 1 is in their best interest (which clearly it is not) then your daughter has several options to take on the system. Many parents have done this, and more and more are succeeding.
        The ‘head not budging’ is not good enough, and possibly unlawful as clearly your daughter never had the opportunity to submit all the available evidence, and the decision to say ‘no’ seems to have been made by the head at a moment’s notice. Additionally it is up to the Admissions Authority to make that call, the head only has limited input unless the school is its own Admissions Authority.

      • Thank you very much for the information which I shall pass onto my daughter.

        I will also put the link your provided into my actual blog post so anyone who comes across my blog with same issues will see link without having to scroll down to the comments


      • Thanks that’s great. Another site you may want to consider linking is

        Best wishes,


      • Yes, will do – and I should have thought of that one- due to my involvement with ECA

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