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Summer-born Wolverhampton boy refused school start delay – BBC

Parents of a boy who turned four just a week ago say they feel forced to send him to school after it refused their request to start Reception next year.
Rajbeer Sandhu's son has developmental delays, thought to be due to a temporary hearing problem.
The family applied to Manor Multi Academy Trust in Wolverhampton, wanting their son to join Reception in 2023.
However, the trust said he would have to start in Year One. It told the BBC it supported the needs of all children.
David Coles, its chair, said the school worked closely "with a range of professionals" and made "all reasonable adjustments" to support any child's ongoing needs.
Mr Sandhu said his son was "not yet mature enough or ready to attend school".
"He is still not talking and is delayed severely, because he is unable to verbally communicate."
Legally children do not have to be in full-time education until after they turn five, but schools have to make provision – through Reception classes – for all children from the September following their fourth birthday.
The Department for Education (DfE) said parents of summer-born children – those born between April and the end of August – had the right to request entry into Reception at age five.
However, its admissions guidance also states it is for schools to decide whether to accept them into Reception or Year One, taking into account the best interests of the child.
In 2015, the government outlined plans to change legislation to guarantee the rights of parents to make that decision rather than schools.
The guidance for parents on the DfE website still champions that intention.
But in July, Baroness Barran, minister for the school system, said legislation would no longer be pursued and instead would remain under review by the government.
That news came as a blow to parents like Mr Sandhu, who said he felt forced into sending his son to Reception this week.
"If he was born four days later he would have been in the following year group anyway," he said.
"Medical professionals agree that he will benefit from being given extra time to catch up."
The DfE said the u-turn over legislation was because the system was now working "much better than it was in 2015".
Its figures said about nine in 10 requests from parents of summer-born children to start a year later were now approved by schools and councils.
Although in the Sandhu family's case the school gave them the option to join Reception later in the academic year, Mr Sandhu said he did not believe his son would make enough progress developmentally for that option to make a difference.
The parents' request was supported by a speech and language therapist, who said she believed deferring by a full year would be of "great benefit" to their son, while missing Reception and joining in Year One would be "detrimental to his development and wellbeing".
Mr Sandhu said that meant starting school this week was the least terrible option on the table, even though the prospect gave him and his wife "sleepless nights".
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Frustration over summer pupil requests
School delay call for summer-born pupils
Ministers pushed over 'summer-borns'
School starting age 'should change'
Manor Multi Academy Trust
Department for Education
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