Why primary school wasn’t ready for my four year old

My daughter is in year three now and is fairly happy at school (most days), she’d rather be at home, but wouldn’t we all.

A child doesn’t legally have to be in school (or education otherwise) until the term after their 5th Birthday. I decided that my daughter wouldn’t start school before that point. There was no way a school setting was ready for her. I wrote this poem on the day she could have started school.

“You wanted me in school today,
I should be on my way.
But I’m fast asleep in bed, you see
I’m not going, we’re not having it your way.

I’m only 4, I want to play,
That’s all I’m doing today.
Another year to grow and shine,
A chance to be a child

For days of fun and freedom,
Out playing in the wild.

When I’m five I think I’ll thrive
And be ready for that day,
But as you see me with my teddy,
Please remember…

At just turned 4,
I’m not quite ready…”

Whatever decision you make for your child, remember you know them best. If you have a summer born child and are ever told you cant do what I did, please get in touch and I will help you as much as time allows.

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  1. My granddaughter will be 4 in August, she SHOULD start full time school in September. What was wrong with starting school at 5 or the term before that? Rising fives was what it was called. Everyone knew, no problems. Now although legally a child doesn’t have to start until the term after they are 5, unless your child has defined learning difficulties, you have a battle on your hands. It’s your decision when they start school so why is it so difficult? Should just be a tick box on the form. My granddaughter will start reception at CSA and enjoy her extra year at home.

  2. Fantastic decision made in the best interest of your child. What a lucky little lady she is to have you in her corner. They are little for such a short time why rush things!? The Summer Born Policy puts faith in parents to know what is best for THEIR child- if only more parents knew about it then less children would be being rushed into the education system before they’re ready. I read some interesting research that showed that summer born children who start school at just four-years-old are far more likely to suffer with depression and mental health issues later in life due to the pressures put on them from such a young age. Hope you and your daughter enjoy many relaxed, laughter filled days together 🙂

  3. Yes! I deferred my daughter and I’m so glad I did. She was definitely not ready at just 4 (I personally don’t think any child is) and she is a happier more confident child at school now aged 5, although we still have wobbles, those wobbles would have been much worse at age 4. No point pressuring children into stressful situations if they can be avoided. It’s a very sensitive time and long term stress can affect a child’s mental health into adulthood.

  4. I sent my Summerborn son to school at Compulsory school age where he joined reception, this was the best thing we could have done and he is now thriving and loving school! Starting the process for our June born daughter now x

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