Schools minister Nick Gibb said the Government may change the admissions process so that kids born between 1 April and 31 August will be able to start school later, and join either a Reception or Year 1 class after their fifth birthday.
“The issue of summer born children is something that we are concerned about,” Gibbs said, speaking at the British Library on Tuesday 6 December.
“I do accept there is a link between the month that your child is born and academic results, particularly in the early years of primary school and that’s why we want to give parents that option.”
Gibbs continued: “We are looking now at the impact changing the admissions code will have on the system as a whole and when the opportunity arises we will seek to change the admissions code to give parents more discretion over when their child will start school.”
Currently, kids start school in the September after they have turned four.
This means that some children may miss out on the Reception year together, and head straight into Year 1.
Parents on the HuffPost UK Facebook page were pleased by the news.
“Finally some common sense,” one mum wrote. “I’m definitely holding my little one back. He turned three in July so at preschool now. I want him to start Reception in September 2019.”
Another wrote: “My last baby was born in June. If I’m given the choice I will definitely keep her at home if she’s not ready for school. Four is so little.”
And a mum also added that it is good for parents to have the option, writing: “Very good for children who aren’t ready, but for kids who are I hope they let them go, as my daughter loves school. I put her in pre-school, now nursery, and she loves it.”
This was an issue Gibb brought up back in 2015. He wrote an open letter to encourage schools and local authorities to allow summer-born children to start in Reception aged five, if that is what parents want.
“As part of our plan to extend social justice and opportunity, we want all children to have an equal chance to excel in school regardless of when they are born,” he said at the time.
“Parents know their children best and we want to make sure summer-born children can start reception at the age of five, if their parents think it is in their best interests. We are going to make changes to admission rules - but we want councils and academies to take immediate action.”