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School Age in SA

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#1 Taj19

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

Just wondering if anyone has had an issue in SA with the age to start school. My son will be 5 next year 2 days after the start of term and have been told he can't start until 2nd term as he wont be 5 at the start of the term. Has this happened to anyone else. It has happened with kindy this yr (cant start as he wasn't 4 at the start of the term - missed by one day).

#2 Dionysus

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:17 PM

That's pretty harsh.  Am pretty sure the policy states that it is up to the discretion of the school if the birthday falls within the first couple of weeks.  Of course, that is the state system - Catholics and Inds have their own rules.

Will see if I can find it on the DECD website


Early Entry - Children who turn five just after the school term starts

Children that turn five within two weeks of a term commencing may be permitted to enrol and attend school provided that:

• The child does not attend the site until they turn five.
• The principal agrees to enrol the child at the site as soon as they turn five (as this decision is to be made at the principal’s discretion).
• The school is not under enrolment pressure in the year level requested.

As this is a local management decision, each individual principal is responsible for making a decision in this regard

Edited by **Mel**, 22 February 2012 - 04:23 PM.

#3 ingrid74

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

Yep, usually up to the discretion of the school. My daughter is 5 on the 27th April and this year with Easter being reasonably early means term 2 starts 23rd April. Originally they told us to wait til term 3 but for her that meant a whole additional year of school. However she was able to start kindy in term 2 last year (due to late Easter and her being 4 before term 2 started) so made it hard for them to say no.
My son has a birthday on the 3rd Feb (and other friends on the 9th and 12th Feb) and no problems with them starting in term 1.

#4 Taj19

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

Yes, it is at the discretion of the principle, just wondering if they wont budge - what else can you do. I know rules are there for a reason but when we are talking about 1 or 2 days - it seems a little silly.

#5 Taj19

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

At ingrid74 - that sounds more reasonable!

#6 Dionysus

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

What are the principal's objections?

If there is space, most Principals would jump at getting a new enrolment.

Edited to fix appalling grammar - consdiering I am a teacher LOL

Edited by **Mel**, 22 February 2012 - 04:29 PM.

#7 ingrid74

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

Any other schools you can apply at that you would be happy with?

#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:27 PM

Yep. DD1 was 5 in week 3 of term 2 and had to wait for term 3.

Honestly OP, I would be thankful he can start in term 2 as at least he will be able to go up a year with his peers. DD1 is a 6 term Reception and really didn't need it, she could have gotten by with 2-3 terms of Reception but we were at the mercy of the rules.

So you could be worse and be stuck with a term 3 start ...

#9 Taj19

Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:32 AM

As I have said, I know there are rules - and if he was the required age 3 weeks after the start of term I would accept that the rules say wait until the next term. However I think 2 days just seems silly to have to wait. There are no other schools in our area

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

They have to put the cut off somewhere ...

#11 coco100

Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

My daughter attends a Catholic school. She is an August baby so due to the way the system operates (which will change for all admissions 2014 onwards anyway) she started in term 3 when she was 4, and turned 5 6 weeks later. She did have to do 6 terms of reception.

As at current rules your child would definitely start term 2 in a catholic school as a May 31 birthday is the term 2 reception start cut off.

#12 Heather11

Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (coco100 @ 23/02/2012, 07:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My daughter attends a Catholic school. She is an August baby so due to the way the system operates (which will change for all admissions 2014 onwards anyway) she started in term 3 when she was 4, and turned 5 6 weeks later. She did have to do 6 terms of reception.

As at current rules your child would definitely start term 2 in a catholic school as a May 31 birthday is the term 2 reception start cut off.

Actually as current rules stand in the Catholic system her child would  be able to start in first term as the cut off date for this term is the end of February.  The cut off date to start in second term is the end of May.

Our school doesn't do a fourth term and so any one with a birthday after August has to wait for the following year.

OP one of the mothers at playgroup had a DD whose 5th birthday was in the second week of school term.  Her school allowed her to start as soon as she had her birthday but she couldn't go for the first week and half.

Has the Principal flat out refused to enrol your child in first term?

#13 coco100

Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:47 AM

Yes sorry heather you are right, I got the op's daughter confused with ingrid74's daughter!

#14 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

Wow it seems such a crazy system. Sounds like the change will be good.

Would do my head in if dd had to do 6 terms, and some only have to do 4, just cause of when they are born.

#15 Elemenopee

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:33 PM

QUOTE (akakabanna @ 24/02/2012, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow it seems such a crazy system. Sounds like the change will be good.

Would do my head in if dd had to do 6 terms, and some only have to do 4, just cause of when they are born.

Some only have to do 3, if they start in term 2.
OP, chat to the proncipal, I know mine would be lenient.

#16 kpingitquiet

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

Why do they have them do 6 terms (so, essentially repeating half a grade)? Seems like a waste of time for the kid and resources for the schools. Wouldn't it be more sensible to say either yes, they start in 2012, or no, can't start til 2013. Or am I reading this wrong?

#17 fairymagic

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

Kids in SA generally only do 6 terms of Reception if they start school in Term 3. They do Term 3 and Term 4 and then the whole following year equating to 6 terms of Reception. If they start in Term 2 they generally do three terms of Reception unless there is an issue which warrants them spending the following year in Reception ie =7 terms. If they start Term 1 they do 4 terms. Hope this makes sense.

We were in a similar position although not by a day or two like the OP. Unfortunately, another Catholic school in our area let a friends daughter start Term 1 even though her birthday was only the day before my DD1 but my daughter could not start till Term2 unless I had her assessed and she was deemed to be gifted.

Whilst it is frustrating, I did get the explanation from our Principal that there has to be a cutoff date. If they allow those that are a day or two past the cutoff to start, others will come along and argue what is the difference between a day or two and a week past the cutoff. If they let them start, there will be those that argue what is the difference between 1 week past or 2 and on it goes.

Either next year or the year after, there will be one enrolment date - Term 1. The cutoff will be later into the year so your child could effectively be starting school at aged 4.5 - not something I particularly agree with and am thankful my youngest is now at school. It will make it hard for those with birthdays after this cutoff as they will start school at 5.5 years so in a Reception class you will have an age range of 4.5 - 5.5 years.

You could approach the Principal and see if they are a little flexible(as they were in the case of my friends daughter) but if they aren't and as your child's birthday is after the cutoff, you will just have to wait.

#18 KylieferalMin0gue

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:53 PM

My DD turns 5 this year on the 23rd of April which is also the first day of term 2 and her first day of school.  (Very big day for DD!)  I am so thankful, as had she been born a day later none of the schools in our area would have accepted her, and she would have had to start in term 3 and done 6 terms of reception.  (I am also in SA)

I can understand your frustration, and I too would have been frustrated had DD been born on the 24th of April and so missed the cut off, but like other people have said, they have to have a cut off somewhere.

#19 FeralMeral

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:58 PM

I'm in SA and our school always worked on a week and a half into the term!  2 days is odd!

#20 *Ker*

Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:30 PM

A friends DD has her birthday 5 days after term 2 start, and our principal has already said she can start in Term 2, but not until after her birthday, so she has the first week off.

#21 PopsiclePeach

Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:38 PM

As an aside - there is nothing wrong with 6 terms of reception.  My daughter is an April baby (SA) and I am purposely starting her in school in Term 3 so she DOES do 6 terms.  I don't see any negatives - the better grounding you have in the early years certainly provides a good foundation.  Academically she would have coped just ine with 3 terms but I think it is better to be one of the older ones in class than one of the younger ones.

#22 *Ker*

Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

DD is an October baby and I was able to either start her term 4 last year, or term 1 this year. I started her in term 4, so she does 5 terms. Perfect for her and she has loved it.

#23 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

DD #2 is a mid August baby and started in term 3, on the first day of term. The idea of starting a week late just sounds ridiculous. Poor kids having to join in when all the other newbies have had a week already to settle in and get to know each other.

#24 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:49 PM

6 terms was too many for DD1. She was ready for school at 4.5. 6 terms has put her a year below where she is working. It's irritating for her to be Year 7 standard and to still be in year 6 I wish I'd been able to send her in term 1, as it will be under the new system.

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