Furious parents fight plans to hold back their children in reception classes for a second year 

Furious parents are embroiled in a playground war after being told some of their children will be held back in reception classes for a year. 

In a ‘shock’ letter, the parents of 19 reception children at Brough Primary School in Hull, were told their child ‘would benefit’ from remaining in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in September.

Now outraged families claim the letters have caused a divide as some parents boast ‘they’ve got the bright ones’ after being told their children will progress to Year One. 

Some 19 reception children at Brough Primary School in Hull will be remaining in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in September

Parents have vowed to fight the plans which will see their five and six-year-olds in a mixed class working alongside four-year-olds starting school in September.

They will not transition from the EYFS Curriculum to the National Curriculum as they would have done in a Year One class, but will instead work on a mix of both.

Parents say they have a number of concerns and have been left ‘angry and frustrated’ at the lack of consultation.  

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘We don’t believe this is the best decision for any of the children.

‘It is all about funding and the fact that for September the intake for the new reception class is lower than it has been in the past.

‘We’ve been told that they can’t have more than 30 children on their register for Year One, so instead of having two classes in Year One, as it was in foundation, they have looked at their year group of 49 and decided to hold 19 back.

‘Yet their reason is that these 19 need ‘extra nurturing’, but we find it a little bit strange that it is exactly 19 that need more help, how convenient is that? 

‘Our children were looking forward to the structure of Year one, they need that desk and that table environment.

‘My child needs more stimulation. We know that some of the children joining in September will have only just turned four, yet some of our children will be six, and at that age that gap is too large.’

The letter sent to parents informs them that their child will be able to move up to Year One in the spring term next year, so they are ‘ready’ for Year Two.

The parent said: ‘This will cause disruption for the Year One class of children who are allowed to go up in September because when ours move up in the spring term the classes will have to be merged again.’   

The parent added: ‘We are angry about the way it has been addressed. Receiving a letter in our child’s book bag on Friday has only caused frustration and worry.

‘It’s also caused a divide in the playground. You hear parents saying, “Oh we’ve got the bright ones.”

‘To me, if there’s 19 children who need more help, then that suggests a flaw in the teaching of the whole year.’

Headteacher Helen Shepherdson said the proposals are now being reviewed following complaints from parents.

She said: ‘After careful consideration, it was decided to hold three classes across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Year 1 in the autumn term, instead of the current four classes.

‘The decision was based on a number of different factors, including a slight drop in the number of children starting the reception class in September, but the main consideration was that we feel a number of children would benefit from being in a mixed class, easing their transition from the EYFS to the National Curriculum.

‘This is a system which works very well in many other schools, including good and outstanding schools across the country.

‘However, following meetings with parents this week it has been agreed to review the proposals and we will contact parents regarding the outcome early next week.’ 

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