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Whose entry to primary school is deferred or delayed? Evidence from the English National Pupil Database

Campbell, Tammy (2023) Whose entry to primary school is deferred or delayed? Evidence from the English National Pupil Database. Review of Education, 11 (2). ISSN 2049-6613

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Identification Number: 10.1002/rev3.3409

Abstract

This paper explores national patterns of entry to primary school in England over the past decade. It focuses on deferred entry (where children begin Reception with the cohort below) and delayed entry (where children miss some or all of Reception, and enter Year 1 with their ‘normal’ cohort). In 2014, the Department for Education's (DfE's) guidance began to be updated to clarify the ‘right to request’ later entry. Analyses of the National Pupil Database (NPD) show a rise in deferral rates from this point. However, rates of delayed entry remain fairly steady after this time. Variation by local authority in deferral rates has become wider over recent years. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), as recorded in the NPD, are now much more likely to defer entry, alongside those who would be youngest in their ‘normal’ cohort (August-borns). Children from families eligible for free school meals (FSM) and from families speaking English as an Additional Language (EAL) are less likely. When these factors are interacted, children with SEND from more advantaged families (proxied by FSM and EAL) are most likely. Alongside additional inequalities in patterns of deferral and delay, these findings interrogate the DfE's assessment that ‘good progress has been made’ in terms of ‘right to request’ later school entry, and that, ‘the system is now working well’. They also raise wider questions around the accessibility, fairness and efficacy of such quasi-policies which confer a ‘right to request’ aspects of a child's education, rather than enshrining them through legislation as an unconditional, mainstreamed option for all.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://bera-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/jour...
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2023 11:42
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2023 01:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/119618

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