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    Our son was a small for dates premature baby, unlucky to be born in August instead of September when he was due.

    He is supposed to go to Reception class this September, just turned four, but had he been born at the right time, he would still be three when he starts school.

    He is small, not yet toilet trained and his physical and social development is behind all the children who are in his school year.

    His nursery, health visitor and speech therapist advise that he should not go into Reception this September, neither does the school he is due to attend wish him to start.

    Since last October, we have been asking the LEA to allow him to defer a year, but they are insistent that he must go to school with his chronological age group, based on actual date of birth. Their only suggestion is that he starts in September 2004 by missing Reception and going straight into year one.

    We understand that there is no legal requirement for him to be in the year group based on his date of birth, but the LEA is sticking inflexibly to its policy. We are seriously worried about the impact on our son.

    Has anyone ever succeeded in deferring their child a year, how did you do it?
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