School placements have just been announced for primary schools in England and Wales. If you're looking to appeal the decision about which school your twins or triplets have been allocated in September 2016, then make sure you read this page first.
If you're confused by the appeals process, or unsure if you should be appealing- we have a free webinar which will help answer your questions. This highly informative online seminar is written and delivered by our two Honorary Consultants for Primary School Education, Anne Thomas and Maggie Dorsman.
The aim of this webinar is:
· To provide information to parents who may need to make an appeal for a school place or places for one or all of their multiples
· To clarify what information Tamba will require from parents in order to support their appeal
Tamba has two voluntary honorary consultants for education who can offer support and advice for eligible parents wanting to appeal. However, please make sure you listen to the webinar first to determine if you're eligible and start collating your evidence before you contact Tamba requesting a school appeals referral.
Please note that Tamba can not help if the reason for your appeal is that the allocated school has poor SATS results or is ‘in special measures.’ Unfortunately, from our experience, we know this reason will not be accepted by the appeals panel. We're sorry as we acknowledge that this might be disappointing to some parents. If you do want to appeal for this reason, you may like to seek advice from ACE education.
School admissions pack
Tamba produces a Schools Admissions Pack to help you to decide how to choose the most appropriate school for you and your children. It provides a range of resources including supporting letters from Tamba to help maximise your chances of obtaining places in the school or schools of your choice. We also want to try and ensure that the school or schools you choose give you a say in how your children are taught and, if there is more than one reception class, in whether they are taught together or apart.
The pack has also information on deferring the start if you think your multiples are not yet ready for school: language delay and delays in walking, development of gross and fine motor skills and toilet training are all features regularly encountered in multiple birth children. Over time they are likely to overcome many of these things, but it may well be appropriate to defer or delay starting school so that children have the extra time they need to master the full range of preschool skills and experiences.
After a decade of Tamba campaigning, a new school admissions code for England has been published, which includes a provision to stop twins, triplets or more being split up between separate primary schools against their will. Until fairly recently, Tamba Consultants regularly dealt with referrals from parents who had been offered places in different schools for their multiples.This is fortunately now a rare occurrence, due mainly to the inclusion of multiple birth children as ‘excepted children’ – children who may be admitted to school even if this exceeds the 30 infant class size limit. Further information on school admissions can be found in our document about the eductational needs and experiences of multiple birth children. The Department of Education has also published advice on the admission of summer born children, for those who are thinking about delaying or deferring their starting year. Maggie Dorsman, one of our honorary consultants, has kindly put together this information on Part Time Attendance, Deferring and Delaying School Start.
If your babies were born prematurely Bliss have an excellent page regarding delaying/deferring school entry that you may also find useful: http://www.bliss.org.uk/starting-primary-school
Starting school is a major change for all children and it is important to prepare them as much as possible. It is a good idea to talk to your children about what will happen at school, including how they will each make new friends. Talk to the children individually, so that they can voice individual fears and expectations.
If the children will be separated at school, let them practise being apart, for example, by attending separate sessions at playgroup or different days at nursery. Stress the positive aspects of separation without giving them the impression that you are hiding some nasty surprise. You’ll also need to get them used to doing things on their own (going to the toilet, for example) so that they become used to being separated. Make sure they can dress themselves without each other’s help.
It can be tough working out how and what type of placement is best for your children. If you feel you need more specialised help our consultants can help guide you through the process.
Also worth a read is the Tamba report that looks at the incidence of splitting twins across separate schools and the impact of classroom placement decisions on multiple birth children and includes data from the Twins Environment Development Study at Kings College. It also looks at families' access to different types of play facilities and delaying starting school.
Become a Tamba member today to listen to Tamba honorary consultant for primary education, Anne Thomas, discuss what you should take into account when choosing a primary school for your multiples.
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