Starting School 2019

OPTIONS        HOW DO I HAVE MY SAY?         FAQs           THE DECISION

Owhiro Bay School is considering having set start dates for groups of new entrants starting school in 2019.  This is known as Cohort Entry.  Cohort entry means new entrants would start in groups at points in the year rather than being able to start on the day of their 5th birthday.

Parents still decide if their child is ready to start school and can select a starting dating that best suits their child as long as the child is enrolled and attending school by the time they are six years old.

How would cohort entry work at Owhiro Bay School?

The Owhiro bay School Board of Trustees are considering two different options under the current law and two different options if the law changes.  The board will decide the best approach for the school using the feedback gathered from the community. The different options are outlined below.

Option 1 – Entry at the start of term closest to the child’s 5th birthday

Option 1 would see groups of tamariki (cohorts) starting school at the start of the term closest to the child’s 5th birthday, or later if their parents decide.

Tamariki who’s birthday fall before the mid point of the term, can start at the beginning of the term. This means that if parents deem their child is ready they may start weeks before they turn 5.

Tamariki with birthdays that fall after the mid point of the term will wait until following term or later if their parents decide if their child isn’t ready.

The mid points are calculated between the start of 2 terms, and will be published in the education Gazette and on the ministry of Education’s website.

For example: (using the term dates for 2019)

Entry dates Birthdays that fall between:
Term 1 – 4 Feb 2019 14 Dec 2018 – 20 Mar 2019
Term 2 – 29 April 2019 21 Mar 2019 – 10 Jun 2019
Term 3 – 23 July 2019 11 Jun 2019 – 02 Sep 2019
Term 4 – 14 Oct 2019 03 Sep 2019 – 11 Dec 2019
Term 1 2020 – 29 Jan 2020 12 Dec 2019 – 19 Mar 2020

Option 2 – No Change – Continuous Entry

Continuous Entry sees tamariki starting school on a date selected by their parents on or after the child’s 5th birthday.   New entrants will start as individuals rather than in coordinated groups.  New entrant teachers will work to ease the student into school life and support the student to foster early relationships while maintaining the momentum of the learning for the rest of the class.

What at the benefits of Cohort Entry?

Having tamariki start in groups (cohorts) will increase the ability of Owhiro Bay School to plan and put in place the best possible school entry arrangements to meet the needs of our tamariki and whanau.  It will allow for new entrant teachers and the school to prepare for groups of tamariki (and groups of new parents) arriving on a specific date rather than individuals on an ad hoc basis through the year.

We know that having set starting dates is a common practice in other countries and evidence shows that starting school in a group with other tamariki helps them build relationships and supports a smoother entry to school life.

Having set starting dates for school allows for more coordination between early childhood education (ECE) providers.  Together the ECE provider and school can prepare a group of tamariki as the start dates are known in advance.

Parents can still decide if their child is ready to start school and could choose a later cohort entry date to best suit their child if they felt their child was not ready to start school.

What are the impacts of cohort entry?

Some tamariki, depending on when their birthday falls will have to wait until they can start school. If a child’s birthday falls after the mid term dates they will need to wait until the next term to start school.

As a result there is likely to be added costs for parents to keep their tamariki in early childhood education until the next intake – however this maybe offset with reduced after school care and school holiday programmes.

Adopting cohort entry will also result in groups of tamariki leaving ECE providers at once and may affect enrolment patterns in those contributing Early Childhood Education providers. ECE providers may have to invest time into developing new programmes for older children.

Did cohort entry change when the Government changed?

The Minster of Education has proposed changes to the Education Amendment Act 2017 which allowed the introduction of Cohort Entry.  The change, if approved, would see entry to school being limited to children 5 years and older.  These changes have not yet been approved.  Should this change occur the Board of Trustees is considering the following options:

Option 3 (if the law changes) – Entry at the start of term after 5th Birthday

Option 3 would see groups of tamariki (cohorts) starting school at the start of the term after they have turned 5 years old. For example: (using the term dates for 2019)

Entry dates Birthdays that fall between:
Term 1 – 4 Feb Jan 2019 14 Dec 2018 – 4 Feb 2019
Term 2 – 29 April 2019 5 Feb 2019 – 29 April 2019
Term 3 – 23 July 2019 30 April 2019 – 23 July 2019
Term 4 – 14 Oct 2019 24 July 2019 – 14 Oct 2019
Term 1 2020 – 29* Jan 2020 15 Oct 2019 – 29* Jan 2020

*provisional date for 2020 – TBC

Option 4 (if the law changes) – Two Entry points (start of term and mid-point)

Option 2 would see two groups of tamariki starting in each term after they have turned 5 years old.   The mid points are calculated between the start of 2 terms and will be published in the education Gazette and on the Ministry of Education’s website. For example:

Entry dates  Birthdays that fall between:
Term 1 – 4 Feb 2019 14 Dec 2018 – 4 Feb 2019
Midpoint Term 1 – 20 Mar 2019 5 Feb 2019 – 20 Mar
Term 2 – 29 April 2019 21 Mar 2019 – 29 April
Midpoint Term 1 – 10 Jun 2019 30 Apr – 10 Jun
Term 3 – 23 July 2019 11 Jun – 23 July
Midpoint Term 1 – 02 Sept 2019 24 Jul – 02 Sep
Term 4 – 14 Oct 03 Sep – 14 Oct
Midpoint Term 1 – 11 Dec 2019 15 Oct – 11 Dec
Term 1 2020 29* Jan 2020 12 Dec 2019 – 29* Jan 2020
Midpoint Term 1 – 19 Mar 2020 30 Jan 2020 – 19 Mar 2020


*provisional start date for 2020 – TBC

How do I have my say?

It is important that you have your say and share your view with the school.  This can be done by completing the online survey, emailing your comments or sharing your views at the school meeting.

To complete the survey, click here it will take less than 5 minutes to complete. www.owhiro.school.nz/startingschoolsurvey

You can send us your thoughts and comments via Email – startingschool@owhiro.school.nz

Come and join us for a cuppa and a meeting at school on Wednesday 4 July, 7pm at Owhiro Bay School.  We are working to have childcare available in an adjacent classroom.  Please RSVP on startingschool@owhiro.school.nz for childcare, and catering purposes.

The Decision

The Owhiro Bay School Board of Trustees will gather the information and consider it along with any changes to the law.  A decision will be made at the end of Term 3 and will be published during Term 4.  Changes if any will be implemented in Term 1 2019.

Where do I get more information?

Checkout our Frequently Asked Questions for more information or email us with your specific question.
Email – startingschool@owhiro.school.nz

Community Meeting

Wednesday 4 July, 7pm at Owhiro Bay School.  Please RSVP for Childcare, and catering purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cohort entry?

Cohort Entry means that tamariki would start school in groups on set dates rather than on their 5th Birthday.

Hasn’t this all changed with the Government?

The current law allows for schools to adopt Cohort Entry policies after consulting with their community.  Under the current law students may start school before they are 5 years old.  The Minister of Education has proposed changes that would limit school entry to 5 year olds and older.  These changes have not yet been approved.

If the law changes does this make this consultation redundant?

When the board started the consultation, we were aware of the possible changes and have developed options that would work under either the current law or the proposed changes.

Why is the school looking at this?

There are benefits for both our tamariki and our school.  Under a cohort entry policy Children will start school alongside other children allowing them to build relationship with other children in the similar situation.  The aim is to help children settle into school life and routines better.

Having set starting dates allows for the school plan for groups of new entrants, in some situations having improved transition plans from Early Childhood Education providers.

When will this start

If the decision is made to go ahead with Cohort Entry, it would come into effect in Term 1, 2019.

Who can have their say?

Anyone can have their say on this proposal, the Board of Trustees is interested in the views of the community to enable them to make an informed decision. That includes staff at Early Childhood

centres and interested community members.

Are there any exemptions to waiting until the next term?

This will depend on the option selected, students may start before their 5th birthday if they turn 5 before the mid point of the term or if the law changes they may have the option to start in the mid term after their birthday.   In all cases parents can still decide is starting school is best for their child.

There maybe some exceptions, where a student requires a staggered start to school due to additional support required this would be decided on a case by case situation.

Can I select a later cohort if I feel my child isn’t ready to start school?

Yes, parents are in the best place to judge if their child is ready to start school and can select later start date.

Does this effect children transferring schools?

No, once a student is enrolled at a school and then transfers, they are start school on the agreed date.

Does this effect my ECE funding (20hrs)?

No, ECE funding is varied until children turn 6 or they enrol in school.

My children are already at school – does this affect them? 

No students already at school are not affected, but you are welcome to still have your say on this proposal

Can I still have a say on the policy?

Yes, this is a community consultation everyone is welcome to have their say.  The ultimate decision still remains with the Board of Trustees.

How will I find out what is decided?

The decision will be published on the school website and be sent to those people who have made direct contact with the school either via email or at the pubic meeting. Information will also be published at the School Fair in November

What is the process for adopting cohort entry?

The Board of Trustees will make the decision and then provide one terms notice to the community and advise the Ministry of Education.