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Tamba Press Release - Twins and Multiples School Placement Policy


A report published by Tamba shows that twins and multiple birth families are disadvantaged due to a lack of government policy on classroom placements. Every parent should have the right to have a say about whether their twins, triplets or higher order multiples should be in the same or separate class. However, survey results among adult multiples indicate that the wrong decision regarding classroom placements at primary school may have a detrimental impact on the children.

 
During the school admission process, 1 in 5 parents were informed by a school with a twin policy that if they didnt like their policy they should look elsewhere The results of a survey launched today by the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) revealed nearly a third of parents of primary school aged twins reported their school had a policy to keep twins in the same class or separate them*.
 
In 2009 a similar survey conducted by Tamba revealed that up to 20% of schools in England had a policy on keeping multiples together or apart in the classroom. This is a long-term issue for multiple birth families that isnt improving. Where a twin placement policy exists, alarmingly, 4 in 5 parents reported that these schools did not have the policy written down. Furthermore, 1 in 5 parents were told if they didnt like the schools policy then they should look elsewhere. This means that parents are potentially excluded from choosing a school based on their preferences of keeping their children together or apart within the classroom.
 
When schools were willing to discuss placement of multiples with their parents, our survey showed parents were significantly more likely to keep their twins together than to separate them. However, those schools with policies were twice as likely to separate the twins into different classes. More than 2 in 5 parents (43%) who had sent their twins to a school with a placement policy reported the school would not be flexible.
 
One parent explained why she wanted to keep her twins together in the classroom My twin boys faced separation in the classroom due to my local school having a blanket policy on placing multiple birth children in different classrooms. I believe that separate classes for the boys would have had a detrimental effect on their emotional and educational well-being Another parent explained why she wanted her twins in separate classrooms allows them to develop separate identities. Stop one feeling responsible for the other
 
Keith Reed, CEO Tamba We strongly urge the government to issue a small piece of guidance that prevents schools from having a blanket policy regarding classroom placements. Parents should be given a say on whether their children are placed in the same class or not. We know from research that we have conducted among adult multiples that placements against parents wishes can have an adverse impact on the well-being of the children.
 
A survey of 672 adult twins aged 16-50 was conducted by the Department of Twin Research (Kings College London) on behalf of Tamba. Results indicate that the wrong decision regarding classroom placements at primary school may have an impact on the children; with nearly one in five adult twins (17%) who were separated into different classrooms recalling that they suffered stress or anxiety as a result. However, twins who were put in different classes were significantly more likely to report gaining in self confidence compared with twins kept in the same class (42% and 29% respectively). It is clear from these results that the individual needs of each child should be considered when making a decision about classroom placements.
 
The Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) survey was conducted between 14th April and 7th July 2014 and collected the views of 1,176 parents. One third of parents (35%) had twins under 2 years old. These parents were not included in the main survey as they have not yet been through the schools admission process, but were asked their intentions regarding twin placement. 135 respondents had 3 year old twins who will not start until September 2015. These parents were not included in the main survey as they have not yet been through the school admission process but were asked their intentions regarding twin placements. Parents whose twins will start Reception this year (25%) were asked their views about twin placement as they have already experienced the school admission process. * 3 in 5 (61%) of parents of school age twins had sent their twins to primary schools with more than one class at entry and these parents answered the twins placement questions.
 
The second survey referred to in the press release was conducted in July 2014 by the Department of Twin Research (Kings College London) on behalf of Tamba and collected the views of 672 adult twins aged 16-50.
 

About The Twins and Multiple Birth Association (Tamba)

Tamba is the national charity dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of families with twins, triplets or more. Representing nearly 14,000 families and 200 local clubs in the UK, Tamba provides help and support to both parents and professionals to meet the unique challenges faced by multiple birth families.
 
1. For further information, please visit www.tamba.org.uk
 
2. Follow us on twitter https://twitter.com/tamba_twins_mb and facebook https://www.facebook.com/twinsandmultiplebirthsassociation.
 
3. For confidential and emotional support for families with multiples, please call Twinline which is staffed by trained volunteers that are parents of multiples and can offer support on sleeping, feeding, crying, behaviour, discipline, school issues or special needs. It is free to call from a landline on 0800 138 0509 and is open every day from 10am1pm and from 7pm10pm.
 
Tamba Press Release 29th June 2015


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