Request to defer school entry - summer born children
Admission of children outside their normal age group - summer born children
Parents of children born in the summer term, 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020 may request that they are admitted outside of their normal age group and start reception class a full year after they could have first started school (that is, in September 2025).
While most parents are happy for their child to start school in the September following their fourth birthday, some parents will have concerns about whether their child will be ready for school at this point.
Before deciding to delay a child's entry to school, the local authority recommends that parents visit the schools they are thinking of applying to and seek advice from the head teacher and from any other professionals involved in the care of the child so that you can make an informed decision. The school will be able to explain the provision on offer to children in the reception class, how it is tailored to meet the needs of the youngest pupils and how the needs of these pupils will continue to be met as they move up through the school. They may also be able to allay any concerns parents may have about their child's readiness for school.
How to request deferred entry for a summer born child
Parents wishing to request deferred entry must apply using the application form for the child's normal year of entry, which is available online from 8 September 2023. Once you have submitted your application, you must also complete and return the . This will help the local authority make a decision about which year group your child should be educated. You should also provide evidence to support your request if possible. Once this form has been completed and returned, the Local Authority will then consider your request.
All requests for admission of children outside their normal age group must be discussed with the LA and relevant school head teacher prior to the application being made. You will be notified of the outcome of your request before 16 April 2024.
In reaching a decision, the local authority will consider the parents views, information about the child's academic, social and emotional development, where relevant medical history and views of medical professionals and they will also consider whether the child may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if they were not born prematurely. They will also take into account the views of the head teacher of the school for which the request is being made.
If your request is agreed, you must reapply for admission to reception class in September 2025 and your child's application will be considered against the relevant school's admission policy along with all other applications received on time for this year group.
If your request is refused, you can still delay your child's school start until they reach compulsory school age and make an in-year application for them to start in year 1. However, we cannot guarantee that there will be a place at your chosen school as the year 1 class may be full.
Alternatively, if you do not wish for your child to miss the reception year, you can accept the school place offered by the local authority and either take up a full time place from September 2024 or talk to the school about part time attendance or a delayed start date until later in the school year, but not later than the beginning of the summer term (i.e. April 2025).
Any parent that is refused a place has the right of appeal, however the right of appeal does not apply if a place at the school is offered but it is not the preferred age group.
The Governing Bodies of Voluntary Aided schools consider requests for deferred entry to their school. Please refer to the relevant school admissions policy for further information.
You must request deferred entry by the application closing date of 15 January 2024. Requests, received after this date will still be considered by the local authority if they are received before 16 April 2024. Any request received on or after 16 April 2024, (once a child has already been allocated a school place) will not be considered and you will be unable to defer your child's entry to reception class by a full school year, after this date, unless you can provide us with supporting evidence from a professional working with your child, for example nursery manager, educational psychologist, or early years special educational needs teacher, who supports your request for deferred entry.
If your request is agreed please note that when you come to reapply, if you decide to change any of the schools you originally requested, the relevant admission authority for those schools will need to make a decision on which year group your child should be admitted to in September 2025 i.e. reception or year one, as one admission authority cannot be required to honour the decision made by another.
If you delay your summer born child's start to school by a year, they will still be eligible for government-funded childcare until they start school.
Moving from Primary to Secondary School
You will also need to ask that your child continues to be admitted outside of their normal year of entry when they move from primary to secondary school. You should do this before the normal admissions round closes for your child's normal age group. This will be by 31 October of the year your child starts year 5, rather than year 6. This is so you know the outcome of the decision in time to apply for your child's normal age group, should your request be refused.
If your request for admission out of the normal age group at a secondary school is refused, you will have to decide between 2 options:
- accept the offer of a place in year 7 in the school year following your child's 11th birthday (meaning they would progress from year 5 to year 7)
- refuse that offer and make an in-year application for your child to be admitted to year 8 in the September following their 12th birthday (meaning they will progress from year 6 to year 8)
This means your child will have no option but to miss either year 6 or year 7. However, in deciding what is best for your child, the admission authority will consider that your child is currently being educated outside of their normal age group.