Deferred, Delayed & Accelerated Admissions

Occasionally parents may consider that their child needs to be taught outside their chronological year group.  Generally speaking it is recommended that children are educated within the appropriate year group for their age however, individual cases can be considered in line with the delayed accelerated admissions policy.  Most requests to delay a child's admission to school come from the parent/carers of Summer Born Children.

As mentioned in the delayed accelerated admissions policy cases will only be agreed where exceptional circumstances apply and professional agreement has been reached that joining a lower year group is in the best interests of the child.

Children aged five

Legally, children do not have to be in full time education until the term following their fifth birthday. This is the compulsory school age. Parents/carers can request that the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches age five in that school year.

Deferred admission

Parents/carers can request that their child attends part-time until they reach compulsory school age, or that the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until later in the same academic year. Parents/carers should indicate at the time of accepting a place that they wish to defer their child’s admission until later in the school year. Deferral dates are set out as follows:

Child's fifth birthday Can defer until If I defer which class will my child join?
1 September - 31 December January Reception Class
1 January - 31 March April Reception Class

Parents/carers are advised to consider carefully the implications of deferring their child’s start date to school. Some parents/carers consider that it is better for their child to start school at the same time as other children in their age group, i.e. from the beginning of the academic year (September) to help their child settle and adjust to school life.

If parent/carers do not take up the reserved place during the school year and by the start of Term 5 at the latest the offered place will be withdrawn and they will need to reapply for a year 1 place for the following academic year.

Delayed admission

Parents/carers may request that their child is admitted outside of their normal age group. It is the responsibility of the admission authority of the school to make the decision on the basis of the circumstances of each case. Factors considered by an admission authority when considering admission outside the normal age group include:

  • the needs of the child and the possible impact on them of entering Year 1 without having first attended the reception class
  • in the case of children born prematurely, the fact that they may have naturally fallen into the lower age group if they had been born on their expected date of birth
  • whether delayed social, emotional or physical development is adversely affecting their readiness for school

Parents/carers should think very carefully about the implications of admitting their child outside the normal age group and ensure that joining a lower year group is in the best interests of the child. Note: The local authority is the admission authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. The governing body is the admission authority for foundation and voluntary aided schools, and the academy trust is the admission authority for academies and free schools.

Admission to summer born children/delaying when your child starts primary school

Please note that parent/carers of Summer born children do not have a right to enter their child into a different year group, they simply have a right to request that their child is considered for education outside their year group.

Parents/carers may request for their child to be held back a school year (to start school in the September after their fifth birthday) if the following both apply:

  • they were born in the summer (1 April to 31 August)
  • you don’t think they’re ready to start in the September after they turn four

To request a delayed admission, parents/carers must apply for a place during the standard application process timeline for their child’s chronological age group, stating their reasons for requesting delayed entry to the following year. This can be done by contacting the Admissions and Transport Team. It is for own admission authority schools to make the final decision, i.e. academies and voluntary aided schools. In respect of community and voluntary controlled schools, the local authority will make a decision in consultation with the head teacher.

Without professional agreement to a delayed admission any Summer born child who did not start school when they were eligible to do so would be joining a school in Year 1 and not in Reception.  Parents would have to make a separate In-Year application for their child and there is no guarantee that a place at a preferred school will be available.

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