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Delaying school entry

The term summer-born relates to all children born from 1 April to 31 August. These children reach compulsory school age on 31 August following their fifth birthday.

Delayed entry when starting school for the first time for summer-born children

Children are normally allocated to their chronological year group. Where a parent considers that their summer-born child will not be ready and would like their child to work a year behind, the admissions authority would consider such requests in line with their policy relating to admission outside the normal age group.

In order for such requests to be considered, the parent must submit their request together with an application for their child’s normal age group by the given deadline otherwise it will not be considered.

Things to consider before requesting delayed entry for summer-born children

Parents should consider that their child will be in a different year group from the one that they are supposed to be in and the long-term impacts of this.

Deferred or part-time entry offers flexibility for children who aren’t quite ready to start school or need a phased entry to give them time to settle in. Parents should consider these options which might be good alternatives to delayed entry.

Delaying entry into reception will usually involve an extra year with an early year’s provider which may not be full-time. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in a reception class in school is able to provide a co-ordinated education approach as well as the opportunity to play.

Where a parent’s request is agreed, they must make a new application as part of the main admissions round the following year. Parents should be aware that when making an application the following year the request for a place out of a chronological year group may not be to the same admission authority that agreed their original request, and as such may not have the same outcome.

Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if you are offered a place at the school but it is not in your child’s preferred age group.

Delayed entry when transferring from primary to secondary school

Where a child has had a delayed entry start to school and has not escalated into the age appropriate year group or wishes to repeat a year within their primary school they will need to request a delayed entry into secondary school.

In order that such requests (supported by evidence) can be fully considered, the parent will be asked to submit their request together with an application for the normal age group by the deadline. This makes sure that if the request is refused, the child’s application for preferred schools will not be disadvantaged and the request can be considered appropriately, including the views of the preferred schools either prior to the offer date or after. The parent will be informed of the implications of making such a request.

If the request is agreed, their application for the normal age group may be withdrawn before a place is offered and required to apply again the following year group

If their request is refused, the parent must decide whether to continue to move the child from year 5 to year 7 or to apply to a different admission authority or to apply for a year 8 place.

Admission of children outside their normal age group

The local authority believes that children can be accommodated in their chronological year group and the teachers will differentiate the teaching within the classes. Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health.

When receiving a request for an already formed year group for a child the admission authority would need to satisfy itself that among other things:

  • there is significant evidence to support that the child is gifted and talented
  • the child shows a significant delay and little progress in their personal and emotional development and social skills appropriate for a younger peer group
  • the child shows significant delay and little progress in intellectual development/educational skills across the subject areas, to an extent that it is not reasonable to expect curriculum differentiation within their correct year group to be successful
  • the child’s physical maturity is unlikely in the future to make them developmentally different from their proposed peer group in such a way as to impact negatively on their self-esteem/self-awareness
  • there is a clear understanding about why the child’s needs will be met more effectively out of their chronological year group than would be possible within and the parent(s), the school and all professionals involved agree that this is the best provision for the child

If a parent requests an entry into an already formed year group, the local authority will make decisions for community and voluntary controlled schools based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. Where preferences are expressed for own admission authority schools, the local authority will pass this request to them.

Contact information

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