Admissions for summer-born children

1. Starting school - the law

Children reach compulsory school age at the start of the school term following their fifth birthday. This means they must attend school on a full time basis from this point. Children are able to start school in the September before their fifth birthday. If your child was born between 1 April and 31 August, they don’t have to start school until a full year after they could have started. If you defer their start date, they will normally start in Year 1 but you can request that they start in the Reception year.


Flexible options already exist for parents who feel their child is not ready for full-time attendance such as part-time attendance or starting later in the school year. You can discuss your options with the school once the school placement is finalised.

Whilst parents can ask for their child to be admitted outside their normal age group, they do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular age group.

Admissions authorities must decide whether to agree or refuse a request for this type of deferred admission on the basis of:
• the child’s needs
• and must take into account the views of the head teacher of the school applied for.


They must make their decision in the best interests of the child.

Department for Education Guidance ‘Advice on the admission of summer born children’

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