Placement out of normal age group

Sections 2.18 to 2.20B of the School Admissions Code (2021) give admission authorities instructions for how to deal with requests for children to be placed out of their age group and options for children starting school late.

All children have the right to start school (reception class) full time from the September after their fourth birthday. However, parents can opt to:

  • Start their child part time in school until they reach compulsory school age
  • Defer their child's start date completely until they reach compulsory school age (January or April start)
  • Defer their child's start date until year one (only where the child has a birthday during the summer term)
  • Request their child start a year late in September of the following year (only where the child has a birthday during the summer term). This is called delayed admission. The parent makes a request for delayed admission to the admission authority and this is considered in conjunction with the headteacher of the school, the parent and any support services involved with the child

Full details on how to make an application for any of these options and how such requests are considered is included in the guidance document available in the downloadable documents section of this page.

The guidance document also contains information for parents or teachers wishing to consider the placement of a child outside of their normal age group once the child is already attending school.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 1 September 2021

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