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Delayed entry for summer-born children

While most children are educated in the year group determined by their date of birth, the School Admissions Code does allow parents to request that their child is educated outside of their normal age group, such as if the child has experienced medical problems that have had a significant impact on their development.

The Department for Education has guidance for parents and carers on summer born children starting school here:

The local authority’s policy is that pupils should be educated in the year group appropriate to their chronological age, for the following reasons:

  • The local authority is concerned with the development of the whole child. This includes physical and emotional maturity, the development of social and interactional skills and the pupil’s ability to respond to a curriculum which is age-appropriate, as well as suited to his/her abilities.
  • The local authority promotes and provides inclusive teaching. Teachers are expected to match the pupils’ learning objectives and the learning activities planned to the abilities, aptitudes and individual needs of pupils.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Programmes of Study in the National Curriculum incorporate flexibility within and between each key stage. This is necessary to support a diverse range of pupils’ needs. Where a pupil’s abilities are significantly out of step with other pupils of his/her age, individual provision should be planned. This could include addressing any special educational needs. In almost all cases, such individual provision will be made within the pupil’s own year group.
  • Pupils have an entitlement to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and the Programmes of Study of the National Curriculum, designed for their age group. The local authority and all schools within this authority have a legal duty to make sure this is available. 

Each request for a child to be taught out of year group will be looked at individually, with all available information considered. Any decision taken will be on the basis of what is in the child’s best interests. Decisions as to whether or not a child is educated out of year group will be taken by the admission authority of the school in question, so this will not always be the local authority.

Parents/carers will be notified once a decision is reached, along with the reasons for the decision. You will also be notified of the potential risks of a child being taught out of year group and it will be made clear that, when the child moves schools, the admission authority of the new school will be responsible for deciding which year group the child will be placed in. This could result in a child being required to skip or repeat a year.

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