If your child is due to start school this year, the procedures will be based on the School Admissions Code 2012. You can also read our delay factsheet which accompanies this code, and has lots of information on how to apply and the practicalities of doing so.
This code tells authorities that they must make decisions based on each individual application, taking into account whether they have faced any difficulties, including ill health. Schools are also not allowed to have a policy which does not allow parents to make these requests.
Guidance was released in 2013 to clarify this section of the code, this has since been over-ruled by an updated version. This guidance explains clearly how children develop according to when they should have been born. It also explains in detail the different ways children may be developmentally delayed, and makes it clear to Authorities that they should be considering these factors, especially if the child is now in a different year group to the one they would have been in had they been born term.
Unlike the code, the new Guidance now stresses that decisions should be made in a child’s best interests. This can be emphasised in your application.
The best way to make your application as strong as possible, is to put together a pack of evidence, including a cover letter from yourself, the Guidance and statements from healthcare and educational professionals who have been involved in the care of your child. You can find out more information on how to apply for a delay, and what to include in your pack here