The Welsh School Admissions Code came into effect in July 2013. Like the English code, it is legally binding and admission authorities must follow the guidelines it sets out.
In Wales, the rules for deferring school entry are the same as in England. For delaying the code says it is ‘not normally appropriate’ for a child to be placed in a year outside of their age group, but when parents make a request it ‘should’ be considered carefully.
Like the English guidance they say that children who are gifted and talented or who have missed part of the year because of poor health are the most likely to request a delay. It also states ‘children who have experienced problems’ should be considered but it does not go into detail about what ‘problems’ this covers.
While this gives parents some options, it is important to remember:
- The use of ‘should’ means the government are advising authorities to consider requests carefully, but they are not obliged to.
- There is no reference to the effects of prematurity, unlike in the proposed revised English code.
- Welsh schools are not covered by the governmental Guidance for Summer Borns 2013.
It is not impossible to delay your child’s school entry in Wales, but there is less legislative support for parents than in England.
If you would like more advice, or are concerned about your child’s school start, please call the Bliss Helpline.