Deferring or delaying school entry - long term considerations

If your child was born premature and you decide to defer or delay when your child starts school, find out more about the long term considerations.


Learning in the reception class, which has a more play-centred curriculum, can be very important for your child at this early stage in their development.

Joining an already established year group at a later time than most of the other children in their class could be difficult for your child. In some cases, social circles and friendships will have already started to take shape.


If, at a later date, you feel that your child is ready to join their chronological age group, some schools or local authorities may not allow this.

The Advice on the admission of summer born children 2014 says that the headteacher may feel it is best for the child to rejoin their chronological age group at a later stage, and they can make this change if there are sound educational reasons for doing so.

While parents will be closely consulted, the final decision will rest with the headteacher. Parents can complain but have no right to appeal if they disagree with the decision.

You may be asked to sign a contract stating that you will not be allowed to start legal action against the admission authority at a later date if you are unhappy with your child’s progress.
All statutory assessments will take place in the child’s ‘adopted’ year group.

When your child changes school (for example, moving up to secondary school), you may have to apply to delay again as this doesn’t necessarily move with your child. Some admission authorities may require that your child goes straight into their chronological age group.

At the age of 16, your child will be legally allowed to leave school. This is the school year that most children sit their GCSEs. While the school will continue to receive funding for your child in year 11, your child cannot be forced to attend.

Tiffany's story

Tiffany's daughter Ella was born in the summer months at just 25 weeks. This is Tiffany's story about how she made the decision to delay Ella's start in reception year until she turned five.
Read more
Ella Delayed Primary School Entry

The information on this page is more than two years old