Your application pack for delaying your child starting school

Information about what to include in your application to delay your child's first day at school.

When do I make my application?

If you have decided that you would like to apply for your child’s reception place to be delayed, it is best to raise this as soon as possible with the admission authorities. Before submitting an application, it is always advisable to talk to the headteachers of the schools you are interested in. Headteachers will have a lot of say in the ultimate decision and will be closely involved with your child’s progress at school, so it is useful to approach them and to try to build a positive relationship.

It is best to submit your application as normal for the year that they have fallen into. 

What do I put in my application pack?

You will need to include a letter requesting that your child's place is delayed until the next academic year. While the current guidance and Admissions Code make it clear that admission authorities have to consider all applications on an individual basis, regardless of whether they are supported by any evidence, you are more likely to be successful in your application if you give the authority evidence which shows that delaying reception entry will be in your child's best interests.

To support your case, it may help to include the following in your application:

  • A cover letter explaining why you think your child would benefit from being held back a year. This can detail any problems your child has encountered, their brief medical history, gestational age, any medical problems at birth and any ongoing complications.
  • Your child’s two-year check (Bayley’s assessment). This may highlight areas that can back up your case.
  • A letter of support from your child’s paediatrician/neonatal consultant/dietician to explain any concerns they have about your child starting school at this time.
  • A letter from an early years education professional who has worked with your child.
  • A letter of support from Bliss
  • The Department for Education’s current advice on school admissions for summer born babies
  • Anything else you feel maybe appropriate for your case.

You can find out more information from our delay fact sheet

The information on this page is more than two years old