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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Starting Reception Class


Children in Birmingham can go to school in the September after their fourth birthday. If your child was born between 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011, he / she will be able to start school in September 2015.

By law, you must ensure that your child is receiving suitable full-time education at the beginning of the term after their fifth birthday.

Essential Information
  • Deferred entry

    Parents/carers may defer their child’s admission to school until the beginning of the term following the child’s fifth birthday. For example, where a child’s fifth birthday falls between 1 September 2015 and 31 December 2015, the parent/carer may defer their child’s admission until the beginning of the spring term (ie 4 January 2016). Likewise, where a child’s fifth birthday falls between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2016, the parent/carer may defer their child’s admission until the beginning of the summer term (ie 13 April 2016).

    In the case of a child whose fifth birthday falls between 1 April 2015 and 31 August 2015, the child can start school at the beginning of the 2015/2016 academic year (September 2015). However, the parent/carer’s legal duty to ensure that their child is receiving suitable full-time education does not arise until the beginning of the following academic year (September 2016), when the child will have begun to be of compulsory school age.

    It is important that all parents/carers make an application for a school place at the earliest opportunity. If you delay applying until your child has reached compulsory school age, your preferred school may already be full. If you are considering deferring your child's admission to school, you should:

    • Discuss this with the head teacher following your offer of a school place.
    • Be aware that if your child’s fifth birthday falls during the 2015/2016 summer term and you wish to defer your child’s admission until the beginning of the 2016/2017 academic year (when he or she will have begun to be of compulsory school age), you will need to make a separate application for a place normally in Year 1 for that academic year. Any reception class place offered following an application made during the 2015/2016 admission round will be withdrawn if the child does not take up that place during the 2015/2016 academic year.
    • Note that, as almost all children in Birmingham start school at the start of the academic year in which they will reach the age of five, it is likely that some or all of your preferred schools will not have vacancies in Year 1 because these places will have been allocated to children who started school the previous year in the reception class.

    On very rare occasions, for example due to ill health, parents/carers may believe it to be in their child’s best interest that they defer entry and be admitted to reception class rather than Year 1 when the child becomes of compulsory school age. These requests will be considered by the admission authority of the school(s) and a decision made on the basis of the circumstances of each case.

    • Only apply for maintained schools (including those outside of Birmingham) on the Local Authority Preference Form
    • Fill in the preference form clearly (on both sides)
    • Do any of your preferred schools require another form to be completed? Check the primary education opportunities booklet located at the bottom of this page
    • Does your child have any siblings who already have a place at one of the schools you are applying for and will still be there in September 2015? If yes, make sure you put their name and date of birth on the preference form
    • Make sure you choose at least one school where your child is most likely to meet the admission criteria. This is likely to be your nearest school where one of the main admission criteria is distance
    • Put down three different schools on the preference form
    • Do not put down the same school more than once as it is counted as one application
    • Provide proof of address
    • Return the preference form by the deadline date to the School Admissions and Pupil Placement Service. (See contact detail in the essential information section)
    • If your child has a statement of special educational needs or will have a completed statement by autumn half term, please contact the SENAR Team
  • You can find helpful information from a variety of sources, including:

    • School open sessions
    • School prospectuses
    • Parents' information booklet - Primary Education, which can be downloaded from the foot of this page

    Please note: Once you have submitted your preference form you will not be able to change these preferences unless you have a genuine reason for doing so. For example, if you move home. You are only allowed to appeal for schools that are included on your Preference Form.

  • Children’s Information and Advice Service

    0121 303 1888 (option 4)

    School Admission and Pupil Placement Service
    PO Box 16513
    Birmingham B2 2FF

    Opening Hours:
    Monday to Thursday: 8.45 am to 5.15 pm
    Friday: 8.45 am to 4.15 pm
    Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed

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