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Implications of deferred entry to school

Placement outside a child’s chronological year group must be considered to be in the best interests of the child.

The decision could potentially have long-term effects and it is therefore important to establish the reasons for the request to delay starting school.

It is also important to anticipate what will happen when your child would be old enough to transfer to secondary school, to leave statutory education and the timing of any consequent examinations.

Some points to consider:

  • Your preferred school may not have space in the following year to accommodate your child.
  • As your child matures they may realise that the rest of their class are of a different age, causing adverse emotional impact.
  • Admission authorities (e.g. academies) will be the decision makers and as they are independent of the local authority may choose to decline a deferral request.
  • As the law currently stands, when your child transfers to junior or secondary school, the admission authority for that school will make the decision on whether to allow them to continue to be educated out of their normal year group. You should ‘rehearse’ this conversation with the school before making your decision.
  • When a parent/carer delays their child(ren)(s) admission to reception at a primary school until the year after their expected admission, an application for their year 7 place and a deferred entry request must be submitted when they start year 5
  • A child applying for a selective school (e.g. grammar school) may be subject to a weighting in their selective test due to being older than other children in their cohort.
  • If your child reaches school-leaving age before they have completed their Key Stage 4 curriculum, they may decide to leave school without completing formal examinations.
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