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Primary and secondary admissions prospectus

Apply for a primary school place

Most children start primary school in the September after their fourth birthday. This means they will turn 5 during their first school year.

You can learn more about the school starting age on the government website.

Applications to start primary school in September 2022

If you have not yet applied for a Reception place for your child to start in September 2022, then you must contact us and we will send you an In-Year Application to complete and return to School Admissions.

Contact us if you have any questions or if you have not applied for a place for your child.

 

Applications to start primary school in September 2023

If your child was born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019, you should apply for a primary school place in late 2022. You child will start school in September 2023.

You can ask to delay your place until September 2024 if your child was born between April and August.

Applications will open in November 2022. We will send you a letter to remind you and tell you how to apply.

As part of your application, you will be able to select up to 3 preferred schools. We recommend that you choose 3 different schools in your preferences to give you the best chance of being offered a place at one of your preferred schools. If you are unsure which 3 schools to choose, arrange visits to individual schools to help you decide before the applications open. School contact details are available on our find schools page.

Learn more about choosing a school

 

Children born between April and August (summer born)

If your child was born between April to August there are some options available to you as noted below:

Deferred entry

You have a right to defer your child's entry to school until the start of term beginning immediately after your child has reached compulsory school age. However, places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.

If you are considering applying for deferred entry, you should think about what implications this will have on your child and discuss your child's situation with relevant professionals. You may want to think about possible benefits of keeping your child in the early setting and balance these against the possible difficulties of your child joining an established group of children in a school reception class part way through the school year.

If you wish to defer your child's entry, when you are offered a school place for your child you must discuss their start date directly with the school.

When your summer-born child can start school

Parents of summer-born children (born between 1 April and 31 August) may request that they start reception a year later. This is called delayed admission. This is an important decision, and a number of factors need to be taken into consideration. Please make sure you read this important information carefully 

If you would like to apply for delayed admission you must still make an on-time school place application (where possible) and indicate on the form your wishes to delay your child's admission at the same time. We would recommend that you include your catchment or nearest school as one of your preferences.

In this situation, the school admission authority (this could still be LA or the Trust if the school preferred is an Academy) is responsible for making the decision on which year group a child should be admitted to even though it is you, the parent, who has taken the decision to delay their child's start at school. Paragraph 2.17A of the Code requires an admission authority to make a decision about which of reception or year 1 the child is admitted to on the basis of the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child concerned. The Code requires admission authorities to make decisions in the best interests of the child in any circumstances where the parent requests admissions outside the child's normal age group - this includes instances where the application is made outside of the authority's published deadlines.

Alternatively, by delaying your child's start until the September after their 5th birthday, you could still make an in-year application for a year 1 place for your child that year. In that case your child would miss reception year and be taught in their normal year group.

There is no statutory barrier to children being admitted outside their normal age group, but you do not have the right to insist that your child is admitted to a particular age group. This decision is for the admission authority - whether that is the Local Authority or the School/Academy Trust.

Parental requests to multiple admissions authorities

An admission authority is not required to honour a decision made by another admission authority on admission out of the normal age group. We would therefore encourage parents to make a request for an outside normal year group place at each school to which they intend to apply for a place. It is possible that different admission authorities may come to different conclusions and do so for good reasons. It is also possible that different head teachers who work for the same admission authority may disagree. Some schools may be more equipped than others to support a particular summer born child's needs if he or she starts school before compulsory school age.

Moving children to their normal age group

Once a child has been admitted to a school it is for the headteacher to decide how best to educate them. In some cases, it may be appropriate for a child who has been admitted out of their normal age group to be moved to their normal age group, but in others it will not. Any decision to move a child to a different age group should be based on sound educational reasons and made by the headteacher in consultation with the parents. In some primary schools, of course, children are educated in mixed age classes.

The decision making process

Step 1

Parent contacts either a school or the LA School Admissions team directly and requests a delayed entry for their child into their chronological year group due to being a 'Summer born' child (date of birth 1 April to 31 August). The contacted school must inform the LA School Admissions team as soon as possible.

Step 2

The LA School Admissions team informs parent of the process and issues Department for Education advice note to ensure the parent completely understand the process and implications of the decision to request a delayed entry for their child. Parent also advised that they must submit an on-time application, where possible, listing their preferred school(s) and encouraged to visit all schools. Read government guidance about school admissions for children born in the summer.

Step 3

Parent submits a main round application. Subject to the school(s) listed, the LA School Admissions team will either arrange a 'panel' meeting with the headteacher(s) of the school(s) listed within the application (only if community maintained schools listed). If the school(s) are academies, the application and request will be sent to the admission authority / headteacher of the academy school(s) listed to consider request separately.

Step 4a

LA School Admissions Team facilitated panel meeting takes place to consider request with preference schools.

Step 4b

Admission authority school(s) holds a panel meeting to consider request with preference school(s).

Step 5a

Where a parent's request for the delayed start has not been agreed, a letter will be issued giving the reasons for their decision and to explain the next steps, namely:

  • you are not required to send your child to school until the child reaches compulsory school age
  • it is then for you to confirm/decline this offer and if accepting the offer, to discuss any further arrangements with the school concerned (such as part-time attendance initially or deferring entry later in the school year) if you decide to send your child to school and not delay
  • refuse it and make an in-year application for admission to year one for the September following the child's fifth birthday
Step 5b

Where a parent's application for the delayed start is agreed, a letter will be issued to explain next steps, namely:

  • parent withdraws their application for the normal age group before a place is offered
  • parent must make a new application for a school place during the main admissions round the following year

This does not guarantee a place in a particular school in the next school year.

  • this decision does not bind any other admissions authorities and so the parent will need to apply separately for education out of year group to any other schools
  • the parent will need to re-apply for education out of year group ahead of moving to a new school, for example transition to secondary schools

We would advise you to begin conversations with these schools early and to apply for outside year group education when the child's original year group would be applying to transition to a new school.

Step 6

Parents whose request for delayed entry is refused have no statutory right to appeal this decision. 

If a parent is unhappy with the way a local authority or maintained school has handled their complaint, the parent may then refer their complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman 

If a parent is unhappy with the way an academy has handled their complaint, they may complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. 


If your child was born between April and August 2019

If your child was born between April and August 2019 and you want to delay their start date until September 2024, you need to complete an application for September 2023 and let us know in your application that you would like to delay.

Learn more about summer born children