Delay your child's school start date


All children can start school full-time in the September following their fourth birthday.

You can use our age checker to find out when your child can start school.

There are several options for delaying or deferring a school start date:

  • starting school part-time instead of full-time
  • deferring your child's start date to a later term
  • delaying your child's start date by a year

Things to consider

Whether you are deferring or delaying your child's school start date, you should still submit a school place application.

It's also worth considering the impact that deferring or delaying your child's start date can have. For example they may:

  • miss out on a range of reception class activities intended to help children to settle in
  • miss out on a play-based curriculum in a school setting
  • join an already-established year group at a later time than most other children (social groups and friendships may have already formed)
  • have less time to develop physical stamina for the school day and understanding of acceptable behaviour compared to other children

If you decide to delay your child’s start to school then we would normally expect your child to be in an educational setting such as a nursery to prepare them for school the following year

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 they should continue outside of their chronological year group. You should carefully consider how to have this conversation with them before making your decision. This is particularly an issue for entry to schools that test pupils - this is currently the 13 grammar schools plus Highcrest Academy.