Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 13 September 2023

Summer born children (April to August) – delaying your child’s school start

Most children start school and remain within the year group appropriate to their age, however some parents may feel their child is not yet ready for school and that it would be better for them to start school a year later.

If your child is summer born, born between 1 April and 31 August, and you feel that they are not yet ready to start school, you should apply for a place to start in September 2024, after their 4th birthday.

At the same time you can apply to delay their school start until September 2025, after your child’s 5th birthday.

View our guide to delaying a school start date. This provides detailed advice about summer born children who may be considered for delayed entry to a Buckinghamshire school.

Making an application

If you wish to delay your child’s application:

  • submit an application for a school place as normal (you can always withdraw your application or decline the offer of a reception place). 15 January 2024 is the latest date for submitting your application.
  • complete the application form below to make a request for delayed admission to reception
Apply for delayed admission

Decisions on delayed entry are made by the governors of academies, free schools and church aided schools. The decision for community schools and voluntary-controlled schools is made by the local authority. In all cases the local authority (the council) will email you once a decision has been made.

If agreement is given to delay your child’s start to school, this does not mean that a place will be held for your child at your preferred school until the following year.

It means that you will be able to apply again for a place in Reception a year later.

Your child may or may not be allocated a place at your preferred school.

If the request is refused, there is no right of appeal against the decision.

You should submit an application for a primary school place no later than 15 January 2024.

If you decide to delay your child’s start to school then we would expect your child to following year, as they will probably be the oldest child in the year group.

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 or not to allow them to continue to be educated out of their chronological year group. You should ‘rehearse’ this conversation with them before making your decision.