Summer born children

If your child was born between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020, they are known as a summer born child.

Read the Department for Education’s (DfE) guidance Summer Born Children – Starting School Advice for Parents.

Summer born children do not reach compulsory school age until the following September when they would normally join year 1. This means that you have 4 options to consider when deciding how your child will start school:

Option 1: Starting reception year at the usual time

Your child can start full-time in reception year in September 2024 following their 4th birthday. Apply for their school place at the usual time.

Option 2: Starting later in reception year

Your child can delay their start in reception year until later in that academic year, but no later than the beginning of the final term in April 2025. If you wish, your child may attend part time until the end of that school year. Apply for their school place at the usual time and discuss your plans with your offered school.

Option 3: Starting from year 1

Your child can defer for a whole year and join year 1 in September 2025 following their 5th birthday. This would mean your child would miss reception year. Apply through the in-year process towards the end of the summer of 2025.

Option 4: Defer to start reception in 2025

You can request for your child to defer for a whole year and join reception class in September 2025 following their 5th birthday. You need agreement for your child to be taught outside their age group. These requests are not automatically granted.

How to make a request

  1. Read DfE’s guidance Summer Born Children – Starting School Advice for Parents.
  2. Research the school(s) you’re interested in.
  3. Place a request directly to each of your preferred school(s) in writing.
  4. Apply for your child to start school at the usual time in September 2024 in case your requests are refused.
  5. The school(s) will tell you their decision in writing.

How your request is considered

A decision will be made based on the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child by each school’s admission authority. The view of the headteacher of the school(s) concerned must be taken into account.

The school will be able to tell you who their admissions authority is. Alternatively, you can use our find a school tool to get details about the school and what type it is. We are the admissions authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. Voluntary-aided, foundation and academy schools are their own admissions authority.

What happens next

If your request is agreed:

  • Withdraw your current application for September 2024.
  • Contact in November 2024 to request a summer born application form for your child to start Reception in September 2025. You are required to enclose your written agreement from each named school with your application.

If your request is refused:

  • You can consider options 1, 2 or 3 above.

For help or advice, please contact

Things to consider

Parents should consider the following carefully before they decide to request deferred entry to reception year.

  • Your written agreement does not guarantee your child a place at the school. We process deferred applications in the same way as all applications and offers are made based on the school(s) oversubscription criteria.
  • If you are not offered a place at one of your preferred schools, you are not guaranteed a reception place in an alternative school.
  • The DfE have confirmed that generally children do not need to delay their admission to school or be educated outside of their age group because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The DfE have confirmed they do not intend to change legislation to give parents the right to decide which year their summer born child will start school. Making a request to defer entry will remain a requirement.
  • You are not expected to include evidence to support your request to defer entry but where you do, it must be specific to your child.
  • You will need to complete a similar process when children who are taught out of year group transfer to secondary school, or to junior school if they attend an infant school.
  • Parents should consider the possible implications for their child when they are educated out of their normal age group. For further information, please refer to the DfE’s guidance Summer Born Children – Starting School Advice for Parents or contact