Legally a child does not have to be educated until the term after their fifth birthday. Parents may feel their child is young for their age, or there may be other reasons for wanting to delay their entry to school. This is called deferred entry.
Paragraph 2.17 of the School Admissions Code allows parents to request that their child is educated outside of their normal age group; for example, if their child is gifted or talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday, and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group - to Reception rather than Year 1.
In these situations, applications for a place should be made in the normal way. The Authority recommends that the parent/carer contact the headteacher of the preferred school to discuss the matter in more detail prior to submitting the application. If the parent/carer then decides to defer entry, a place will be reserved until the child starts as long as they start within the academic year. The Authority cannot allocate it to another child. Parents/carers cannot assume however that an application for a deferred entry place will be successful. It will be considered alongside all other applications in accordance with the general City Council admissions policy.
Where a parent/carer of a summer born child wishes to defer entry until the following academic year, and wishes their child to start in reception this will mean the child is taught out of their normal age group. They should still make an application at the usual time but must notify us on the application that they will wish to request a place out of the normal age group. Parents/carers will then be contacted to discuss the matter further and should note there are no guarantees that such applications will be successful, but that each case will be considered individually. Any decision taken will be on the basis of what is in the child's best interests. Decisions as to whether or not a child is educated out of year group will be made by the admission authority of the school in question; this will not always be the local authority.
Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group. The application will be considered alongside all other applications in accordance with the Coventry co-ordinated admissions scheme. Where the application is refused the parent has a right to an appeal against the refusal of a place, unless the child has been offered a place in another year group in the school.
Parents can request that their child attends part time until the child reaches compulsory school age.