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Moving to primary school

Children who have received early years provision or attended a council run nursery school or class will normally go into full time infant education in September in the school year in which they become 5 years old.

A place in a school's nursery class or co-located children's centre childcare setting does not guarantee a reception place, a new application must be made for a reception place.

By law, you must arrange for your child to start school full time at the beginning of the term after his or her fifth birthday − unless you make arrangements to educate your child otherwise than at school.

All children are eligible for a full-time place in the September following their fourth birthday.

On the offer of a place you have the right to defer admission until later in the school year. The place cannot be deferred beyond the point at which the child reaches compulsory school age. The place cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the place was offered. You can also request that your child attends part time until they reach compulsory school age.

If your child is summer born (born between the beginning of April and end of August) and you do not take up a reception place in the academic year and choose to make an application for the following September, the application will normally be considered for admission into year 1.

Exceptionally, if your child is summer born and you do not feel they are ready for school you can request that they enter reception class in the September after their fifth birthday. Further information and details on how to apply is available. 

Requests should be submitted by 31 March preceding the year of admission and will need to be accompanied by evidence to show that delayed admission into reception would be in the child’s best interests. All relevant factors will be considered when assessing requests against the council’s policy on the admission of children outside their normal age group.

If a request is not agreed then a place may be offered in year 1.


In this context 'term' relates to one third of the academic year - autumn, spring and summer. Parents should note that we operate a 6 term year - for example - our autumn term 1 and 2 are equivalent to one term as defined in legislation.

See our glossary if there are any terms you are unsure of the meaning of.