Apply to delay starting primary school

Summer born children are those born between 1 April and 31 August each year. They reach compulsory school age at the beginning of the September after they turn 5 years old.

If you think your child isn't ready to start school, you can apply to delay or defer their entry.

Read the government advice on starting school for parents of summer born children.

Apply to defer or delay entry

Whether you wish to defer or delay your child’s entry, you’ll need to contact the school first to let them know. You should do this before making your child's Starting Primary School application.

You should still make your Starting Primary Application by the closing date for the correct year while schools consider your request.

You must complete an application form to delay your child's entry to reception.

Download application form

Complete the form and email it to us at, along with any supporting evidence.

We'll share this with the admissions authority or the Head Teacher of the school and let you know their response.

Deferred entry

You can defer your child's admission to primary or infant school until later in the school year.

You can also request that your child attends Reception part-time.

In both cases, they'll have to attend school full time once they get to compulsory school age. The school can hold a place for your child until they take it up.

You can't defer your child's entry beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year when they were meant to start.

The school will have to agree to your request to defer your child's entry.

Delayed entry

You can apply to delay your child's start until they are of compulsory school age. This usually means that you'll make an in-year application for your child to start school in Year 1.

You can also request that your child is admitted to Reception instead of Year 1. This means they'll be a year behind the rest of their year group for the rest of their time at school.

The admission authority will make the final decision on whether this is right for your child. They'll want to confirm whether it's in the child’s best interests to start in Reception, or to miss Reception and start in Year 1.

Additional information

If you apply to delay or defer your child's place, you should be aware that:

  • When making a delayed entry application to start primary school, there is no guarantee of the school which will be offered
  • we cannot guarantee one of your preferences will be met and the school will apply their usual admissions criteria to your application
  • you should make sure your nursery or preschool still has a place for your child for September
  • the decision doesn't apply to any future changes to school, junior or secondary school applications and you will need to make the request again when applying
  • if your child is issued with an EHCP, this takes priority over other decisions

Contact us

If you need any more help or information about school applications, you can email