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Starting primary school later

Information on deferred and delayed admission to primary school reception classes for summer born children.

We offer a school place to every child in Torbay in September after their fourth birthday. This is the normal time for your child to start school.

You can apply for a school place, but delay your child’s start until later in the reception year. This will not risk the offer of a place.

You can ask that your child starts reception class:

  • in September part-time until they reach compulsory school age (age 5)
  • later in the academic year
  • the following September if they are a summer born child

Your child must be at school full-time when they reach 5.

Part time

You can ask your child's school if they can go to school part time up until the term after their 5th birthday. The school will choose when your child attends school either in the morning or afternoon. They will go to school for 15 hours per week.

Deferred admission

If you want to postpone your child starting school you must still apply for a school place.

Your child must start school by the beginning of the term after their 5th birthday. If your child was born between:

  • September and December you can defer their start to January
  • January and March you can defer their start to the Spring or Summer Term
  • April and August you can defer their start until the following September when your child is 5

Summer born children would miss the whole reception year and start in Year 1. Children who defer entry to reception will be able to go to nursery or pre-school.

Apply to defer starting school

Talk to us, your child's school and nursery and anyone else who can give you advice. You should do this as soon as possible. The school may check and review your child's progress before making a decision.

You should still apply for a place in reception as normal. Once you have a place you can then defer when your child starts.

If your child will start school in Year 1 you will need to apply for a place using the in-year application. You should let us know if you decide to do this and apply for a place in June so your child can start in September. Please bear in mind there may be very limited or no places at any of your preferred schools.

Delayed admission

Summer born children can also delay the start of school. They can start school in reception class in September after their 5th birthday. Your child will be in a class with children up to a year younger than them.

You have an automatic right to defer your child starting school. There is no automatic right to delay your child from starting school. You can ask to delay your child starting school and we or the school will make a decision based on:

  • the best interests of your child
  • your views
  • your child’s academic, social and emotional development
  • your child’s medical history and the views of a medical professional, where relevant
  • whether your child would have been in a lower age group if they hadn't been born prematurely
  • the views of the headteacher

Apply to delay starting school

Talk to your child's school about delaying their place. You will need a letter from your preferred school(s) that allows you to delay your child starting school.

You will then need to apply for a place in reception the following year.

This does not guarantee a place at the preferred school or give you priority for a place. If you aren't offered a place at your preferred school(s) you'll be given a place at a school closest to where you live. If no school will accept them out of year group they may have to get offered a place in Year 1.

Contact Student Services