While most parents are happy for their child to start school in the September following their fourth birthday, some parents will have concerns about whether their child will be ready for school at this point, and will consider delaying their entry until compulsory school age. You can find out the year group your child would normally be expected to be part of.
Parents of summer born children (born between 1 April and 31 August) may choose not to send their child to school until the September following their fifth birthday. They may also request that consideration is given to admit their child to Reception rather than Year 1.
It is important that parents know all the options available to them and the consequences so they are able to make an informed decision.
Parents of summer born children who are considering applying for a year group different to that determined by date of birth should talk to the Local Authority and relevant school(s) as early as possible and preferably before 31 October 2016.
Parents should note that whilst evidence shows that, statistically speaking, summer born children tend to perform less well in school tests; this does not mean that all children born in the summer term will struggle at school. Teachers are experienced and skilled at differentiating the curriculum to meet a diverse range of needs.
Before deciding to submit a request, parents should visit the schools they are thinking of applying for. The teachers will be able to explain:
- the provision on offer to children in the reception class
- how it is tailored to meet the needs of all pupils including the youngest
- how the needs of all pupils will continue to be met as they move up through the school.
They may also be able to allay any concerns that the parent has about their child’s readiness for school.
It is also important to note that, whether they attend a primary, infant or first school or an early years setting during the academic year following their fourth birthday, children will receive the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which is largely based around learning through play
You can read further information about the Early Years Foundation Stage.
How to request consideration of a year group different to that determined by date of birth
For community and voluntary controlled schools in Poole, the local authority policy that sets out the process and criteria for considering these requests, including the application form.
For academies, foundation or voluntary aided schools, the application must be made to and considered by the Governing Body of the school and not the Local Authority.