The law states that your child must attend school full time from the beginning of the term after they are five. This is called compulsory school age. However children will normally start full time school in the September after they are four.
If you are offered a place at a school you can opt to defer the child's start date until the term after they are five, but you must take up the place within the same academic year. If you wish to do this, or you would like your child to start on a part time basis, it will need to be agreed with the headteacher of the school. However deferring a start date is not recommended as the child will be starting school after their peers and will be behind others, socially and educationally. If you defer entry, your child will not be able to remain in a community school nursery.
If you wish to defer entry until the September after their fifth birthday, your child will go straight into year 1 and will miss reception class altogether. You will lose any reception place offer and will need to re-apply for a Year 1 place.