Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child may choose not to send their child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request they are admitted outside of their normal year group – to reception rather than year 1.

The admission authority of a school must decide whether or not the individual child’s circumstances make this appropriate on educational grounds.  When making a decision about a parent’s request for delayed entry to Reception, the admissions authority must:

  • Take account of a child’s individual needs and abilities and consider if these can be best met in Reception or Year one.
  • Consider if it is in the child’s best interest to miss the Reception year and go straight to Year one.
  • Consider what would be the impact of a child being admitted to Year 0ne without having completed the Reception year.
  • (If relevant to the case) Consider if a child born prematurely would have fallen into a different age group if born at full term.

Note that in some cases it is better for a child with a developmental delay to start school before compulsory school age so they can fully assess the support available. Schools are trained to teach children with SEN and parents should be encouraged to meet with the school’s SENCO to discuss their child’s needs.

There is a right of appeal against the refusal of a place at a school.  This right of appeal does not apply if parents are offered a place in another year group at the school.  Croydon Council will make a decision based on the circumstances of each case and may request supporting professional evidence to assist in the decision making.

Parents requesting admission to a year group below the normal year of entry should submit an application for the child’s actual year group before the closing date.  The request for admission to a different year group should accompany the application.  This enables the application to be processed and a school place secured in the child’s actual year group if the request is refused by an admission authority.

If the admission authority approves the request, the parent will be advised to re-apply in the following year and provide a copy of the decision. However there can be no guarantee of a place being available at your preference schools.  Your application will not receive priority over or above any other applicant for this year group and your application will be considered in line with the published admission criteria for each school along with all other applicants for each school for the year group you are applying.  

You can use the online form for to apply for a school place for a child outside of their normal age group.

Download guidance: advice for parents of Summer born children (PDF, 239KB)