We encourage all parents, regardless of their child’s needs, to register their children for a school place when they reach statutory school age.

The statutory school age for children is five years. At this age a child will enter their reception year or foundation stage two year (FS2). You can find help with choosing a school here.

There are many benefits for a child staying with their age group at this time. Not only do they get to move on with their friends but they will also be surrounded by positive role models for communication, social skills and independence.

Alternative options

If you are a parent of a young child with SEND, you might be unsure about your child starting school when they reach statutory school age. If so there are a two options you may like to explore.

Deferred entry for less than one academic year

It might be possible to arrange for your child to have a deferred entry for less than one academic year. This means that your child will still begin school in the academic year that they turn five but probably not in September. If you would like to consider this option you would need to have an informal discussion with the head teacher of the school you wish your child to attend. It would then be a mutually agreed decision between yourself, as a parent, and the school. 

Deferred entry of one academic year

Alternatively you may wish to consider a deferred entry of one year for your child. This would mean that your child would enter school in the academic year that they turn six. In this case you need to decide whether you would like your child to stay with their chronological age group and go in to year one or go into the reception class. You would need to discuss this with our admissions team and make a formal application which would need to be agreed by the local authority.

If your child has a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan, the professionals involved in writing it will help you decide on the most appropriate type of school for your child. You will then need to follow our normal admissions process.

Discussing your options

If you would like to know more about the options available for you as a parent then you can talk to the admissions team (for local authority procedures).

You can also contact the SEND information and advice service (SENDIASS) for impartial information, advice and support.

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