Deferring school for Summer born children

Summer-born deferment FAQs

Can I request Summer-born deferment in any year group?

No, Summer-born deferment only applies when a family want to defer their child’s expected start date into reception until the September of the following year, not other year groups.  

Will their agreed deferment continue throughout a child’s education?

Not in all cases. It is expected that deferment will continue to the end of primary school but the family will need to apply again for deferment as the child moves to secondary school unless they attend an ‘All Through’ school where the process may be different. There is no guarantee that the secondary school would agree to the child starting in Year 7 and potentially this would mean starting in Year 8 therefore missing a full year at secondary school.

If summer born is agreed, can their year group be changed if the parent changes their mind?

No, as the place would be withdrawn when Summer-born deferment was agreed. The only option will be to make an in year application, but there is no guarantee the same school will be offered as all places may have been offered to other children. 

Where the child has already started their reception (Summer-born) this will be a decision for the head teacher of the school they are attending as they will need to work with the family to consider the impact on the child. 

For example if in year 2 a family decides they were not happy with their child being in a lower year group than other children of their own age, it will need to be understood to all parties the impact of the child moving up a year as this will mean they lose a year’s education. In some instances a school may not have a vacancy in the child’s correct year group and therefore there would need to be a further in year application with no guarantee that a preferred school has places available.      

What will happen regarding a child’s nursery place?

Where Summer-born deferment is agreed by the family and the school, the child can continue to attend their nursery. However this must be agreed by the head teacher of the nursery and will depend on availability of places at the point the family advises they want to remain in nursery rather than moving into reception. 

The child remains entitled to a funded early education place of 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year until they are admitted to school. More information about free early education is available on GOV.UK

When will my child transition to secondary school?

Where a child has been educated out of their normal age group, the parent may again request admission out of the normal age group when they transfer to secondary school. It will be for the admission authority of that school to decide whether to admit the child out of their normal age group. They must make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the child’s best interests, and will need to bear in mind the age group the child has been educated in up to that point. 

This means it is possible that if none of a families secondary school preferences will agree to deferment, the child will transition from year 6 direct to year 8 and miss year 7.

What about tests and performance tables?

Children are assessed when they reach the end of each key stage, not when they reach a particular age. There are no age requirements as to when children must take their GCSEs or other assessments.

School leaving age

A child ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday of June in the school year they become 16. If a child is educated outside their normal age group they will no longer be of compulsory school age during the school year in which most children take their GCSE examinations and cannot, therefore, be obliged to attend. 

Newham strongly recommends that all children take their GCSEs irrespective of their academic year group and compulsory school age.