Attending school full-time or part-time
The reception place that will be offered will be for a full time place starting from 1 September 2018.
Nearly all schools start children with some degree of part-time education to help children adapt to the new environment.
Parents have the right to request part-time education up to the point where the child is of statutory school age (the term following your child's fifth birthday). The school will decide what part-time provision they are able to offer.
You also have the right to defer your child's entry into reception class to any point up to your child reaching compulsory school age, but not beyond the start of the summer term of reception year.
If your child was born between 1 September and 31 March, you cannot defer entry through to the start of year 1. Your child must take up a reception (year R) place offered to you at some point in the reception year. If your child does not take up the offered place, you will need to make an in-year transfer application for a year 1 place.
Deceleration (holding back a year)
If your child is summer-born (born between 1 April and 31 August), you may choose not to send them to school until the September following their fifth birthday. You may request that your child is admitted out of their normal age group, to reception year, rather than year 1.
If you wish to apply for your child to start school outside their normal age group, you must contact the school admissions team at Southampton City Council by 31 October 2017.
Each request will be decided on its merits by the individual admission authority for the school concerned - this will either be the Local Authority or the Governing Body. You will be notified of the outcome of your request in writing by 15 December 2017. If your request to apply outside your child's normal age group is refused, you will still have time to make an on-time application for your child to start school with their correct age group, before the closing date of 15 January 2018.
Acceleration (starting a year early)
You may wish your child to start in reception class a year earlier than their date of birth would indicate. You have right to request that your child be educated out of year group, and the same process as for deceleration applies. Your request should be made in the first instance to the school admissions team at Southampton City Council.
Parents should bear in mind that there is much more to thriving in reception class than academic achievement. Southampton City Council makes very well regarded provision for 3 and 4 year olds via the nurseries and pre-schools in the city.
If you are allowed to apply for a place outside your child's normal age group, this is not a guarantee of a place at your preferred school. Your application will be considered along with the other applications made for children in the correct age group for that year, and places will be offered strictly according to the admission criteria for the school. If the school to which you apply is unable to offer a place to a child outside their normal age group, the Local Authority, or any other admission authority, are under no obligation to agree admission to a year group outside the normal age group.
This means that if you are unsuccessful in a decelerated application outside your child's normal age group, your child could be placed straight into a year 1 class (their correct age group), resulting in your child missing up to a year of education.
Likewise, if your child is admitted to a reception class that is outside their normal age group, then when a subsequent application is made to junior or secondary school, the admission authorities for these schools are under no obligation to offer a place outside the normal age group. Parents should take this into account before requesting admission outside their child's normal age group.