Education outside of normal age groups

Education outside of normal age groups

Before making a decision to educate your child out of normal age group, please ensure you have read our education outside normal age group guidance.

Education outside of normal age groups can fall into two types:

  1. 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.

  2. 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. Parents should bear in mind that there is much more to thriving in reception class than academic achievement. We make very well regarded provision for three and four year olds via the nurseries and pre-schools in the city.

For both deceleration and acceleration, you must complete an education outside normal age group request form. Each request will be decided on its merits by the individual admission authority of 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. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the school admissions team.

Request education outside of normal age groups

Please note:

If your request for education outside normal age group is agreed, 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 year 1 (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 will have to submit another request for each school transfer. It is advisable to take this into account before requesting admission outside your child's normal age group.