Last updated: 18 December 2023

Next review: 18 December 2024

By law, children must be in full-time education the term after their 5th birthday. This is called compulsory school age.

If you feel your child is not ready to start school in the September after their fourth birthday, you can:

  1. Ask the school if they can go part-time until they reach compulsory school age. You must do this as soon as the place is offered.
  2. Ask to delay the admission to later in the school year. This must not be beyond compulsory school age or the start of the final term of the school year. 
  3. Ask to admit your child outside of their normal age group, if they were born in summer. However, we believe this should only happen in exceptional circumstances. It is up to parents to provide supporting evidence in such cases.