Primary school admission arrangements for summer born children agreed

A policy outlining admission arrangements for later entry to primary schools for children born in the summer months has been approved by Cabinet members today (Wednesday, 23 January).

Summer born children are those born between 1 April and 31 August and they are not required to start school until a full year after the point at which they could have been admitted – the point at which other children in their age range are starting Year 1.

A child reaches compulsory school age following on the agreed days following their fifth birthday: 31 December, 31 March and 31 August.

However, the School Admissions Code requires councils to provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday.

There is already some flexibility for parents who do not feel their child is ready to start school before compulsory school date but parents of summer born children may submit a request for delayed admission to Reception Year group, rather than year 1, for any school. A decision is taken based on the circumstances of the case and in the child’s best interests.

Guidance was issued by the Department for Education (DfE) in December 2014 to help councils understand how to respond to parental requests for summer born children to be admitted out of their normal age group. The Department for Education does agree though that in general children should be educated in their own year group and only educated out of this in very limited circumstances.

Barnsley Council has created this formal policy, together with supporting documentation and literature for parents and is one of the first councils in the region to formalise this.

The policy document and a fact sheet for parents will be shared with schools and made available on the council’s website shortly. The Cabinet report can be read in full here.

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

We'll do everything we can to help people and their family to achieve their potential by raising aspirations and creating a healthier, safer and better-educated population. #OwnIt by preparing your children for starting school as well as supporting them to attend school and learn for life.

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