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School Admissions

Parents’ options for children starting school at age 4 - Single Offer Point for Reception

When a place is offered for the normal round of admissions to a Reception class, this is for full time admission from the start of the September term after your child’s fourth birthday. While you can accept this offer, you may feel that your child is not ready for a full time place in school. As a parent, it is for you to decide this and you have a number of options:

1. You can accept the full-time Reception place for the start of September.

2. You can defer admission until your child reaches the statutory school age and EITHER:

  • keep your child at home; OR
  • take up a part-time place in Reception; OR
  • take a part-time place at a pre-school setting using your entitlement to 15 free hours a week.

Once a child starts at school, either part-time or full-time, there is no longer an entitlement to a free place at an Early Years setting. You can take additional hours in a pre-school or nursery but you would have to pay for this.

Please note that deferred entry to Reception may be as follows:

Birth-date You can defer admission to the beginning of this term
September to December January
January to Easter January OR Easter
Easter to August

January OR Easter OR September

Summer born children can request but cannot automatically delay admission into a Reception class until the following September.

Summer-born children who defer into a Year 1 class in the following September must apply for thatYear 1 place after the summer half term. It is possible that this class may have been filled during the Reception year. A place will not be reserved.

If you advise the headteacher that your child will be deferring admission, the place will be kept open and will not be offered to another child. If your child does not start at the school at the beginning of the term to which you have deferred, the place may be reallocated to another child. You are strongly advised to discuss deferring admission with the headteacher, pre-school setting and anybody else such as your GP who is involved with your child. The final decision is yours to make.

3. You can delay admission to Reception until the next academic yea,r generally on exceptional medical, social or educational grounds, supported by independent professional evidence. A place will not be guaranteed a year in advance. Please write to: The Admissions Manager, Room L102 County Hall, Exeter EX2 4QU enclosing any evidence to support your request, eg, a letter from GP or Social Worker. It is advisable to submit an application on time in any event whilst your request for delayed admission is considered by all parties.The final decision will be by the admissions authority for the school.

Admission earlier than the beginning of the term following the fourth birthday is not offered in Devon.

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