Normal round admissions
This is when children start at a school at the earliest possible time for that school or (for schools which provide education all-through from reception to year 11) who transfer at the start of year 7. Normal round admissions are at the beginning of:
- reception for primary and infant schools
- year 3 for junior schools
- year 7 for secondary schools
- year 10 for studio schools and university technical colleges and for those further education colleges and sixth forms with provision for students aged 14-16
- year 12 for schools with a sixth form
- various year groups across the country for middle and high schools
Normal round admissions schemes have closing dates for applications. Parents who apply after the closing date will still have their applications considered but may find that all places at a particular school will have been allocated to those who did apply on time.
Evidence that there has been a change in circumstances for the family or at a new school may be accepted to allow an application after the closing date to be considered as on time.
Applications after the closing date where a school is being opened or extended or when a family is new to the area will be considered to be on time and offers will be made alongside other applications on the offer dates for primary and secondary education.
Other applications will be at a disadvantage unless you can show that you were unable to apply on time.
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Children starting school in 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:
- You can accept the offer for a full-time reception place for the start of September or
- You can accept the offer but opt for the school’s part-time provision in reception until your child reaches the statutory age for full-time education within the same academic year or
- You can accept the offer but defer admission until your child reaches the statutory school age and either:
- keep your child at home
- take up a part-time place in reception
- take a part-time place at a pre-school setting using your Early Years Entitlement
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 beginning of the term to which you have deferred, the place may be reallocated to another child.
Once a child starts at school, either part-time or full-time, there is no longer an Early Years Entitlement to paid-for sessions 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:
Birthdate 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 make a fresh application for that year 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.
4. For summer-born children only, you can request that admission is delayed until the next academic year. This may be because you believe there are exceptional medical, social or educational grounds, supported by independent professional evidence. It may be because it is solely your preference for your child not to start in reception until after the fifth birthday.
If this is agreed by the admissions authority for the school, a place will not be guaranteed a year in advance and you will need to make a fresh application in the following year’s normal round application process.
Please view the delayed admissions guidance for parents for further information and access to a form to enable you to make a request or contact The Admissions Manager, Room L60, County Hall, Exeter EX2 4QD. 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 and will only apply to that school.
We strongly advise that you discuss delaying or 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.
Admission earlier than the beginning of the term following the fourth birthday is not offered in Devon.
Children taught outside their chronological year group
This is when a child of, say, year 8 age is taught in year 7 or year 9 and can be the result of transferring to secondary school early or later than other children. You can apply for junior or secondary school transfer a year early or later if you feel there are particularly strong reasons why this is necessary for your child. This must be supported by independent professional evidence.
Please write to The Admissions Manager, Room L102, County Hall, Exeter EX2 4QU enclosing any evidence to support your request, for example, a letter from a health or social care professional such as a GP, or social worker.
This should give a clear opinion that it would be significantly detrimental to your child not to transfer early or late. It is advisable to submit an application on time in any event while your request is being considered. The headteacher or principal of the school must agree to any child being taught out of year.
There may be consequences for your child’s progress by not being in his or her chronological year group when the end of statutory education is reached. For advice, see information about post-16 education.
- Flexi schooling