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Deferred admissions to lower and primary schools

Many lower schools admit children before statutory school age. However, children are not required to attend school until they reach statutory school age. You can, therefore, ask for the place to be deferred. This means that the place is kept open for your child and can be taken up later in the academic year.

When will my child start school?

Children are normally admitted to school in the September following their 4 birthday, which is at the start of the reception year. Your child can attend full time from the start of the reception year, if that is your wish. However, your child does not have to attend school full time until he/she is of statutory school age.

A number of schools admit children into a nursery unit or class before this time. If your child has been admitted to a nursery unit or class this does not guarantee your child a place in the reception year. You must apply for a reception year place in accordance with the arrangements set out in the starting school booklet available on our admissions pages

When will my child reach statutory school age?

The dates when children reach statutory age are as follows: 

5 birthday between:

  • 1 September - 31 December  - term in which statutory school age reached: spring term (after Christmas) 
  • 1 January - 31 March - term in which statutory school age reached: summer term (after Easter) 
  • 1 April - 31 August - term in which statutory school age reached: autumn term (after summer) 

If I defer my child's place when will he/she start school? 

A deferred place must be taken up by the dates indicated below: 

5 birthday between:

  • 1 September - 31 December - deferred place must be taken up by: spring term (after Christmas)
  • 1 January - 31 March - deferred place must be taken up by: summer term (after Easter)
  • 1 April - 31 August* - deferred place must be taken up by: summer term (after Easter) 

*If your child becomes 5 between 1 April and 31 August, you must take up the place by the Summer term. You cannot defer the place until the Autumn term which is when your child is of statutory school age. This is because the admission would be into a different year group (Year 1) and you would have to re-apply for a place in that academic year. You may then find that there is no place available. 

How do I apply for a deferred place?

You should apply for a reception year place in the normal way and in accordance with the arrangements set out in the Starting School booklet available on our admission pages. If you are offered a place for your child at your preferred school and wish to defer the place, you should notify the school in writing.

What if I have difficulty in obtaining a deferred place?

You should contact the schools admissions service on:

Email: admissions@bedford.gov.uk
Tel: 01234 718120