We have come to the time of year when many of you are considering what the next step is for your child with regards to their education. We always receive many requests from families who are unsure about what their options are and are also unsure how to make what can feel like a monumental decision. Below we outline four options that are for consideration for your child’s Reception Year and beyond. These are:
- Start the reception year in September at a primary school
- Defer admission to Reception at a primary school
- Delay admission to Reception at a school
- Home education
Starting the reception year in September at a Primary School - Most children start school in the September following their fourth birthday, meaning that they will turn 5 during their first school year. If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 they are due to start primary school in September 2022. The closing date for applications to Devon County Council and Plymouth Council, is 15 January 2022. Please see the links below for how to apply online:
Plymouth - School admissions | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK
Deferred Admission to Reception –
- This refers to a situation where a child secures a school place in his or her normal age group but does not take up that place until later in that school year.
- This is a statutory right for parents though they must inform the school to prevent the place being withdrawn.
- Parents can hold off from the child starting in Reception until the start of term after their 5th birthday. For example, an October-born child can defer up to the start of the January term. A March-born child can defer up to the start of the January or the start of the Easter term, as can an August-born child.
- The child can start earlier, mid-term.
- The child cannot defer beyond the start of the term after the 5th birthday.
- You will still need to apply for a school place at the same time as everyone else. You will request your child’s later start when you apply.
- There is no need to reapply when your child starts; the school must keep the place for the child.
Delayed Admission to Reception –
- This term describes a summer born child who starts school at compulsory school age (5).
- This is not a right but parents of summer-born children can request that the child holds off starting in Reception until the September after the 5th birthday.
- The admissions authority for the school must consider requests on a case by case basis, taking the views of the head teacher into account.
- Parents of summer-born children can also hold off admission to the following September and their child will have a Year 1 place.
- If you would like your child to start in Year 1, you will need to make an in-year application during the summer term before they are due to start. Be aware that some schools will already have been filled at the normal round or during Reception.
Home Education -
- Until the term following their fifth birthday there is no legal requirement for your child to receive any form of education or attend any form of setting.
- By law, your child must receive full time education from the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday. This can be by attendance at school or by home educating.
What we can provide at Venture.
The child-led ethos at Venture extends to your child's start in school too. In other words, we strongly believe in the importance of delaying the start of formal, school-based education until your child is ready and in finding the school or form of education that is best for each individual child.
Your child is welcome to continue with us at Venture for all or part of their Reception year, during which time they will continue to benefit from autonomous, play-based learning in the outdoors as well as support with the more 'formal' elements of the curriculum from a qualified Teacher.
This approach can be particularly suitable for summer born children or those who just need a little extra time to mature and become ready for a more structured environment.
If your child is starting at a primary school in September:
If you have decided that your child is to start primary school in September but are unsure which to choose, we are happy to chat with you about the local schools and how each might suit your individual child. We now have experience of most of the local schools, through our own children or past Venture children attending them and through the links we have created in order to provide a smooth transition to primary school for Venture children.
Once your child has been allocated a place at a primary school, we contact the school to invite them to visit your child at Venture and we share information either in person or by telephone about your child, as well as through a school transition report. We feel it is really important, having got to know your child so well at Venture, that we take the opportunity to give your child’s new teacher an insight into your child as an individual; what passions and interests they have, what makes them tick, what special things they can do and what they have achieved.
If you would like to defer your child’s admission to primary school:
Your child is welcome to continue their early years education at Venture for up to 5 days per week for one or two terms of their reception year, before removing on to your chosen primary school. Government funding (EYF) continues until the end of term in which your child turns five, meaning your child is entitled to 15 hours (or 30 hours for those with extended entitlement) of funded education at Venture for this period. When your child is due to leave us, we will follow the same transition process as for those who started in September above.
If you would like to delay your child’s admission to primary school:
Delaying your summer-born child’s start to reception: If you decide that you would like to delay your summer-born child’s start in reception, please do come and talk to us. We are happy to support you in your case which will need to be put forward to the school that you have chosen for your child and the local authority. We are happy to discuss your individual child’s needs with the headteacher at your chosen school as well as talk to them about what we can continue to provide for your child during their year at Venture.
Delaying your child’s start to year one: If you choose this option, your child is welcome to continue their early years education with us for their entire reception year. As above, government funding (EYF) continues until the end of term in which your child turns five, meaning your child is entitled to 15 hours (or 30 hours for those with extended entitlement) of funded education at Venture for this period. When your child is due to leave us, we will follow the same transition process as for those who started in September above.
If you would like to home educate your child:
If you decide to home educate your child, they are welcome to continue their early years education with us until the term that they turn 5 years old. As above, government funding (EYF) continues until the end of term in which your child turns five, meaning your child is entitled to 15 hours (or 30 hours for those with extended entitlement) of funded education at Venture for this period. Once your child turns 5, we will consider attendance at Venture on an individual basis, taking into account the individual needs of your child and the current cohort at the setting. For some children of this age Venture is the ideal compliment to an education at home.
What to do next.
Do come and talk to us if you would like any further support with or clarification on the options above. We have a list of lovely past Venture families who are happy to chat with you about their decision to start school, defer entry, delay entry to Reception, delay entry to year one or home educate. Please let us know if you would like to discuss any of these with someone who has recent experience.