Admission outside normal age group

The impact on school openings due to COVID-19 is not considered a valid reason for back-classing.

If your child is currently attending school, you must liaise with them to discuss the needs of your child. The school will discuss the request fully with you and review the reasons and implications while also considering what is in the best interest of your child.  You must then complete the request form detailing why you want your child to be admitted outside of their normal age group. The head teacher will also be consulted and will set out their professional reasons for either supporting or declining your request. The final decision will be made by the admission authority, not by the head teacher.

 

Summer born children

Your child is not required to start school until they have reached compulsory school age following their fifth birthday. For summer born children this is almost a full year after the point in which they could be admitted. Summer born children can start school in the September or defer entry until the spring following their fourth birthday, either part or full time.

The Department of Education has produced a guidance document for parents of summer born children who are considering making a request to delay their start at school, which we strongly advise you to read before making any decision.

Application process for summer born children

If you think your child is not ready to start school in the September following their fourth birthday, you must read the information on summer Born delayed entry in the current Redbridge admissions arrangement and Redbridge advice on the admission of children outside of their normal age group (PDF 88KB)

If you then wish to make such a request to Redbridge community school, please do the following:

If you want to make a request to an academy, foundation or faith school, you must contact them directly to find out how they manage this. The Local Authority cannot take a decision on behalf of these schools, only for their own community schools. If the school does agree to your request, they must advise us immediately, as any eAdmissions application you have submitted for your child to start in Reception in their correct age cohort will be withdrawn.

If you want to make the request to a number of schools, including community schools, please list them all on the Redbridge request form, so we are aware of all your requests.

You will receive a response to your request before the Primary National Offer Day. We are not required to honour a decision made by another admission authority on the admission out of normal age group. You must consider whether to request admission out of the normal year group at all your preference schools rather than just your first choice.

If the request is agreed:

The application for the normal age group may be withdrawn before a place is offered. You must then make a new application as part of the main admissions round the following year. It is not possible to guarantee a place at your preferred school the following year, so ensure you add more than one school to your application.

If the request is refused:

You must decide whether to accept the offer of a place for the normal age group, or to refuse it and make an in year admissions application to Year 1 for the September following your child's fifth birthday.

Back-classing and acceleration

You may want to educate your child outside of their normal age group, for example, if your child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. Decisions need to be made based on the circumstances of each case and the best interests of each child.

Application process for back-classing

Your or the school may believe your child would benefit from repeating a year group, this is known as back-classing. 

You must liaise with the school to fully discuss the needs of your child as well as review the reasons and implications of back-classing. Then you will need to complete a request form detailing why you want your child to be back classed. The Head teacher will also need to notify us, setting out their professional reasons for either supporting or declining the request.

Back-classing should only be considered in unusual circumstances, such as disruption through illness. Schools can generally meet the needs of pupils by providing additional support. 

Application process for acceleration

If your child is exceptionally gifted, you may wish for them to progress to a higher year group, also known as acceleration. 

You must liaise with the school and your child to fully discuss their needs as well as review the reasons and implications for acceleration. Then you will need to complete a request form detailing why you want your child to be accelerated. The Head teacher will also need to notify us, setting out their professional reasons for either supporting or declining the request.

The needs of very able pupils can be met by most schools as part of their approach for gifted and talented pupils. Many pupils may excel in one or two areas but few will demonstrated exceptional ability across a wide range to justify acceleration. 

Transfer to Junior and Secondary School

Where a child has been educated out of their normal age group, you may again request admission out of the normal age group when they transfer to junior or secondary school. It will be for the admission authority of that school to decide whether to admit your child out of their normal age group. They will decide based on the circumstances of each case and the child’s best interests, and will need to bear in mind the age group your child has been educated in up to that point.

School leaving age

A child ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday of June in the school year they become 16. If a child is educated outside their normal age group (i.e. is in year 10 when this date is reached) the school will continue to receive funding for that child but the child will no longer be of compulsory school age during the school year in which most children take their GCSE examinations and cannot, therefore, be obliged to attend.

Parental appeals

As the purpose of the appeals process is to consider whether a child should be admitted to a particular school, you do not have a right of appeal if they have been offered a place and it is not in the year group you would like. However, you may make a complaint about a decision not to admit your child outside their normal age group. 

Pupils with and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Any child with an EHCP will be considered through the annual assessment process, which will consider how best to meet their needs. They are not placed in a school through the admissions allocation process.

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