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When does my 2014 born child start school? Utterly confused and moving house

(19 Posts)
poppetsandbears Mon 19-Sep-16 14:19:18

Forgive my asking a silly question, but despite having a first class degree I can't figure this out myself blush

My eldest was born in may 2014 and we live in England

When does she start compulsory schooling?
When do I need to apply for her primary school place?

We are planning to move to a different area of England around January 2019, she will be 4 then and turn 5 in may 2019.
I'm trying to figure out how this affects her school admissions. I can't figure out whether she starts compulsory school in Sept 2018 or 2019.
If sept 2019 I would try to move ahead with the kids before the deadline for school applications, which I think would be in Jan 2019.
But if she starts in sept 2018 I can't move ahead a whole year early so our plan is a bit fucked and would need to hope a place becomes available in a decent school.

Also Is Reception the first year of compulsory schooling? Or is Reception an optional year and Y1 is the first year of compulsory schooling?

Btw I asked two friends with older children at primary school and neither could say for certain either grin

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 19-Sep-16 14:24:15

She will be starting Reception in September 2018 when she is 4.
The latest that she can start Reception is the summer term of 2019. She has to be receiving an education of some sort from then which can be homeschool, private or state school.

CatchIt Mon 19-Sep-16 14:24:32

It will depend when in 2014 your child was born, if it was between Jan & August they'll start in 2018, if it was Sept - Dec, it would be 2019.

I'm pretty sure that's right, but maybe someone who knows for sure will come along with the absolute answer!

Fettuccinecarbonara Mon 19-Sep-16 14:25:13


I have a child born in April 2013 and he starts school next year (2017)

CMOTDibbler Mon 19-Sep-16 14:26:03

She'll start in Sept 2018, and education is compulsory from the term they turn 5 - though the vast majority of children start in their year group at reception.

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 19-Sep-16 14:26:08

Personally I would keep her at pre-school:nursery until Jan 2019 and try and get a Reception place after you move. It will be harder to get a place because you'll be limited to whichever school has a space but not impossible.

IneedAdinosaurNickname Mon 19-Sep-16 14:26:53

They start reception the Sept before they turn 5. So Sept 2018.
Although you can defer now I think
You couldn't when mine were smaller.
Reception isn't compulsory so she could start in Sept 2019.

poppetsandbears Mon 19-Sep-16 14:26:58


So I think I would need to apply in Jan 2018 for a place
So we won't have moved then
That has complicated matters unfortunately

clumsyduck Mon 19-Sep-16 14:27:07

If she turns 4 in May 2018 then she will start school sept 2018. This will be reception the first year of "proper school"

Dixiechickonhols Mon 19-Sep-16 14:42:42

In England technically they don't have to be receiving education until term after 5 so Sept 2019. This would be for a yr 1 place.

However the vast majority of children start age 4 into Reception. This is very much the norm. So she would start reception age 4 in September 2018. You apply by January 2018.

Reception is play based but they learn phonics/writing and skills for school. It would be very unusual to skip and go straight to yr 1.

If you move then you apply for an in year place. The problem will be if the schools in the new area are full you may be located a school further way or less desirable. For reception/yr1/yr2 class sizes are capped at 30 making it hard to get a place in some areas. You can go on wait lists and if there is a younger child may not get them a place at the same school eg if the allocated school does not prioritize out of catchment siblings. You could however get a place for DC2 near your new home and then apply for a place for DC1 as a sibling.

noramum Mon 19-Sep-16 14:57:35

If you don't apply for a 2018 Reception place by the January deadline the council will supply you with a school place but it will be a school who has a place, not necessarily the one you want or one near you.

If you don't apply for Reception at all and apply for a Y1 place, again, it will be an in-year application so again, you may not have a choice of school unless you are prepared to home-ed for a while.

chamenager Mon 19-Sep-16 15:08:55

With a May birthday your child is technically 'summer born' and you can apply for her to start reception at compulsory school age, i.e. Sept 2019 when she'll be 5.

Current government has announced that they will make this a free choice for parents, rather than something that has to be applied for and granted by the LEA. Maybe by 2018, 2019 this will actually have been implemented. In which case you could, if you wanted, make sure you have moved by January 2019 and apply for a reception place for Sept 2019 along with everyone else applying for reception places. Your DD would then be one of the oldest in her year, potentially 16 months older than the youngest in her year.

If the new rule hasn't been implemented by then, you can still apply for this to happen. Each case must be decided individually, there cannot be a blanket rule. Some LEAs will grant most such applications, some will grant hardly any at all. So it would make sense to research that in advance.
You could then still make sure you have moved by January 2019, and apply for a deferred reception place. You would risk your application being rejected and your DD being made to start in Sept 2019 in Y1, in whichever school has spaces in Y1.

If you want your child to go into her 'correct' chronological year, then she would start reception in Sept 2018. You can choose to defer her starting until April 2019 at the latest, whilst keeping her place. She would then start in reception, joining children who mostly had started in September 2018. So you can apply for schools near your new home (without having moved yet, giving your old address). If a school is undersubscribed, you will get a place no matter how far away your old address is. Then defer entry until after you have moved. If all the schools you like are filled with children living closer, you will still be offered a school, can accept that place and defer entry (so don't actually have to attend), and can go on the waiting lists for the schools where you will move to. As soon as you have moved, inform all the schools and your position on the waiting lists will go up to reflect your new 'distance from school'. You can then still wait until April 2019 and hope a place comes up.
This bears the risk that you do not in the end actually move, but have failed to look for school places near where you live now.

Or you can start your child at a school near where you live now, and move her per in-year application once you move. At this age most children don't struggle much with moving schools. This will still mean you won't be able to be choosy, but will just have to take a place where there is one available. Depending on the situation where you are moving to, this can be awful, meaning long journeys to a not very good school, or it can be absolutely fine.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 19-Sep-16 15:20:04

You apply between sept and I think 15th January 2018, how're as pp says you can defer until 2019.

poppetsandbears Mon 19-Sep-16 16:05:23

Thanks so much for all the advice

Deferring entry is a great suggestion, however I doubt it would suit our dc, i think she would get frustrated being held back a year based on her development so far.

So it looks like we either have to move a year early (area is under Bradford and reading their website cut off for address changes would be 8 Feb 2018) or apply in year in 2019.

Area we are moving to has several good schools but last year most were oversubscribed according to rightmove. There is a good religious school which was undersubscribed but I'd prefer another as we are atheists. It isn't an area where people would move a lot, I think. We both work so a school far away, or two different schools, would be really complicated.

We have a younger child due to start reception in Sept 2020, would my elder child have a case for then moving as a sibling into a full class??

Is there a way of finding out how often places come up mid year? Is this information published or would schools readily give it out?

If we move by Feb 2018 my dh could be a weekly commuter, but that sounds a bit dismal for us all.

poppetsandbears Mon 19-Sep-16 16:25:09

Hmm reading Bradford council info again, it seems I have to supply info of new address by mid Feb, but don't need to move till Sept 2018

So could sign tenancy agreement to start Aug 2018, or complete on house purchase
Give notice on current tenancy to end Aug 2018 and have letter confirming this
And hand these documents in by Feb 2018
But actually move Aug 2018

I think

Dixiechickonhols Mon 19-Sep-16 17:42:44

If your youngest got a place at your closest school then there will be in catchment sibling priority or sibling priority. So your eldest dc would be high on wait list but in yr 2 30 max still applies so if the class is full you would have both in different schools. From yr3 you would have a much better chance of a place for the eldest.

JacquettaWoodville Mon 19-Sep-16 20:29:55

Poppets, do you mean complete on a house but still own/rent your current house?

JacquettaWoodville Mon 19-Sep-16 20:32:26

And you must still submit an application by 15th jan 2018, it's just they will use your new address to rank it if they get addres by early feb 18

JacquettaWoodville Mon 19-Sep-16 20:43:16

On a quick google, it looks like Bradford also require evidence of the sale of your previous house or ending of precious tenancy - I'm guessing it's intended more to cover people who have exchanged a few days before the 8th and will complete soon after, or who maybe go on holiday between tenancies and who strictly don't live anywhere on 8th Feb.

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