If you are the parent or carer of a child born in the summer (between 1 April and 31 August) you can request that their admission into the Reception class of a school is delayed from the September after their fourth birthday to the September after their fifth birthday.

We take an open approach to applications and for late summer born children there is a presumption that requests will be approved, as long as there is a reasonable justification from the parents that it is in the child’s best interests and there are no known issues that we may need to consider.

If you are considering delaying your child's entry to reception, we recommend that you discuss this with your preferred schools before making a formal request. The school may wish to discuss how your child's needs could be met and the impact of being educated with children of a different age group.

Points to consider when deciding whether to delay entry for your child

  • Teachers are skilled at working within the curriculum to meet a diverse range of needs. Before you decide to delay, we would recommend you visit the schools you are thinking of applying to. The school will be able to explain the provision on offer to children in their Reception Year; how it works to meet the needs of the youngest children and how this will continue as they move up through the school. The school will also be able to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s readiness for school.
  • Places cannot be reserved – if you are offered a place in Reception and then decide to delay entry, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer a place next year in the same school.
  • We cannot speak for other admission authorities and we agree to the delayed entry for Merton community schools only, other schools and other boroughs may not and this could impact your chances of securing a place in a preferred school.
  • Some secondary schools will not currently admit children out of their expected age group and you may be restricting your options for Year 7.
  • You cannot have more than one application for Reception. If your request is agreed any current Reception application will be withdrawn.
  • You may not be able to stay in your current nursery setting if you make a request to delay entry after the Reception closing date in January.

How to request delayed entry

Please follow path A or Path B.

​Path A
Requests made before the closing date for your child's current age
Path B
Requests made after the closing date for your child's current age​
  1. ​Make a Reception application for your child's current cohort. Complete the attached form before the closing date in January.
  2. If delayed entry is agreed, you will be able to remain in your current Merton school nursery. You will need to reapply for the following year.
  1. ​Complete the attached form.
  2. If you attend a Merton school nursery you can apply to remain there. We cannot guarantee that a place will be available and you may be placed on the waiting list.

Please note this policy update only applies to Merton community schools. Voluntary aided schools, free schools, academies and schools in other boroughs will have their own policy and you must contact the relevant admission authority.

Please remember that a child can only hold one Reception application at a time – if we receive a further application, your current application will be withdrawn.


If you have read and understood and would still like to make a request for delayed entry, please can you complete this form

Request for delayed entry to Reception for summer born children

Related website

Summer-born children: Department for Education guidance (GOV.UK)