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Deferred School Starts

Volume 612: debated on Monday 4 July 2016

5. What progress her Department is making on giving parents of summer-born and premature children the choice to defer their child’s start at school. (905613)

Subject to parliamentary approval, we have decided to amend the school admissions code to support summer-born children in delaying entry to the reception year. We are now considering how to implement that change, and what other changes it would be appropriate to make to the code at the same time.

I thank the Minister for that answer. He will know that the delay to the consultation on the code is causing some concern, because of inconsistent responses from local authorities. May I press him further: can we ensure that the code covers the difference between actual dates of birth and due dates?

My hon. Friend has been a strong campaigner on this issue. As a consequence of his representations, and as part of our review of the code, we are considering whether it would be appropriate to use the due date of premature children rather than the birth date to determine when they start school.