When will my child start school?
Schools offer places to all children from the September following their fourth birthday. Children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 will usually start school in September 2017.
By law, children do not have to be in school until they reach compulsory school age, at the start of the term following their fifth birthday:
Children born between 1 September and 31 December must be in full-time education by the start of the Spring term.
Children born between 1 January and 31 March must be in full-time education by the start of the Summer term.
Children born between 1 April and 31 August must be in full-time education at the start of the new school year.
Starting school options
Most children start school full-time in the September after their fourth birthday. However, there are other options for parents of children who are not yet compulsory school age who are concerned about their child's readiness for school. Parents have the opportunity to:
start their child in September on a full-time basis from their first day of attendance or;
allow their child to attend on a part-time basis until the start of the term after the child's fifth birthday or;
defer their child's entry to school until later in the school year. This must not be beyond the start of the term after their fifth birthday or beyond the start of the final term of the school year.
You must discuss with the school how you would like your child to start school.
Parents of summer born children (those born between 1 April and 31 August) only can also:
request to delay their child’s entry to school until the September after they turn five.
Please refer to our section on decelerated admission for summer born children for further information.
Entitlement to a free pre-school place in September 2017
Under its early years education scheme, Hampshire County Council will fund 570 free hours in a pre-school setting for your child's eligible year. More details.
There are restrictions; you cannot access a free pre-school place if your child attends, or is due to attend another County nursery school, mainstream or special school (including nursery or special unit) in the same term.
Please note that if you wish to defer entry to school your current free pre-school setting may or may not be able to continue to offer your child a place: you must discuss your request with them.
Future admission dates:
Children born from 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014 start school in September 2018.
Children born from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015 start school in September 2019.
Children born from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016 start school in September 2020.