HC Deb 04 December 2002 vol 395 c828W
Mr. Cameron

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent consultations he has had with bodies representing pre-school play groups(a) in rural areas and (b) elsewhere, over proposals that all four-year-olds should attend primary schools. [82051]

Maria Eagle

I have been asked to reply.

The Secretary of State has no proposals for recommending that all four year olds should attend primary school. Compulsory school age remains the term following the child's fifth birthday.

Some primary schools do operate an early admission policy. Where this is the case, the School Admissions Code of Practice encourages admission authorities to allow parents who have secured a place for their child to defer entry until later in the same academic year if they wish to do so.

Admissions policy has recently been reviewed and following consultation, a new, revised Code has been produced. This is currently before Parliament for consideration. The new Code includes a stronger message on deferred entry making it clear to primary school admission authorities that the Secretary of State expects them to offer parents the option of deferring entry.