Summer-born children may get the right to start school later, it has been announced.
School's minister Nick Gibb recently unveiled new proposals that would allow children born between April 1 and August 31 to begin school at the age of five.
He has written an open letter to encourage schools and local authorities to take immediate action ahead of the policy introduction, which would ensure that those born in the summer months cannot be forced to go straight into year one if they wait to start school until they turn five.
The changes are designed to give parents and teachers flexibility, although the government believes that the majority of summer school children will start school when they turn four.
Speaking about the changes, schools minister Nick Gibb said: "As part of our plan to extend social justice and opportunity, we want all children to have an equal chance to excel in school regardless of when they are born.
"Parents know their children best and we want to make sure summer-born children can start reception at the age of 5, if their parents think it is in their best interests. We are going to make changes to admission rules - but we want councils and academies to take immediate action."
A consultation will now be carried out and the reforms will have to be approved by parliament.
The school admissions code currently requires the admission authority to make a decision on the year group a summer-born five-year-old should be admitted to.
This is often based upon personal circumstance and the best interests of the child.
In his letter, Mr Gibb added: "We have decided that it is necessary to amend the school admissions code further to ensure that summer-born children can be admitted to the reception class at the age of 5 if it is in line with their parents’ wishes, and to ensure that those children are able to remain with that cohort as they progress through school, including through to secondary school."