Last updated:

10th July 2023

Offsetting (keeping your child back a year)

Sometimes we receive enquiries from parents who are thinking of requesting that their child repeats a school year.

This is often at transition points, e.g. from Foundation to Infants, Infants to Juniors, Junior to Secondary and is considered because parents feel their child would benefit from slightly more time in that key stage, or that they are not yet mature enough to move up to the next key stage.

Things to consider 

  • What will be the impact on your child’s friendships?
  • What will be the impact on your child’s self esteem?
  • Is keeping your child back a substitute for providing the support that is needed for their SEN (Special Educational Needs)? Would they be better remaining in their current year group but having more support and a more differentiated curriculum?
  • What will have changed by this time next year? Will your child be mature enough to go up to the next year or have you just postponed the problem?
  • Consider what will happen when they need to change schools? There are no guarantees that their next school will receive them into the year group below.
  • What will happen when they are no longer statutory school age? If your child is kept back a year they will reach the end of statutory school age in year 10, before sitting their GCSEs. They could choose to leave school at this point.