Deferring places could have different aspects of how and when this is applied.
If parents have not paid a “fee” to hold a place, we would just treat this as a transfer of waiting list place to a later point of entry. We would have a discussion with the family as to what that may mean in terms of competition for entry at a later point or possibly no places potentially available. We would not encourage them moving it multiple times, and make them aware the later they wish to start with us the harder it may be.
I think you would need to consider if you make a formal policy on deferring what the demands on places are for your various entry points and if by allowing deferring this jeopardises certain areas of the school’s enrolments – eg can you defer your Primary School entry to a High School entry, therefore leaving gaps in your predicted primary numbers.
We currently offered guaranteed places at our school for entry where families pay a 50% deposit of the Admission Fee and this secures the spot in their year group of choice, they cannot transfer or refund this place. This means we do not usually need to offer deferred places as parents choose a place and they have to either come or cancel. Tough I know! but necessary if you have sufficient demand for entry to your school.
So we only need to defer places if it is for an accepted student who is due to start and then is unable to do so.
If a family accepts a place at our school and pays the Admission fee but then is unable to start, for various reasons, let’s say due to their overseas transfer not coming through, then they are able to hold their place for up to two years. This is also the same for any current students who wish to take short term leave from our school.
For any deferral up to one year they pay full fees to hold the place e.g. for one or two terms
Up to two years deferral they pay half fees.
This then means we hold the place open for them until they can start or return to us and we do not enrol anyone in their place.
If they are able to start sooner then we adjust the fee statement accordingly.
Families can only do this once, unless there are extenuating circumstances, eg we have one family where the family live overseas and they were returning to start but sadly one of the parents had a stroke, we are now keeping in touch regularly to make suitable plans. This family has not paid holding fees.
Sometimes families seem to be “hedging their bets” to see if they get an offer elsewhere and wish to defer entry. This is why we offer to hold the place open by charging the academic tuition fees rather than a smaller defer amount. Helps them make the choice so to speak.
Does this help? Happy for you to call me or email me if you want to discuss further.