Deferred entry to Primary 1

Most children start school when they are between 4 years 6 months and 5 years old but it is possible to start children later depending on the circumstances. This is called deferred entry.

Children who turn 5 between the start of the school year in August to the last day in February are automatically entitled to defer entry and receive an extra year of funded early learning and childcare. There's no need to formally apply for a deferred entry to school. However, you will need to apply for a nursery place at a provider of your choice. The deadline for decisions on entry to school or nursery must be made by Wednesday 15 March 2023.

Children who turn 5 between the 1 March and the start of school in August don't have an automatic right to funded early learning and childcare when deferring entry to school but you can ask for special consideration.

To apply for a deferred entry, you should complete the  online form .

The application deadline for the 2022/23 academic year is Friday 9 December 2022.

Things to consider

The first thing to do is talk to staff at the nursery or the head teacher at the school about your child's development.

You'll also need to remember to  apply for a school place even if you are still trying to decide whether your child should start school later or not. Any delays in applying can mean you lose a priority place at your child's catchment school.

Please forward any queries to

Further information

Page last updated: 23/11/2022
email icon print icon