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.

You can choose for your child to start primary school later if they turn five from the school start date in August and before the last day of February.

Children with a birthday between the first day of March and the first day of school in August do not have an automatic right to defer entry to school, but parents can still apply on the grounds of Additional Support for Learning needs.

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.

How to apply

Children with a January or February birthday

Children with a January or February birthday 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 nursery place but you need to talk to nursery staff so the decision can be recorded.

The deadline for decisions on the 2020/21 academic year is Sunday 15 March 2020.

Children born before January

Children born before January don't have an automatic right to free childcare when deferring entry to school but you can ask for special consideration. You need to complete a form and submit evidence to support the request for an extra year.

You can still defer your child's entry to school even if we don't agree with the request but you'll have to pay for a place with one of our partner providers if you want your child to continue in nursery.

The application deadline for the 2020/21 academic year is Friday 13 December 2019.

Page last updated: 01/07/2020
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