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Deferred entry to Primary 1

Most children start school when they're between 4 years 6 months and 5 years old but it's 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 were born on or between the first day of September and the last day of February.

Children with a birthday between the first day of March and the last day of August don't have an automatic right to defer entry to school but parents can still apply.

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.

Apply to defer entry to P1

An application form will be available at your child's current nursery in December.

We'll consider requests and decide if a child is entitled to additional free childcare:

  • Children born in January and February are automatically entitled to an extra year of free early learning and childcare when their entry to school is deferred.
  • 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 can still defer your child's entry to school even if we don't agree with the request but you may wish to pay for a nursery place with one of our partner providers.

Page last updated: 23/06/17