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Delayed entry to primary one

In Scotland, children usually start primary school in the year during which they have their fifth birthday. This means that in primary one classes, children are usually aged between 4 and a half and 5 and a half years old.

When a child doesn't start school at the expected August start date for their year group, it is called deferred entry:

Turning 5 after the school starts and before 31st December

If your child turns 5 after the school starts and before 31st December, you have a legal right to defer their entry into primary one until the following August when they are nearer 6 years old. This doesn't mean that your child is automatically entitled to a funded early learning and childcare place.

If the council agrees that deferring entry into primary one is in your child’s best interests, the council can choose to provide a discretionary funded early learning and childcare place. If the council doesn't agree that there will be enough educational benefit to the child from an extra year in nursery, the additional year of early learning and childcare can be funded by the parent.

If you wish to defer your child’s start into primary one, please contact the nursery your child is currently attending, where they will provide you with two forms to fill in and return to them:

  • delayed entry application
  • admission form A

Turning 5 between January and February

If your child turns 5 between January and February, they are also entitled to defer entry to school, and they are guaranteed to receive a discretionary funded early learning and childcare place. This is guaranteed because the council receives funding from the Scottish Government for places for these children.

The council will not automatically enrol your child to nursery for another year so please contact the nursery your child is currently attending, where they will give you a delayed entry application form to fill in and return (complete section A only).

They will also ask you to complete our online application form for your child to stay an extra year.

Apply for a nursery place

We will assess your application centrally. If current legislation changes in relations to deferred entry to primary one these details will be updated.