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Delayed and early school entry

Defer entry to Primary School

In North Ayrshire, children are entitled to start Early Learning and Childcare from the term after their 3rd birthday. 

Children who turn 4 in January and February of the enrolment year are entitled to defer their entry into primary school and access an additional year of free Early Learning and Childcare.

Children who turn 5 between August and December can apply for a deferred entry into school.

An additional year of Early Learning and Childcare cannot be guaranteed for this group of children, and an assessment will be carried out by a specialist. Specialist services occasionally recommend this assessment for some children.

If you feel your child would benefit from a deferred entry into primary school, you should speak to the staff in your Early Learning and Childcare centre.

How to apply

You should discuss this with your child's current early years establishment who will arrange for you to be emailed the link to the online application form. 

Applications must be submitted in January each year. We'll notify you of our decision in writing by 1 April.

Start Primary School early

Most children start primary school in the August of the year that they turn 5. Apart from children with whose birthday falls in January and February, who can start school in the August of their 4th birthday.

If, as a parent, you feel your child is ready emotionally, socially and academically to start school early , you can apply for early entry into Primary School.

All children who apply for early entry into Primary School are assessed by an Early Learning and Childcare specialist and views are gathered from parents, carers and the Early Learning and Childcare centre the child attends.

How to apply

Apply online for Early Entry.

Applications must be submitted by 15 March each year. We will notify you of our decision, in writing, by 30 April.

To request a paper version of this form, phone 01294 310000 or email educationresources@north-ayrshire.gov.uk