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Delayed and early school entry

Defer entry to Primary School

In Scotland, children usually start primary school in the year preceding or during which they have their 5th birthday.

To defer a child’s entry to Primary School in session 2024 to 2025, their 5th Birthday must fall on or between the day after the school start date in August 2024 and the end of February 2025.

Children who turn 5 between 1 March and the day school commences in August are not automatically entitled to a deferral year. However, you can still apply, and a member of the Early Years Central Team will contact you to discuss this further.

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

How to apply

Speak to a member of staff at your child's current early years centre. They will email you a link to an online application form.

Applications must be submitted in January each year.

Once processed, your child will automatically be granted a deferred year.

During the deferred year, your child will continue to access their Early Learning and Childcare in their existing establishment. Should you wish to change your early years provider, please discuss this with the EY staff and make an application online.

Start Primary School early

Most children start primary school in the August of the year that they turn 5. Apart from children 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 31 January 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