Deferring entry to Primary School

Deferring entry to Primary School

Traditionally in Scotland almost all children start primary school aged between 4 ½ and 5 years old.

Legislation changes from August 2023 mean that children who have not had their 5th birthday by the time school starts in August, are entitled to another year of funded early learning and childcare. For session 2023/24 this is available to children who turn 5 years of age between 17 August 2023 and 29 February 2024.

This does not mean that all parents with children in this age group will choose to take up this option. The parent/carer, the early learning and childcare setting and the local authority collectively have the responsibility to arrive at the decision, which is in the best interest of the child. Your child’s current early learning and childcare setting will be able to support you to make an informed decision about deferring entry to primary school.

Where a child has not attended an early learning and childcare setting, and you are concerned about a child’s readiness for school, please email

How to apply

Please read the Guidance for Parents/Carers 2023 

and use the link below to apply.

ELC Deferral Form 2023

Applications received by Friday 10 February 2023 will receive confirmation of their request to defer by email in March.  Applications submitted after the closing date may be considered later in the term and parents/carers will not receive email confirmation  until after the Easter school break