Deferring entry to Primary School

Traditionally in Scotland almost all children aged between 4 ½ and 5 enrol in primary school in August, at the start of the autumn term. You should make an enrolment application to the Catchment Primary School in the November before your child is due to start school.

Parents of children whose 5th birthday is in January or February have the right to start school, or to defer entry to Primary School and have a funded Early Learning and Childcare place for another year. This does not mean that all parents with children in this age group will choose to take up this option. The parent, the school and the local authority collectively have the responsibility to arrive at the decision, which is in the best interests of the child.

Where the 5th birthday is between the start of the Autumn term (in August) and the 31st December, parents have the legal right to choose not to send their child to primary school until the beginning of the following school session. However, they do not have an entitlement to an additional funded year in an Early Learning and Childcare setting. The offer of a funded place is at the discretion of the local authority. However, parents can choose to fund their own additional year in a non-local authority setting. Children may only attend local authority provision when they have a funded place to do so.

Download further information for parents/carers on deferring entry to primary school