When should your child start primary school?

A child can start school in August if their fifth birthday falls between 1 March that year and the last day of February in the following year. For example, if your child's fifth birthday falls between 1 March 2018 and the last day of February 2019, he or she can start school in August 2018.

There is no general intake of Primary 1 children at any other time in the school year.

You will find school contact details on this page.

Early entry to primary school

If your child will not have reached the age of five by the last day of February in any year, they do not fall within the definition of a qualifying child for entry that session.

This means that you can't make a formal placement request for them to start school early. However, if you think that your child has the aptitude and ability to cope with early entry to school, we do have a legal duty to consider your wishes. In this case, please talk to the staff at your child's nursery or to the Head Teacher of the primary school to which you want to send your child.

When is the latest that your child can start school?

Any child who is five before the beginning of the autumn term (i.e. the start of the school session in August) should start school in August of that year. A child who is five after this does not need to start school until August the following year.

If you would like some advice about the best starting date for your child, please talk to the staff at your child's early learning establishment or to the Head Teacher of the primary school to which you want to send your child.