Children in Scotland usually start school between the ages of 4 years 6 months and 5 years 6 months old. All children who are 4 years old at the start of the school year can defer and start primary one the following year.
Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) funding
From August 2023, all families will be able to access a further year of funded quality ELC if they want their child to defer entry to primary school. This ensures children who defer have an equal right to funded ELC if their parent or carer feels it is in their best interests.
How to apply
If your child’s date of birth is between 14 August 2019 and 29 February 2020 you are able to apply to defer their school entry until August 2025.
The application process is open and closes on 29 February 2024. Written confirmation of additional funded year applications will be sent following the closing date.
ELC will support parents and carers in coming to an informed decision about deferring entry to primary school. They will meet with you to discuss any concerns and can arrange visits to your catchment school so you can find out about the experiences P1 would offer your child. You can then speak with the school about how you can work together to support your child in making this important transition.
When you apply to defer entry to P1, you are agreeing that you don’t need a place in P1 until August 2025. When your application is approved, your child’s P1 place is withdrawn.