Defer entry to P1

Children in Scotland usually start school between the ages of 4.5 and 5.5. However, if your child was born between 15 August and 31 December, you can request to defer your child’s entry into Primary 1 to the following August. These deferrals are not automatic – we must approve them.


You have a legal right to defer your child’s entry into P1 if your child’s fifth birthday falls between the dates stated above.

If your child’s birthday is in January or February, you are entitled to receive another funded year of early learning and childcare. This is known as automatic deferral. You can request this after discussing it with your nursery.

The Scottish Government does not fund another year of early learning and childcare for children born before January, so we can use discretion when considering applications for an additional funded year at nursery for children born between 15 August and 31 December. This is known as discretionary deferral.

Making the decision

Nurseries support parents and carers in coming to an informed decision about deferring entry by meeting with parents and discussing their concerns. They can arrange visits to your catchment school so you can find out about the experiences P1 would offer your child. This gives you the opportunity to speak with the school about how you can work together to support your child in making this important transition.

Please discuss fully with nursery staff before making your decision.


Get an application from your child’s nursery.

You should complete

  • Form 1A: if your child’s 5th birthday is between 15 August and 31 December
  • Form 1B: if you child’s 5th birthday is between 1 January and 28 February

These forms must be signed by the head of your nursery setting before the form is submitted to the council. Applications must reach us no later than 26 March.

When you apply to defer entry to P1, you are agreeing that you don’t need a place in P1 until August 2022. If your application is approved, any P1 application is withdrawn.


You can appeal if you disagree with the discretionary deferral decision. An independent panel reviews all appeals.