Children in Scotland usually start school between the ages of four years six months and five years six months old. All children who are four years old at the start of the school year can defer and start primary one the following year. Applications for children with a January or February birthday have automatically been approved. Applications for children with a birthday between August and December have not been funded by the Scottish Government and approval by the council has been discretionary.
From August 2023, all families will be able to access a further year of funded quality Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) if they want their child to defer entry to primary school. This will ensure that all children who defer have an equal right to funded ELC if their parent or carer feels it is in their best interests.
ELC settings 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. 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.
How to apply
If your child’s date of birth is between 18 August 2018 and 28 February 2019 you are able to apply to defer their school entry until August 2024.
Refer to The City of Edinburgh Council website to find out when applications are open. All applications must be submitted by 31 March 2023.