Deferred entry to school

Defer your child’s school entry

If you wish to defer your child’s school entry you should still register your child at their catchment primary school and complete an application for Deferred Entry / Additional Year of Early Learning and Childcare. 

The entry to a primary school in East Dunbartonshire is at the start of the new session in August each year.  If your child has not had their fifth birthday before the first day of term in August, you are entitled to apply to defer your child’s entry to primary school. 

  • If your child’s fifth birthday falls in January or February, they are automatically entitled to receive an additional funded year of early learning and childcare. 
    If your child’s fifth birthday falls between the first day of term in August and the 31 December (inclusive), they are not automatically entitled to an additional year of early learning and childcare.Parents/carers can apply to the Council for funding for this additional year.

The process for applying for funding is set out in the Deferred Entry to Primary School Guidance.

The Head / Depute Head of Centre at your child’s early years centre can provide you with support and guidance on deferred entry to primary school.  It is important to let the Head/Depute Head of Centre know as early as possible if you are thinking of applying for deferred entry for your child, and they will assist you in collating any information that may be required to support your funding application.

FAQ's

Am I entitled to defer entry to primary school for my child?

Under current legislation, parents/carers of children aged 4 years old at the start of the school sessions in August have a choice as to whether their child starts primary school in that year.  This means that your child’s fifth birthday falls between the first day of term in August and the last day of February the following year, you can choose to start school before they turn five, or have their start date deferred until the following August.  Most parents/carers choose to send their child to school as soon as they are eligible to start.

How do I go about deferring entry to primary school?

The first thing to do is to discuss your intentions with the Head of Centre at your child’s early years centre.  This is important as they will know your child well and can guide you through the process of deferred entry, including supporting you to gather any evidence that you may require when making a deferred entry application.

Around the start of January, you must register your child for primary school – even if you know that you will also be applying for deferred entry.  This is to ensure that your child will have a place if, for any reason, you decide to send your child to school.  You should also complete the deferred entry year application form.  This deadline for applications is the last day of January.

Will East Dunbartonshire Council fund an additional year of early learning and childcare?

If your child turns five in January and February, they are automatically entitled to an additional funded deferred year of early learning and childcare. This is because East Dunbartonshire Council receives funding from the Scottish Government.

If your child turns five between the first day of term in August and the last day of December, there is no automatic entitlement for an additional year of funded early learning and childcare as East Dunbartonshire Council does not receive funding from Scottish Government.  These places must be funded by the Council or self-funded by the parent/carer.

The Council will consider funding an additional year of early learning and childcare for applications for children who turn five between August and December.  The Deferred Entry Group will make a decision based on the perceived educational and wellbeing benefits that the additional year will bring.  The group will consider the evidence supplied through the deferred entry – supporting information form that your child’s Head of Centre will complete.  This will include information from a range of stakeholders, including your child’s views and your views as their parent/carer. The Council will fund the additional year if the group agree that there will be a significant benefit to your child.  If this is not agreed, parents/carers must decide if they wish to self-fund this additional year. 

This process does not change in any way your right as a parent/carer to choose to defer your child’s entry to primary school; it simply acts as a mechanism to support decisions around whether the place is funded by the Council, or by the parent/carer.

Will I get a place / pattern for my child in my chosen early years centre?

The Early Years Admissions Policy sets out the way places are allocated in local authority early years centres.  You can also talk to your child’s Head of Centre who will talk you through the allocations procedures