Early Learning and Childcare

Deferred Entry

What is deferred entry to primary school?

Deferred entry is where a parents would like their child to have another year in nursery rather than starting school. Legislation confirms that children do not have to start primary one until the August after their fifth birthday.

This is available to children who will turn five years of age between 18 August 2021 and 28 February 2022

August 2021

In previous years children whose fifth birthday fell during January or February 2022 would have be entitled to a deferred entry place and guaranteed an additional funded year of Early Learning and Childcare.

Parents of children whose fifth birthday falls between the school commencement date, 18 August and the 31 December 2021, had the legal right to defer their child’s entry to Primary school, however funding for an additional year of Early Learning and Childcare was at the discretion of the Local Authority. Applications for children born before 1 January were considered by an enrolment panel who, in all cases, sought to promote the best interests of the child. The views of parents, carers and if appropriate support staff from other agencies contributed to the decision.

From August 2021 we will be piloting the phased implementation of legislation that will come into force in 2023, where we guarantee a funded place for children born between 18 August 2016 and 28 February 2017,where their parents want to defer the child's entry to primary one.