Children in Scotland usually start school when they are aged between four and a half and five and a half. When they are eligible to start school depends on when their 5th birthday is:
If your child’s birthday is on or between 1 March and the first day of school in August, your child will usually start school in the August of the year they turn five.
If your child’s birthday is on or between the day after the first day of the school start in August and the last day of February (the following year) your child will usually start school in the August in the year before they turn five, however, you have the option to defer your child’s entry to school.
From August 2023, a change in legislation means that all children who are eligible to defer as above, will automatically to able to access an additional year of funded Early Learning and Childcare.
Choosing to defer when your child starts primary school is a big decision.
Before you make your mind up, its worth finding out a bit more about how primary one has changed over the last few years. Much of the learning in the early stages of primary school are based on play. This helps create a smooth transition for children moving from early learning and childcare into primary one.
Speak to your early learning and childcare manager or head teacher who will be able to give support and advice to help you make your decision. Further information about deferred entry can be found via the Parent Club Scotland website.
Enrolment week for primary one will be open from Friday 17 February until Friday 24 February 2023. During enrolment week you need to complete an online enrolment form. You will also find information on local schools as well as information on catchment areas from the ‘Related Links’ section of the page.
If you choose to defer your child, please confirm this with your Early Learning and Childcare setting and your child will automatically be carried forward for an additional year. You will not therefore be required to complete a registration form for Primary One.
Parents who wish to apply for a place at a school or early learning and childcare (ELC) setting other than their local school should complete an online Placing Request form during that week and thereafter. Further Information is available within the ‘School Placing Requests’ page.
Where possible, parents’ wishes are met, however this might not always be possible should demand exceed the number of places available. Due to the change in legislation with regards to deferrals it will not be possible to consider placing requests or split placements in our Kirkwall ELC settings this year (Glaitness, Kirkwall, Strynd). Only exceptional requests will be considered.
School transport is not available for placing requests.
Registration week is Friday 17 February until Friday 24 February 2023. Information on early learning and childcare registration is available from the ‘Early Learning and Childcare Registration’ page.