Helpline 0808 801 0322



Since 2010, Scottish schools have been implementing a Curriculum of Excellence, which aims to provide children with a more flexible approach to learning. It is important to remember that in a Scottish classroom, children who were born in January and February will be the youngest in the year.

As part of the Curriculum of Excellence, parents have the following options for their child:

Automatic Deferral

  • Any child born in January and February is automatically granted a deferral if their parents request it.
  • This means they will start P1 in the year they turn six, rather than five. They will not miss any school years.
  • They will be automatically granted funding for an extra year in nursery.

Research carried out in the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study has found almost half of all children eligible for an automatic deferral did have their school start delayed.

Discretionary Deferral

  • Children born between the first day of autumn term and 31 December can apply for a discretionary deferral.
  • This is not guaranteed.
  • Applications will need evidence from the child’s personal plan, and detail of their additional needs.
  • Additional nursery funding is not automatically granted.

If you would like more advice, or are concerned about your child’s school start, please call the Bliss Helpline.


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