“Current deferral policy across Scotland tends to be focused on crudely financial decisions, rather than having individual children’s developmental needs at its heart.
“This difficulty can be compounded if communication with parents is poor, information about the process is opaque, and parents are made to feel like they are asking for a special privilege – rather than something that is in the absolute best interests of their child and family.
“The planned expansion of childcare offers an opportunity to address these problems and reform policy in this area. The Scottish Government must seize that opportunity.
“Until that happens, Children in Scotland supports the aims of the Give Them Time campaign and joins them in calling for a more intelligent, sensitive and child-centred approach to deferral and the school starting age.”
“Connect fully supports the ‘Give Them Time’ campaign for deferral for children who need it. A child-centred and child-led education system must put children’s needs first. We’re aware that in some areas, parents are not advised of children’s rights to deferral. Worse still, deliberately obstructive practices and misleading information are used to discourage parents from applying for deferral for their child and exercising their rights. Processes for applying can be complicated, bureaucratic and slow. Families have a right to clear information and to fair, open procedures for applying for deferral. They are also entitled to know what their legal rights are.”