THE LAW

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, parents have a legal right to defer a child who is not age five by the school commencement date in any given year. This means the child can start school the following year once they have turned five.


For various reasons, many parents choose to exercise this right. However, parents of mid-August* to December born children need to apply for an extra year’s nursery funding at their council’s discretion unlike January and February born children who are automatically entitled to this. We think this is unfair and that all deferrals should be automatically funded hence why we campaigned to change the law. We were successful but there’s a timelag between the law being changed in Jan 2021 and it being fully implemented across the country in Aug 2023.

*school commencement dates vary year on year but historically are usually in mid-August.