1. Councils’ Discretionary Deferral Funding Rates 

The data in the infographics below was collated from responses to Freedom of Information requests sent to all Scottish local authorities on 24th August 2020.

The Total number of requests nationally was 1719 of which 1634 were approved and 85 refused (5%).

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Total Number of Applications in Each Council Area

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Want More Info On Your Council?

To find out your council’s response to all of our 24th Aug 2020 FoI questions below, scroll down at this link until you find your council’s name then click on the email thread.

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2. Scottish Government Research

On 27/10/20 the Scottish Government published its research into deferral patterns across Scotland. You can scroll through it here to see the data by local authority area, sex, ethnicity, SIMD and automatic (Jan/Feb birthday) deferrals vs discretionary (mid-Aug to 31 Dec birthday deferrals).

3. Research & Articles on Potential Benefits of Deferral

This document contains relevant articles and research links which parents and ELC professionals may find of interest.

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4. Comparisons of Councils’ Decision Making Processes for Discretionary Deferral Funding Requests

Various approaches to assessing discretionary deferral funding requests are taken by local authorities. See what happens in your council area here and how this compares to other regions.

5. Parents’ Experiences of Finding Out About Legal Right to Defer and ELC Funding for a Deferral Year between April 2019 & Oct 2020

Our October 2020 survey received 88 responses and paints a very mixed picture of deferral awareness and practices across Scotland. Read it in full for yourself here or here’s a snapshot:

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6. Councils Which Allow Self-funding of Nursery Places

When a discretionary deferral request for an extra year of nursery funding is turned down, some local authorities allow parents/carers to self-finance a continued place in a council nursery and some don’t. See whether your council permits this or not in the table below (updated Dec 2020).

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7. Lack of Parental Awareness of Legal Right to Defer

In autumn 2018, the National Parent Forum of Scotland kindly asked parents across the country on our behalf to complete a questionnaire about deferral. There were 559 responses with respondents from all 32 local authorities.

Average Awareness of Right to Defer Jan or Feb born children = 80%


Average Awareness of Right to Defer Aug* to Dec Born Children = 16% (*only those children with birthdays after the school commencement date in Aug have a legal right to be deferred)


8. Key Evidence & Arguments

You can read about the campaign’s main arguments for introducing an automatic entitlement to a further year of nursery funding for ALL children legally deferring their primary 1 start in Scotland (not just those with Jan/Feb birthdays) here.


9. What difference does a year make?

In July 2021 we asked parents on our Deferral Support Scotland Facebook group what difference a deferral year made to their child. View all 111 responses here.



The Give Them Time campaign would like to sincerely thank What Do They Know for the invaluable service provided free of charge through its website which has enabled us to send Freedom of Information requests tool 32 Scottish local authorities easily and to quickly share weblinks to the responses received.