1. Councils’ Discretionary Deferral Funding Rates This Year Compared to Last Year

In 2019, the total number of applications made across all Scottish local authorities for continued funding of a nursery place for children turning five after the school commencement date in August 2019 and by 31 December 2019 was 1255. Of these, 1064 were approved (85%).

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This table shows the percentage of requests for a further year of nursery for a child legally deferring their p1 start – specifically those who turn five between the day after the school commencement date in Aug and 31 Dec – which each council funded in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

Want More Info On Your Council?

To find out exactly how many deferral funding apps your council received for 2019-2020 and how many it granted, scroll down at this link to see your individual local authority’s response to our FoI request (if it says that the Council’s responses to Qs 1-3 haven’t changed since May, then you can see our May 2019 FoI responses from councils here.)

Want to know how this compares to previous years? Scroll down at this link to find your individual local authority’s response to our Dec 2018 FoI request (councils’ responses contain the data held from 2013 up to and including 2018).

We estimate that across Scotland, approximately 1100 – 1200 requests are made annually (four local authorities were unable to provide this data, hence why we can only estimate numbers).

2. Comparisons of Decision Making Processes for Dealing with 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.

3. 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.


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4. 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)


5. Key Evidence & Arguments

This document sets out the campaign’s 16 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).

6. More FoI Data

We asked all councils the following questions via Freedom of Information requests. Their responses have been collated in this spreadsheet.

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