Early Entry to School

What is Early Entry to School?

Children normally start school between the ages of 4yrs 6mths and 5yrs 6mths. Arrangements for entry to primary schools in Moray are on a once a year basis - at the start of the new school session in August each year. Children whose fifth birthday is between 1st March that year and the last day of February of the following year will automatically be admitted to school.

Parents have a right to request that children younger than this be admitted to school. The Moray Council is required to look at each case individually to determine whether or not the education normally provided in the school is suited to the ability and aptitude of the child.

If you are considering requesting Early Entry to School for your child you may find the following helpful:

Is your child emotionally and socially mature enough to cope with a full-time programme of education?

As a consequence of early admission to school your child would be younger than the other pupils in the class.  This may present difficulties in relation to:

  • separation from parents
  • making friends and working with other children in the class
  • activities within the classroom and playground
  • your child’s ability to cope in different situations
  • conforming to a more formal classroom organisation

Is your child physically mature enough to cope with a full-time programme of education?

Attending school places physical demands on children for up to 6 hours each day, including intervals and lunch break.  If a child is not physically mature enough to deal with the school situation, problems may arise in relation to:

  • concentration on task
  • mastery of basic learning skills
  • acceptance by other children in relation to the demands of both classroom and playground activities
  • homework

Has your child developed sufficiently to cope with the learning programme in a school?

Young children learn informally through play and through other individual, social and family experiences.  Early learning and childcare offers a curriculum suited to the needs of the young learner. Primary school offers a more formal learning situation.  Early Entry to school may be detrimental to your child’s development in relation to:

  • confidence and self-esteem
  • enthusiasm for learning
  • ability to realise his/her full potential

Have you considered the long-term implications for your child throughout his/her career:

  • at the end of P1, when it may be felt that the child is not ready to proceed to P2
  • at the end of P7, when it may be felt that the child is not ready to proceed to S1 in secondary school
  • at the end of secondary education, when the child will be too young to leave school along with his/her class group and when there may be difficulties with entrance to a desired form of higher education?

Early Entry Requests

If you wish to make an application for early entry to primary school you should contact Education and Social Care.

What happens next?

Arrangements will be made for you and your child to be interviewed by the Early Entry Assessment Team.

The interview will normally last for no more than an hour and will be conducted by a specialist in early education and by the head teacher of the receiving school or their representative.  The purpose of the interview will be to determine whether primary school education is appropriate for the ability and aptitude of your child.

If your child currently attends an Early leaning and childcare centre in Moray they will be asked for their views on your child's ability, aptitude and progress. An observation visit will also take place.

Following the interview a report will be sent to the assigned Quality Improvement Officer.

You will be advised of the decision by letter.  If it is decided that your request should be granted, you will receive information about how to enrol your child.

Contact Us

Education and Social Care
Council Office
High Street
IV30 1BX

01343 563374


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