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Early Entry to school request

Early Entry to school request

What is ‘Early Entry’ to school?

Councils set a date by which children must have had their 5th birthday to be considered old enough to attend school.

Children born before or on this date are regarded as being of school age.

Children born after this date are not regarded as being old enough to attend school.

Each year the date is advertised along with the notice to enrol children for school. 

Aspects to consider

Before making an application for Early Entry, you should consider:

  • your child's learning and development
  • your child's emotional and social development
  • possible long-term implications for your child

It may be helpful to discuss these issues with staff at your child's ELC setting.

The information below may be of help in deciding whether or not you wish to apply for Early Entry.

If I apply for my child to enter school early, how will Education staff decide on my application?

Education staff will consider whether

  • your child's learning and development would be best met within an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) setting where the early childhood curriculum on offer is designed to meet the needs of young children,
  • the particular primary school class to which the child would be admitted would be able to provide education suited to the abilities and aptitudes of your child.

They will review your child's profiling documentation, observe your child in their ELC setting, consider the Head of Establishment's report (Section B of the application form) and discuss your child's learning and development with ELC staff and a member of the school management team.

Key aspects of learning for consideration will include your child's

  • approach and attitude to learning,
  • ability to communicate own feelings and express ideas confidently,
  • levels of independence and self-help,
  • emotional and personal development including self-confidence and esteem,
  • preferred learning style and stage of development,
  • ability to take part in conversations and discussions within a range of groupings and situations,
  • progress within the early years curriculum.

Decisions will also be made within the context that 

  • ELC settings and partnership settings provide the challenge, enjoyment, depth and relevance, personalisation and choice important to young children's development.
  • the early childhood curriculum on offer in an ELC is ideally suited to meeting the needs of young children, promoting emotional and social development, self-esteem and confidence.
  • young children need opportunities to develop their thinking through investigation, first hand experience, talk and play, with other children and with adults. ELC settings plan for and provide these opportunities.
  • activities and experiences within ELC settings are carefully differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. The skill of the team in ELC settings ensures that relevant learning opportunities exist for all children, regardless of age or stage of development.

What issues should I consider before deciding to apply for Early Entry?

  • A child's maturity and ability to cope with change should be given careful consideration at any point of transition.
  • Research shows that Early Entry to school may put undue pressure on a child and suggests that early introduction to schooling could increase anxiety and have a negative impact on children's self-esteem and motivation to learn. On the other hand, effective early years education can enhance school readiness.
  • Transition to school is a major event in the lives of young children which needs to be carefully planned for and supported. Early Entry to primary school can be counter-productive to this.
  • Parents are asked to consider the possible long-term implications, when at the end of secondary school their child may still be too young to leave school along with their peers, and when potential difficulties exist around entrance to their preferred form of higher education.

If I decide to apply, what should I do?

A parent wishing to proceed in applying for Early Entry must complete an Early Entry Request Form.

The parent or legal guardian of the child should complete Section A of the form.

The Head of the ELC setting completes Section B and discusses the application with a member of school senior management team.

All sections of the Early Entry Request Form and a copy of your child's profile should be submitted by 1 February of the year for which early entry is sought.

The application form should be submitted to the ELC establishment your child currently attends.

What happens next?

Arrangements will be made for staff from Education to meet with you and your child at your child's ELC setting. A member of the management team from the primary school will also attend. The discussion will last around an hour.

The purpose of the discussion will be

  • to discuss the application with you,
  • to make a recommendation to the Education senior management team.

If your request is granted you will receive a letter inviting you to enrol your child at school.

In considering requests for Early Entry we must take into account the normal constraints affecting education generally. In determining any request, in addition to the meeting with you, we consider whether additional resources, in terms of staff, adaptation of school buildings or facilities will be required as a result of the early entry request. This would also influence our decision.

If the Education Service refuses the request, you will be advised accordingly and given reasons for the refusal. If your request for Early Entry is refused it is not possible to make an appeal against this decision.

Where there are more requests than there are places available for the primary stage at a particular school all requests will be considered in line with the Council's admissions policy.

In general, an Early Entry request will only be considered for the start of a new school year in August. Requests for children whose family move into the area during the school year will be considered on an individual basis.

We are not able to fund home to school transport, except where seats are available in existing provisions. Such provision can however be withdrawn if there is increased need for distance entitled children within the catchment area.

For Further Information Contact

Educational Support Officer, Education & Schools
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000