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Early admission requests for Primary 1

Almost all children aged between 4½ and 5½ enrol in primary school at the start of term in August.

Parents may wish to make a request for early admission into school for a child whose date of birth falls outside the enrolment dates.

Things to consider

Is your child emotionally and socially mature enough to cope with full-time 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:

  • Separating from the parent/carer.
  • Making friends and working with others in the class.
  • Play activities in the classroom and playground.
  • Behavioural problems due to lack of maturity.
  • Your child's ability to cope in different situations.

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

Attending school places physical demands on young children. Problems may arise in relation to:

  • Concentration on a task.
  • Mastery of basic skills for learning.
  • Acceptance by other children in relation to the demands of both classroom and playground activities

Has your child developed sufficiently to cope with the learning?

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 and early admission to school may limit the extended opportunities provided in early years care, which promotes confidence, self-esteem and enthusiasm for learning.

Have you considered the long term implications for your child?

  • At the end of primary school it may be felt that the child is not mature enough to proceed to secondary school.
  • Your child will be younger than their peers and consideration will have to be given to the social impact and delaying entry to higher education.


Please read the guidance (PDF) [1MB] for further information regarding this process before you apply.

In the first instance you should discuss your request with the Head Teacher/ Manager of your child's early years centre. If you decide to make an application for early admission for your child, please submit an online application.

Applications for August 2024 will be available from 15 January 2024.

Apply for early admission

Once you have completed your application what happens next?

Arrangements will be made to meet you and your child at your requested primary school. You will be informed of the date and time of the meeting and will be asked to complete a simple form about your child. An Early Years Officer designated by South Ayrshire Council will assess your child and the meeting/assessment will normally last for no more than an hour. The Head Teacher of the school, or their representative, will also be present at the meeting. The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether or not your child has reached the level of development which will allow him/her to settle happily into primary school.

Your child's early years centre will also be asked to complete a simple form about your child's pre-school experience and provide evidence of their learning.

Following the meeting, a report will go to the Director of Educational Services at South Ayrshire Council. If it is decided that your request should be granted you will receive a letter inviting you to enrol your child at school. However, you should note that this is early admission into Primary 1 in South Ayrshire rather than into the catchment area school or another school of parent/carer's choice.

In considering requests for early admission the Council has to consider the impact on the existing provision and capacity in South Ayrshire. If extra resources would have to be made available to allow your request to proceed this will be considered as part of the process.

Unfortunately should your request be refused there is no right of appeal and the decision should be viewed as final.