Renfrewshire Council

Early entry to school

Entry to primary schools in the Renfrewshire Council area happens once a year, at the start of the new session in August.

Only children whose fifth birthday falls between 1 March of that year and the last day of February of the following year will automatically be admitted to school.

Parents may make a request for early entry to school for a child whose fifth birthday falls after the appropriate latest date.

Parents should be aware of the following issues associated with early entry into school.

Physical development

Is your child physically mature enough to cope with a full-time programme of education? School places physical demands on children for approximately five hours each day. If a child is not physically mature enough to deal with the school situation, problems may arise in relation to:

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

Emotional/Social development

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, the child would be younger than the other pupils in the class. Difficulties may arise for the child in relation to:

  • Separating from parent.
  • Making friends with others within the class group.
  • Play activities within the classroom and the playground.
  • Behavioural problems due to lack of maturity.

Learning development

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

The child learns informally through play and through other individual, social and family experiences in the pre-school period, early entry to school may deprive the child of such activities and experiences, which prepare him/her for the more formal learning situation.

Long-term implications

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

(a) At the end of P1, when it may be felt that the child is not ready to proceed to P2, because of difficulty in adjusting to the school learning environment.

(b) 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 therefore be difficulties with entrance to a desired form of higher education.