Early entry

Information for parents of 'early entry' children

Arrangements for entry to primary schools in North Lanarkshire Council are on a once a year basis - at the start of the new session in August each year. 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. It is, however, open to parents to 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 and 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:

  • Separation 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, leaving him/her under prepared for the more formal learning situation.

Long-term implications

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

A press advertisement will appear in the month of January advising parents of their right to make a placing request and asking for applications to be made by 1 February. Applications for early entry requests should also be made at this time.

Applications can be made by accessing the early entry leaflet via the box at the top right hand side of your screen on the contents page. Acknowledgement will be sent within five working days of receipt.

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