Service updates and advice
Requests for early entry
We will arrange an interview for you and your child at the local primary school. We will confirm the date time with you and ask you to complete a form about your child's pre-school experience.
The interview lasts about an hour and will be held with the head teacher and a specialist in early education. The meeting allows us to decide whether your child has reached the level of development to enable him or her to settle happily into a primary one class.
A report will then be sent to the head of service at Education and Families. If your request is granted, you will be invited by letter to enrol your child at your local school. However, a placing request for your child(ren) to be educated in an alternative school is an option.
As well as making an assessment of your child's suitability, we also consider whether additional resources, for example staffing, adaptation of school buildings or other facilities will be required.
If your request is refused, we will send you a copy of the assessment report on your child. However, there is no right of appeal against a refusal of an early entry request.
In line with council policy where there are more requests than there are places available for the P1 stage at a particular school, all requests will be considered by a local attendance council and recommendations made to the head of service.
If places are available, priority for placing requests will be granted to children who live in the school catchment area but have not been given a place their local school.
Priority will then be given to 'early entry' children who are considered suitable for primary education and live in its catchment area.
If there are more placing requests than there are places available priority will be given to:
- Cases which include medical grounds supported by the family doctor and the school medical officer.
- The attendance of older siblings in the school.
Other factors that the local attendance council and the head of service may take into account:
- Single-parent families where, for example, the distance between the school to the parent's place of work would support the care and wellbeing of the child.
- Distance between home and school.
- Suitability of particular teaching methods to the child's needs.
You do not have to give reasons for making an early entry request. However, your case may be stronger if we know the reasons as there may be are more requests than places available.
Requests should be made in good time to allow the procedures to be followed and to make sure that if your request is granted, your child would be able to attend school at the start of the new session.