Deferred school entry and eligibility for children who have reached school age
77. Parents of children with a birth date on or between 1 March and the school commencement date are not entitled to defer their child's start at primary school for a year, as the child has reached school age. However, there may be circumstances where the education authority considers that a further year in early learning and childcare would be more appropriate than providing the child with education in primary school.
78. In these circumstances, the education authority can use their powers under section 1(1C) of the 1980 Act, to provide discretionary funded early learning and childcare. However, we expect that this would only be in exceptional circumstances and these decisions must take into account the wishes of the parent.