Apply for primary one

Children start primary one in August and registrations take place in January each year. The year they start depends on when they turn 5.

If your child’s fifth birthday is between 1st March 2019 and 29th February 2020, you can register them in January 2019 to start attending school in August 2019.

Children usually attend a school within the school zone (primary school catchment area) close to where you live. However, you can request that your child goes to a school in another zone.

How to apply

To enrol your child for primary one, you need to visit a primary school of your choice during the registration period. The dates can differ each year but it generally takes place in January. 

The registration period for school places in term 2019 to 2020 is open from 14th January to 18th February 2019. If you miss it, please try to visit your chosen primary before the end of February.

The school will give you an application form to fill in. You can also get a copy of the school’s annual handbook which has information about exam results and school policies.

Please submit completed application form to the school with:

  • your child’s birth certificate
  • proof of address such as a recent utility bill or a bank statement

All schools in Aberdeenshire have a common start date but when your child is enrolled, the school will provide you details. View school term dates for more information.

Delayed entry to primary one

In Scotland, children usually start primary school in the year during which they have their 5th birthday. This means that in primary one classes, children are usually aged between 4 and a half and 5 and a half years old.

When a child doesn't start school at the expected August start date for their year group, it is called deferred entry.

If your child turns 5 after the school starts and before 31st December, you have a legal right to defer their entry into primary one until the following August when they are nearer 6 years old. This doesn't mean that your child is automatically entitled to a funded early learning and childcare place.

If the council agrees that deferring entry into primary one is in your child’s best interests, the council can choose to provide a discretionary funded early learning and childcare place. If the council doesn't agree that there will be enough educational benefit to the child from an extra year in nursery, the additional year of early learning and childcare can be funded by the parent.

If you wish to defer your child’s start into primary one, please contact the nursery your child is currently attending, where they will provide you with 2 forms to fill in and return to them:

  • delayed entry application
  • admission form A

If your child turns 5 between January and February they are also entitled to defer entry to school, and they are guaranteed to receive a discretionary funded early learning and childcare place. This is guaranteed because the council receives funding from the Scottish Government for places for these children.

The council won't automatically enroll your child to nursery for another year so please contact the nursery your child is currently attending, where they will give you 2 forms to fill in and return to them:

  • delayed entry application (complete section A only)
  • nursery place application (for your child to stay for an extra year)

We will assess your application centrally. If current legislation changes in relations to deferred entry to primary one these details will be updated.

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