The Premature Baby Charity for Northern Ireland

Update: Deferred School Starting Age Consultation

Update: Deferred School Starting Age

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who submitted a response to the consultation around the deferred school starting age. There has been overwhelming support for a move to allow some children to delay starting school for a year.

Listen to our CEO Alison McNulty discuss the outcome of the report on U105 below. 

The change would allow children born between 1 April and 1 July to defer starting pre-school and school for a year if their parents wished. Northern Ireland has one of the youngest primary school starting ages in Europe.

Most children in Northern Ireland start school in September of the school year after their fourth birthday.

However, children whose birthdays fall between 2 July and 31 August usually start in the September after their fifth birthday. It means children can start primary school from ages ranging from four years and two months to more than five years old.

You can read the full Deferral of School Starting Age – Consultation Report.