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Application process open to defer entry to P1

The school year begins in August. A single state school year group consists of children born between the beginning of March in one year and the end of February the following year, aged 4 ½ – 5 ½ years old. Children who defer entry to school tend to start school at 5 ½ – 6 years old.


Edinburgh Council’s online application process to give 4-year-olds due to start school in August the opportunity of a further funded year in a Kindergarten setting is open


It is crucial education is child-centred, based on well-established principles of child development. Not only is there no advantage to early schooling, there is in fact significant social, emotional and academic disadvantages.


Importantly, however, parents still are required to submit an application by the deadline, which Edinburgh Council have made 28th February 2023; and many families are unaware of their legal right for their 16th August 2018 – 28th February 2019 born child to not start school this August.



Only 12% of the world begin school before they are six. Watch Now We Are Six, a 12-minute documentary by award-winning education filmmaker into CfE and one of the youngest school starting ages in the world.


‘A playful foundation to academics’ published in Nursery Guide Edinburgh last year examined the importance of a play as child’s work in the younger years.


Providing an important alternative to mainstream independent education in the city, it has long been an ambition of the School that access to a Steiner education should not depend solely on the ability to pay fees. In this endeavour, it has been a partner provider of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) since 1991. All 3 and 4 year olds are given up to 1,140 hours early learning and childcare (around 30 hours a week during term time). Read on


A mixed-age Kindergarten environment that supports older children

Our experienced Early Years practitioners proactively inform and support parents with a mid-August to February born child in their application to defer entry to P1. ESS has four Kindergartens, each with groups of children from age 3.5 – 6 years old. The mix of ages is an important part of the learning environment; and therefore places for older children are protected so as to keep this balance of Littles, Middles and Bigs.


Our School accepts applications throughout the academic year; and is registered with the UK Government’s Tax-Free Childcare Scheme; as well as offering bursaries to Kindergarten children not in receipt of ELC funding; and the fee structure supports parents in increasing children’s early years education with no extra charge for the 5th morning.


The transition to school here begins after a child’s sixth birthday, with flexibility and freedom for parents and the child’s Kindergarten leader to come to a decision collaboratively regarding when a child is ready for Class 1. This means that children in the first year of our Lower School are aged between 6 and 7 years old, shaped by a child-centred approach.