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Full school day for new Primary 1s

South Ayrshire children starting primary school this year will be the first to attend school for a full day from August, following a recent consultation.

Parents/carers, head teachers, teachers and members of the public were asked for their views on the proposal that children starting Primary 1 in August attend school for the full day from the start of the new school term.

The proposal was consulted on in April and May, and more than 730 parents/carers responded to the consultation, with two-thirds agreeing with the proposals:



Agreement with Proposal



Disagreement with Proposal



Total Responses


Previously, arrangements for new Primary 1 children were that they attended school for the morning session only until the first Monday in September.

Councillor William Grant, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: "Our previous Primary 1 arrangements had been in place for a number of years and were designed to support children as they moved from nursery, early years centres or home to a school environment.

"However, they didn't really take account of the changes in early years provision over recent years or reflect the fact that many children are now used to being away from home in an early years setting for a good part – if not all – of the day.

"For example, in many of our partnership early years centres, children attend from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, to suit the needs of working families.

"The new arrangements will address the anomaly of children like these having to revert to shorter days when they first go to school, and for working families having to put transport and afternoon childcare arrangements in place for the first couple of weeks of term.

"However, we do appreciate that some parents/carers may feel that their child is not yet ready for a full day at school from the start of term and had registered their child thinking they wouldn't be moving to a full day at school until September.

"Therefore, for this year only, those parents/carers will have the option to remove their child at lunch time for the first 10 school days without it being considered an unauthorised absence, helping them better manage the transition for their child.

"This is a positive and balanced approach to introducing the new arrangements and will help ensure they can be implemented in as smooth and seamless a way as possible."

As a result of the new arrangements, Primary 1 children will start school on Monday 20 August 2018 – the same date all other children return to school.

Letters detailing the outcome of the consultation and the new arrangements are being issued to the parents/carers of the 1,027 children registered to start Primary 1 in August.

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