Cohort entry options for children aged five and over

Cohort entry was introduced as an option on 3 July 2017. This means schools are able to consult with their communities on whether to adopt cohort entry. Nearly 50 schools have already done so and at those schools, from term one 2018, new entrants will start school in groups (cohorts) at the beginning of each term. They are currently able to start school at the beginning of the term closest to their fifth birthday.

The Government is proposing to change the policy so that children can start school in groups only after they have turned five. Prior to changing the law we are consulting with the public on two options for cohort entry for children over five.

To ensure information of public interest is available, the document considered by Cabinet to take its decisions on cohort entry has been proactively released:

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