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Consultation Deferring School Starting Age

Dear Consultee,



The Department of Education (DE) has launched a consultation on deferring school starting age. The Department proposes to introduce a new policy and changes to the law to allow flexibility in school starting age for the youngest children in the year group born between 1 April and 1 July. Full details of the proposals are available on-line at


It is important that the views of educational practitioners are fully reflected in the consultation period. I would therefore encourage all pre-school and school leaders and other teaching and early years practitioners to review the proposals and complete the brief online response survey. Equally, I would encourage you to share these proposals with the wider school community so that the views of parents and governors are taken into account.

The online survey can be accessed at:


Hard copies of the consultation documents and response booklet can be made available in

other formats and languages on request contacting DE:

By telephone:          02891858113

By e-mail:                 SchoolStartingAge@education-ni.gov.uk

By writing to:           School Starting Age Review Team

                                   Department of Education

                                   Rathgael House

                                   43 Balloo Road  Rathgill


                                   BT19 7PR


Comments on the proposals should preferably be made on-line but can also be sent by e-mail or by post to the address above on or before the consultation end date. The consultation period will close at 5pm on Tuesday 4 January 2022.


A summary of the responses to this consultation will be published on the DE website:



Yours faithfully,

Adrian Murphy