Dean Lockhart MSP has called on Stirling Council to guarantee automatic funding for a further year of nursery for all children deferring primary one start across Stirling.
Children across Scotland usually go to school in the year before they turn five, however parents of those children born in January and February can apply for a deferral, which is automatically granted.
Those with August to December birthdays can also apply, but this is at the discretion of the local authority.
There is no current automatic entitlement for these children to receive funding from Stirling Council for these places which parents being asked to cover the cost of that place.
At present, Stirling Council treats each individual child on a case by case basis.
It is understood that last year Stirling Council only approved one quarter of such applications last year, leaving many parents to pick up the bill for the same nursery education which other children have had the benefit of a fully funded place.
In a letter to the Convenor of the Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill, Mr Lockhart outlines his view that the policy should come before the committee for a review.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’The postcode lottery which exists across Scotland when it comes to how these children are treated must end.
‘’It seems extremely unfair that some people in nearby local authorities just need to tick a box and are granted the funding, whereas children in the Stirling area are left without the very same funding.
‘’This leaves some parents in the very difficult situation of trying to find money for their child’s nursery education, often on very tight budgets.
‘’It is therefore time that Stirling Council reviewed their policy, and I hope that the committee comes to the same conclusion as me following their deliberations.’’