Plans to raise Scotland's school starting age have been officially adopted by SNP at their 88th Annual Conference in Aberdeen.

The policy would see the school starting age begin at six rather than four or five.

The motion, which was overwhelmingly supported by party delegates, states that 'social play' is a child's "natural learning drive and helps develop physical fitness, social skills, cognitive capacities and personal qualities such as creativity, problem-solving, self-regulation and emotional resilience."

The policy is also supported by the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Green Party.

With a huge shake-up of the Scottish education system on the horizon, here is a round-up of everything you need to know about the plans.

What will happen with childcare after school starting age rise in Scotland?

With the rise in the school starting age, many working parents are concerned about their future childcare arrangements.

However, the current proposals would see an earlier primary one start replaced with a kindergarten stage as seen in other European nations.

The kindergarten stage would be for children between the ages of three and six, promoting 'child-led' and 'play-focused' education.

The Scottish Government also currently provides 1140 hours of free childcare to parents across Scotland.

Reasons for raising the school starter age in Scotland

The National: Hamish Frost/PA Reasons for raising the school starting age in ScotlandHamish Frost/PA Reasons for raising the school starting age in Scotland (Image: Hamish Frost/PA)

Proponents of the policy, like the campaign group Upstart Scotland, say that there is international evidence in support of raising the school starter age to six years old.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also found that nations with a later school starting age, perform better academically. 

It has also been found that there is no advantage to an early school start while others point out that a play-based approach until the age of six improves key skills like emotional resilience and problem-solving.

Is nursery free for three-year-olds in Scotland?

Up to 1140 hours of free childcare is available to Scottish parents annually. This is roughly equal to 30 hours a week.

The entitlement was raised in August 2021 and is for children between the ages of three and four.