Admission for nursery.
This will depend on the curriculum and school. Unfortunately, the situation is somewhat confusing due to a change in cut off date imposed by the KHDA. Whereas previously schools used the start of the academic year as the cut off (so 31st August), recently this has been changed to 31st December. Children born between 1st September and 31st December are potentially age-appropriate under this new cut off for a year ahead of where they would have previously started school – and for a young child starting school, this can have a significant impact.
IB curriculum schools use the 31st December as the cut-off date. Since your son will be turning 4 by 31st December, he will join EY2 in a 13 year school. In a 12 grade school, he would join potentially join KG1. Many UK curriculum schools attracting a significant non-UK student population also now follow the 31st December cut off date, and your son would therefore join FS2 in a 13 year school.
However, traditional UK schools that still maintain strong links (through their large British school population) still apply the 31st August deadline. Since your son will not have turned 4 by that date, they would be likely to prefer to admit him to FS1 (the pre-KG equivalent). You may feel, since he will still be only 3 years old at the time, that this a more appropriate year group in which to start school. The School Admissions team will need to request a demotion for your son in this case and receive approval from the KHDA. This will depend to some extent on your son’s maturity and what the school feels is best for him.
We would advise you to contact schools that are of interest to you to find out what policy they are applying and to check whether they would support demotion if you feel that this would be the better option. Schools do not have to support this, but the decision should be based on an assessment of your child by the school to ensure that he has the maturity to settle into a higher grade class.