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Schools and Education in the UK

Advice about sending a child to school and dealing with school processes. Check to see if you or your school-age kids qualify for extra financial childcare support. This schools overview is an invaluable resource for all parents of youngsters and teenagers. It is a guide for those who are, or will be, attending primary and secondary educational institutions around Great Britain.

UK Schools: The UK school education system provides an environment for nurturing young children into adolescence.

The English national curriculum supports the school life that is conducive for learning.

Several departments oversee the various schooling systems in England. They include the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

But, local government authorities implement most of the policies for public education and state-funded schools.

Contacting the DfE

You can contact the Department for Education online by filling in an enquiry form or by calling the DfE helpline if you need a quicker response.

DfE Helpline
Telephone: 03700002288
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
UK phone call charges.

Sending a Child to School: A to Z Guide


Attending School

Admissions Eligibility

Check the school admission criteria and how to choose a school for your child. It explains how to get a place at a primary or secondary school for your children.

Attendance Policies

All children must receive a full-time education. Check how the school attendance and absence policy can affect you if you fail to send your child to school.

Children with SEND

Help is available for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The support can provide them with an education and proper health care.

Home Education

UK home education laws allow parents to educate their children out of school. Educating your child at home can be full time or part-time, and your local council can help.

National Curriculum

The English national curriculum is a set of primary and secondary school subjects and standards. They split into key stages with written tests and assessments.

School Finder

Access the Ofsted database reports to find a school catchment area near you. It provides an overview of each school performance score in England.

School Places

You can apply for a place at a state primary school or a secondary school online. Likewise, you can also use the application form available at your local council.

School Holidays and Terms

Check your child’s school term and holiday dates on the council website. Use these links for information on school holiday dates in Scotland and school terms in Northern Ireland.

School Uniforms

Parents can request clothing changes if they disagree with the school uniform policy. But, children can get disciplined for breaking school uniform rules.

Types of Schools

Find a comprehensive list of the different types of schools in England. It also explains how community schools, academies, and free schools function.

Walking Routes

Contact the local council to find a safe walking route to your child’s school. The online safe walking or cycling route planner is only available in England and Wales.

Childcare for School-age Children

After School Clubs

Are you searching for childcare out of school hours activities? Your council can help you find after school clubs and holiday play schemes in your area.

Childcare Clubs

Check your local council for advice about childcare outside school hours. They will help you find breakfast clubs and homework clubs with registered childminders.

Childcare Support

The childcare and support section explains how to get help with child care. There is extra information on education and assistance for those with school-age children.

Dealing with Problems at School

School Problems

Check how to deal with problems at school and communicate with teachers. The section covers bullying, discipline, poor exam results, and how to make a complaint.

Truancy Rules

Local councils encourage all children to attend school. They deal with absence and truancy in various ways. You can get further education and attendance information from them online.

School Support for Parents

Free School Meals

Your child may qualify for free school meals if they get certain benefits. Use the online checker to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and how to apply.

Free School Transport

Local councils provide free school transport for children who need to walk or travel long distances. Find out if your child qualifies and the special rules for children with SEND.

School Clothing

Check to see if you qualify for help with school clothing costs for your child. In fact, some councils provide financial help towards the cost of a school uniform and games kit.

Unpaid Parental Leave

A guide for employers and employees about unpaid parental leave entitlement. It also covers employee parental leave eligibility and maternity leave notice periods.

Schools and Education System for School-age Children