The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
School and School-age Education

Schools and Education

Advice about sending your children to school and dealing with their schools. This guide also explains how to get financial childcare support for your school-age kids.

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

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

In England, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills oversee the schooling system.

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

This informative module is an invaluable resource for all parents of youngsters and teenagers who are, or will be, attending primary and secondary educational facilities around Great Britain.

UK School Education System

Sending Your Child to SchoolSending Your Child to School

SCHOOL ADMISSIONS: How to choose a school for your child? This information about the schools admissions criteria helps you secure the best place at a primary or secondary school for your children.

SCHOOL FINDER: Use the schools finder to find a school catchment area near you and access the official database of Ofsted reports with an overview of each school performance score in England. The database of the online school finder gives you immediate information and feedback about English primary schools, secondary schools, and any special needs schools near to your location in the United Kingdom.

SCHOOL PLACES: You can apply for a place at a state primary school or secondary school online or by using the application form which is available from your local council.

Apply for a Primary School place
Apply for a Secondary School place

CHILDREN WITH SEND: Help and support is available for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to provide them with an education and proper health care. Special Educational Needs (SEN) is the legal definition used with children who show learning difficulties or any disabilities which make it harder for them to learn - especially during their schooling.

HOME EDUCATION: The United Kingdom home education rules allow parents to educate their children out of school, full or part-time, and your local council can help. Even though you must teach your child from 5 years old there is no legal requirement to follow the national curriculum.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE LAWS: United Kingdom law states that all children must receive a full-time education but how does the school attendance and absence policy affect you if you do not send your child to school?

SCHOOL TERMS & HOLIDAYS: You can find school term in England, half term periods, and holiday dates on the website of your local council. Remember school term and holiday dates vary considerably around the United Kingdom.

This particular service is only available in England and Wales but you can use alternative web links to find information about school holiday dates in Scotland and school terms in Northern Ireland.

SCHOOL UNIFORM: Valuable information about buying a school uniform, how to request changes to school uniforms, and advice about dress discipline rules in the United Kingdom.

THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM: The English national curriculum is a set of primary and secondary school subjects and standards split into key stages with tests. When schools follow the national curriculum it means children study the same subjects according to similar standards of education.

TYPES OF SCHOOLS: United Kingdom law states that all children must receive a full-time education but how does the school attendance and absence policy affect you if you do not send your child to school?

UNPAID PARENTAL LEAVE: A guide for employers and employees about unpaid parental leave entitlement. There is further information about employee parental leave eligibility and maternity leave notice periods.

WALKING ROUTES: Your local council has advice about safe walking and cycling routes. Contact them to get help finding 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 ChildrenChildcare for School-age Children

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS: Use this information to search for 'before and after' school activities. Your council can help you find after school clubs and holiday play schemes in your area. Most schools and voluntary organisations run after school clubs for children.

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.


Dealing with School ProblemsDealing 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.


Financial Support for those with School-age ChildrenFinancial Support for Parents

FREE SCHOOL MEALS: Your child may qualify for free school meals if they get certain benefits in their own right or you are getting a qualifying benefit. Use the online checker on the website of your local council to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and how to apply.

FREE SCHOOL TRANSPORT: Help with school travel costs may be available for your children. Local councils provide free school transport for children who must travel long distances. Find out if your child is eligible 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. Some local councils provide financial help towards paying for a school uniform and other clothing items such as for PE and games kit.


Schools and Education System for School-age Children