The UK Rules
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School and School-age Education

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.

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.

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.

Sending a Child to School: A to Z Guide

Sending a Child to SchoolAttending School

ADMISSIONS: 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: 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 secondary school online. You can also use the application form available at your local council.

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

SCHOOL TERMS: Check your child's school term and holiday dates on the council website. Note that school term and holiday dates vary around England and the United Kingdom.

This particular service is only available in England and Wales. Use these links for information on school holiday dates in Scotland and school terms in Northern Ireland.

SCHOOL UNIFORM: 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 ChildrenChildcare for School-age Children

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS: Searching for 'before and after' school 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 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.

TRUANCY: 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.

Financial Support for those with School-age ChildrenSchool 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. 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