uk compulsory education
If you turn 16 between 2 July and 31 August you can’t leave school until 30 June the following year.
If you turn 16 between 1 March and 30 September you can leave school after 31 May of that year.
Most children start school full-time in the September after they turn 4.
Your child must start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age. This is on 31 December, 31 March or 31 August following their fifth birthday – whichever comes first. If your child’s fifth birthday is on one of those dates then they reach compulsory school age on that date.
School in the UK is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. Children younger than five can go to a toddler group (accompanied by a parent), playgroup or nursery school.
In this text you will find general information on the education system in the UK. As there are separate education systems in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the actual ages etc. might vary a little.
Your parents, by law, must make sure that you are in full-time education from the term after your fifth birthday. This is called compulsory school age. From this age, you must either be in school or receive home education.
However, many children receive education from the age of 3 or 4 by attending a nursery group, playgroup or the nursery or reception class of a Primary School. It will be the choice of your parents whether you go to school before the age of 5.
This project aims to examine how pathways to post-compulsory education vary between different groups of pupils. Areas of specific interest include the progression of pupils from Welsh medium schools and how these pathways vary by socio-economic characteristics such as gender, free-school meal status, ethnicity and those with special educational needs.
10 February 2020
Our aim is to support and promote parents’ rights to provide their children with the best education for each of them, as individuals.
Our name comes from the Education Act, which states that parents are responsible for their children’s education, ‘either by regular attendance at school or otherwise’ and we work to raise public awareness of the fact that education is compulsory, but school is not.
- “I can’t wait to leave school!”
- “Why do we have to leave school?”
Whether you love it or hate it (or just think that you do) there comes a time when everyone has to leave their school. What’s interesting, is how this time has changed over the years in England to make our school leaving age what it is today.