Starting and attending school

Apply for a primary or secondary school place, help with costs, dealing with problems, home schooling, term and holiday dates.

General information and guidance

  1. Find an Ofsted inspection report

    Search for Ofsted inspection reports for childminders and childcare providers, schools, colleges, further education providers, children and families services

  2. Find safe walking or cycling routes to your child's school

    Plan a journey so your child can get safely to and from school

  3. School attendance and absence

    You can be prosecuted if your child has unauthorised absence from school - truancy, help with getting your child to school, and legal action to enforce school attendance

  4. School closures

    School closures happen because of an emergency like severe weather - check whether your child's school is closed on your local council website

  5. School term and holiday dates

    Find your child's school term, half term and holiday dates on your local council's website

  6. School uniform

    Find out about help with buying uniform, what happens if your child breaks the rules, and what to do if you think the uniform should change

  7. Summer-born children: school admission

    Guidance about school admissions for children born in the summer.

  8. The national curriculum

    The English national curriculum means children in different schools (at primary and secondary level) study the same subjects to similar standards - it's split into key stages with tests

  9. Types of school

    Types of school and how they're run - community schools, academies, free schools, faith schools, state boarding schools

Dealing with problems at school

Bullying, appeal an exam result, complain about a school, counselling, drug issues, illness, discipline and exclusions.

  1. Appeal an exam result

    How to appeal a qualification result (GCSE, AS, A level, Diploma or other qualification) or ask for it to be marked again if you think it's wrong

  2. Bullying at school

    Bullying at school and the law - what your school and the police must do about bullying and how you should report it

  3. Complain about a school or childminder

    Complain about a school or childminder - complaints process, when to complain to the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency or Ofsted

  4. Complaints to Ofsted about schools: guidance for parents

    This document sets out some things you can do if you are concerned about a state-maintained school or academy.

  5. Counselling in schools

    Guidance for schools about setting up and improving counselling services for pupils.

  6. Drugs: advice for schools

    Guidance for school leaders and staff on managing drugs, drug-related incidents within schools and pastoral support for pupils.

  7. Get a replacement exam certificate

    Request a replacement exam certificate or a certified statement of results if you've lost your original - check the list of old exam boards if your board no longer exists

  8. Health and safety for school children

    Schools are responsible for your child's safety while they're at school or on a school trip

  9. Illness and your child's education

    What happens if your child can't go to school for health reasons - responsibilities of the local council and school and how medical needs are handled at school

  10. Parental responsibility: guide for schools and local authorities

    Guidance for local authorities and schools dealing with adults who have legal rights and responsibilities for children at their school.

  11. School behaviour and attendance: parental responsibility measures

    Statutory guidance for schools, local authorities and the police on dealing with poor attendance and behaviour in school.

  12. School discipline and exclusions

    Schools can punish (discipline) pupils or exclude them - find out what schools are allowed to do, like search pupils for knives or drugs

Help with school costs

Apply for free school meals. Free transport and other transport help, uniforms and other school clothing costs.

  1. Apply for free school meals

    Check if your child can get free school meals - and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website

  2. Apply for school transport for a child with special educational needs and disabilities

    If your child can't walk to school because of their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) your local council must provide transport

  3. Free school transport

    Free transport from your local council - eligibility, rules for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), how to apply

  4. Help with home to school transport

    Find out if your child is eligible for help with the cost of home to school transport

  5. Help with school clothing costs

    Financial help to pay for your child's school clothing - school uniform, games kit

  6. School uniform

    Find out about help with buying uniform, what happens if your child breaks the rules, and what to do if you think the uniform should change

  7. Subsidised transport for 16 to 19 year olds in education

    Find the discounts and concessions that are available in your area for travel to school sixth form or college through your local council website

Home schooling

Help from the council, illness, alternative provision (AP) academies, pupil referral units.

  1. Elective home education

    Guidance for local authorities and schools about children educated at home.

  2. Home education

    You can educate your child at home ('home schooling') but you must notify the school in writing if you’re taking your child out of school

  3. Home education: get information from your council

    Your responsibilities with your local council if you want to educate your child at home - sometimes called home schooling

  4. Illness and your child's education

    What happens if your child can't go to school for health reasons - responsibilities of the local council and school and how medical needs are handled at school

Sending a child to school

Apply for a primary or secondary school place, children missing education. Find and compare schools, closures, uniforms, types of school, summer-born children.

  1. Apply for a primary school place

    Apply for a state primary school place through your local council

  2. Apply for a secondary school place

    Apply for a state secondary school place through your local council

  3. Children missing education

    Statutory guidance for local authorities and advice for other groups on helping children who are missing education get back into it.

  4. Find and compare schools in England

    Check school performance tables (‘league tables’), Ofsted reports and financial information.

  5. Find safe walking or cycling routes to your child's school

    Plan a journey so your child can get safely to and from school

  6. School attendance and absence

    You can be prosecuted if your child has unauthorised absence from school - truancy, help with getting your child to school, and legal action to enforce school attendance

  7. School closures

    School closures happen because of an emergency like severe weather - check whether your child's school is closed on your local council website

  8. School meals - healthy eating standards

    Find out what the healthy eating standards in schools are

  9. School term and holiday dates

    Find your child's school term, half term and holiday dates on your local council's website

  10. School uniform

    Find out about help with buying uniform, what happens if your child breaks the rules, and what to do if you think the uniform should change

  11. Schools admissions

    Get a place for your child at a primary or secondary school - applications, deadlines, admission criteria, appeals and complaints

  12. Summer-born children: school admission

    Guidance about school admissions for children born in the summer.

  13. Types of school

    Types of school and how they're run - community schools, academies, free schools, faith schools, state boarding schools