Choosing schools

Contact your local council to find:

You can also contact your local council to apply for places in schools in other areas.

Find out about a school

You can find out more by:

  • visiting the school - most schools have open days
  • reading the school’s most recent Ofsted reports
  • checking school league tables, which include exam results
  • talking to other parents about what they think of the school

What schools must publish on their website

Schools’ websites must include:

  • the amount of money they get from taking underprivileged children (the ‘pupil premium’), what they do with it and the effect it’s had
  • details of the curriculum
  • admission criteria
  • behaviour policy
  • special educational needs policy
  • disability policy
  • links to Ofsted reports
  • links to performance data
  • the school’s latest key stage 2 and 4 attainment and progress measures

You can also get advice about choosing schools from your local council. All councils have teams to help parents get their children into schools.

  1. Step 1 Find out if you can get help with childcare costs

  2. and Find where you can get childcare

  3. Step 2 Get help paying for childcare

    You can get help with childcare costs for children under 18. You might be able to apply for:

    You could also get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. You might be able to apply for:

    You can only get childcare vouchers if you have already joined a scheme.

    1. Check the rules for childcare vouchers
  4. Step 3 Check what to do if your circumstances change

    Tell government straight away if your circumstances change and you're getting:

    If you're getting 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare you have to confirm if your details are up to date every 3 months.

    1. Sign into your childcare account to find out when you next have to check your details

    Your eligibility for support with childcare costs might also change.

    1. Check if your eligibility for help with childcare costs has changed
  5. Step 4 Check what to do when your child reaches school age

    Your child starts primary school the September after they turn 4.

    1. Apply for a primary school place
    2. Find before and after school and holiday clubs

    You might be able to use help like tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare to pay for childcare like wraparound care, after school clubs or other activities.