School starting age
Most children start school full-time in the September after they turn 4.
If you do not think your child is ready to start school by then, they can start part-way through the year or part time - as long as they are in full-time education by the time they reach ‘compulsory school age’.
Children born in the summer
Children born between 1 April and 31 August can start the September after they turn 5.
Contact the local council or school to ask for your child to start later. They’ll decide if your child should start in reception year or year 1, based on what’s in the best interests of your child.
Compulsory school age
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.
For example, if your child reaches compulsory school age on 31 March, they must start full-time education at the beginning of the next term (summer term that year).
Children must stay in full-time education until they reach school leaving age.
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England are entitled to free early education before they start school full time.