At what age do I have to go to school?
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.
- children who will turn 5 between 1st January and 31st March are of compulsory school age at the beginning of the term after 1st April
- children who will turn 5 between 1st April and 31st August are of compulsory school age from the beginning of the term after 1st September
- children who will turn 5 between 1st September and 31st December are of compulsory school age from the beginning of the term after 1st January.
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.
What can happen if I do not go to school?
If you are of compulsory school age but are not in full-time education the School and/or Local Authority can take action. Your parents may get a fine (£60) or, in some circumstances, your parents may be prosecuted by the Local Authority and have to go to court. The most your parents can be fined is £2500. For more information, see: School attendance and absence.