Compulsory school age

Children are required by law to receive full-time education at the start of the school term following their fifth birthday but have the opportunity to start in the reception year in the September following their fourth birthday. Children are normally admitted to the reception year at school in the September following their fourth birthday.

Your child will get the most from their Reception education if they start at the same time as other children at the beginning of the school year.

The table below shows the date on which children become compulsory school age:

Date of 5th birthday Date Compulsory School Age Term Compulsory School Age
1 September - 31 December 31 December Spring term (starting in January)
1 January - 31 March 31 March Summer term (starting in April)
1 April - 31 August 31 August Autumn term (starting in September)