Do kids have to go to school in the UK?

Do kids have to go to school in the UK?

Although it might seem as if starting school is just a ‘normal’ part of growing up, it doesn’t actually have to be.

Many children start school in the September after they turn four but they don’t actually reach Compulsory School Age until the term after their fifth birthday.

However, there is another option!

Does my child need school
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So, does my child have to go to school at age 5?


Education is statutory but school is not.

Neither the government or schools are very open with this information but home education is actually the default option in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

This means that if you want to home educate your child and they aren’t already on the school roll then you don’t have to inform anyone.

If your child is already registered at a school then you’ll need to deregister them (you can read more about removing your child from school here


As an ex-teacher and home educating mum of two, I chose not to send our children to nursery or school.

Instead we enjoy a flexible lifestyle, meeting friends on the beach, traveling in our van, enjoying nature and exploring the things we love.

If you’d like to know more about homeschooling from the start then take a look at my other posts:

Homeschooling Preschool

Home Education Help

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