Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

International Student Advice and Support

Living in the UK

Finding a school for your children

You can apply for a school place online  or download and submit a first time admission application form 

You will need to apply for a school place each time your child is due to start a new school.

Local Authorities (LAs) have overall responsibility for the provision of free school education. Your LA will depend on where you live, for most students who live in Loughborough and the surrounding area, the LA is Leicestershire County Council (there is a different LA for those living in Nottinghamshire and Leicester City). Your LA has a duty to secure a free school place for all children who are of 'compulsory school age'. As a parent you are also under a legal obligation to secure schooling for any child of 'compulsory school age '.

The Government website has generic information about school admissions including how to choose a school, the admission criteria, applying and appealing a school’s decision.

The Leicestershire County Council website has useful information on school admissions policies and you can contact them for more specific information.

When choosing a school for your children you may want to think about location and also the reputation of the school. The Government Department for Children, Schools and Families publishes school performance tables and schools are regularly inspected by The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (OFSTED) and their reports are accessible to the public. 

If you are already in the UK, you may also want to visit a school (by appointment or at an open evening).

The British Council has also produced more information on choosing a state-funded school 

 

'Compulsory school age '

Every child is obliged to attend school from the beginning of the term after which the child turns five years old until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they are 16. In addition some free education can be available for three and four year olds and young people aged 16 to 19 years.

Even if your children are of school age but are in the UK for such a short period of time as to make arranging education impracticable, a school place can be refused.

How are school places allocated?

Firstly, the age of your child will determine the type of school to be attended

Type of schoolAge of child
Nursery Under 'compulsory school age '
Primary school Between 4 and 11 years
Infant school Between 4 and 7 years
Junior school Between 7 and 11 years
Secondary school Between 11 and 16 years

Most often school places are allocated depending on whether you live near the school, i.e. within the school's 'catchment area '. Leicestershire LA tries to ensure a school place can be offered to every child living in a school's catchment area, but this may not always be possible, e.g. if the school is full. In addition you can express a preference for a school with a different catchment area or even one in another LA area.

Your LA is obliged to comply with a parent's choice of school, subject to certain limitations, e.g. as there is a class size limit of 30 for infants (4 - 7 year olds) the LA cannot guarantee that it will always be able to offer a place at your catchment area school.

Your LA is not responsible for admission decisions to Independent Schools, Foundation Schools, Church of England and Roman Catholic Aided Schools, in these cases applications must be made direct to the Head teacher of the school and a decision will be made by the school 's governing body.

If your application for a school place is refused you have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel. Before making a formal appeal it is advisable to try to discuss the reasons for the decision and your circumstances with the LA or governing body.

Other school related issues

English Language Support

Your child will be taught an adequate standard of English for learning alongside fluent English speaking children. Schools will assess the progress of all children carefully and if your child has little or no knowledge of English, they may receive free specialist support to help improve their English from an EMASS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Support Services) member of staff at school. Your child may be referred to attend LENAP (Loughborough English for New Arrivals Project), which is free of charge. For further information and advice, contact your child 's Head teacher.

Sex Education

In England, all public funded schools must provide sex education in such a way as to encourage young people to have regard to 'moral considerations and the value of family life'. Each school will have a written statement of their sex education policy. You can withdraw your child from all or part of the sex education provided, but not from any aspects that form part of the national curriculum, e.g. biology.

Religious Education

Schools will offer religious education as part of the syllabus; although this will concentrate on Christianity other beliefs will be covered. If you wish to withdraw your child from religious studies you should contact the Head teacher of the school. Your child does not have to attend acts of collective worship that may be organised within the school.
Home-School Agreements (HSAs)

After your child has enrolled you may be asked to sign a Home-School Agreement. The aim of a HSA is to facilitate the involvement of parents in their child's education, by informing you of the school's aims and of your role in helping to achieve them. The HSA will fully inform you of the school 's ethos, attendance requirements, disciplinary procedures, and homework policy and complaints procedures.

Free School Meals and Transport

Access to free school meals relies on a parent receiving income support, income based jobseeker 's allowance or assistance under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. It is rare that an international student 's child will qualify for free school meals.

LAs are under a general duty to provide free transport for pupils from the age of 5 to the age of 16 if they consider it is necessary to enable the pupil to get the nearest suitable school. Leicestershire LA publishes a summary of its transport policy on its web page.

School Uniform

Whether or not your child will be expected to comply with rules about school uniform and clothing will depend on individual school policy. However, policies on school clothing must not discriminate on grounds of race, sex or disability. Government guidance advises that it is not appropriate for schools to exclude pupils for infringing the rules about school uniform because of religious or cultural reasons, or where pupils cannot comply through no fault of their own.

Post 16 Education

Your child may wish to continue in full-time education after 16 years of age. This will normally be at a college or sixth form department at school. If your child decides to stay on at sixth form, further help and advice is available from your school or LA .

Useful Contacts

ContactContact details
Leicestershire Local Authority (Includes information on all Leicestershire schools, policies & contacts) Admissions
General Enquiries Tel: 0116 305 6631 Email: education@leics.gov.uk
School Admissions (Allocation of school places) 0116 305 6684
Religious Education Adviser 0116 305 6498
Free School Meals 0116 305 6588
Free School Transport 0116 305 6630
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) http://www.ofsted.gov.uk School inspection reports are available

Duties & Responsibilities of parents and the Local Authority (LA)

Local Authorities (LAs) have overall responsibility for the provision of free school education. Your LA will depend on where you live, for most students who live in Loughborough and the surrounding area, the LA is Leicestershire County Council (there is a different LA for those living in Nottinghamshire and Leicester City). Your LA has a duty to secure a free school place for all children who are of 'compulsory school age'. As a parent you are also under a legal obligation to secure schooling for any child of 'compulsory school age '.

There is a special 'School Liaison ' scheme for all international students who wish to place their children in a school close to their accommodation. 

If you are already in the UK, you may also want to visit a school (by appointment or at an open evening). The Government publishes performance tables and inspection reports on all schools and these can be accessed via the Department for Children Schools and Families, and Ofsted web pages - www.ofsted.gov.uk. The Leicestershire County Council web site also holds useful information and advice on schools www.leics.gov.uk. You will also need to apply for a school place each time your child is due to start a new school. The Student Support Centre can help you with finding out about schools and applying for a place.