In the UK all children aged 5 years old or more must go to school. Many parents choose to send their children for other types of childcare and education before this age (see children under 5). As an international student, you also have the right to send your children to British schools.

It is sometimes more difficult for an international student to send their children to school for the following reasons:

  1. Parents in the UK usually apply for a school from December to February 2009 for a place for their child in September 2009 (most international students cannot do this)
  2. Children need to be in the country when the application is made, or soon afterwards as a school place will only be held for 2 weeks for a child
  3. You will need a local address to make an application
  4. Schools can be filled quickly and have no places left by August/September
  5. In the summer, most schools are closed for the summer holidays (they open again at the beginning of September), so it is difficult to visit them
  6. Schools will start in early September, but many international students arrive later than this, or in the case of a lot of postgraduate courses, the school year may have already begun

 However, international students do manage to find schools for their children, as the local city councils have an obligation to find a school place for all children. Your children will be able to start school when a place has been found for them, whatever the time of year (although schools are closed for several holidays throughout the year).

How to apply

To make an application for your child/children to start school, you will need to be in Leicester and to have arranged permanent accommodation. Application forms for school places are available from the Welfare Office or on the Leicester City Council website.

If you live out of the city, or in Oadby, you may wish to apply for a school through Leicestershire County Council, which also have application forms that you can download from the website.

Types of schools

From ages 5-11, children in the UK attend a 'primary school' (although this can be separated into 'infant' and 'junior' levels). For a guide to primary education in the UK, please refer to the booklet 'Starting School in Leicester', on the Leicester City Council website. This booklet contains a map and contact details of all primary schools in Leicester as well as detailed information about how to apply for school places. For all schools in Oadby and Leicestershire, please see the Leicestershire County Council website.

From ages 11-16, children then attend a 'secondary school'. For a map of all secondary schools in Leicester city (not including Oadby), click here.

There are many primary and secondary schools in Leicester and wherever possible the Council will try to fit your child into a school that is close to where you live.


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Appointments can be made outside of these hours in special circumstances.

In an emergency, contact University Security on 0116 252 2888.

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