Children in the UK are legally required to attend school at the beginning of
the term after their fifth birthday. Parents are legally responsible for making
sure their child receives a full-time education and if they fail to attend
regularly it is an offence and can result in your prosecution. Children attend
primary school until they are 11 and then secondary school until the age of 16.
For Colchester and Southend, applications are made to the County Council and
you must apply by the deadline date, failure to do so will mean that your
application will have a lower priority. Whenever possible you will be offered a
place at your preferred school, but there is no guarantee.
If you intend to bring children it is important that you contact schools as
soon as you can. This helps the schools plan for any specialist help that may be
needed, such as English language tuition.
Term dates for Essex schools
Term dates for primary and secondary schools are different to the
University's term dates. Though they also work on a three-term structure there
will be half-term holidays and various non-pupil days to allow for teacher
Essex County Council provide details of school term dates.
Holidays and absences
Absences during the school term must be authorised by the school and are
only usually agreed in certain circumstances. A request is not usually agreed if
it is for a family holiday. If the school do not agree to an absence you could
be fined by the local authority.
If you would like to take a family holiday we recommend you plan for it to
take place when the school holidays coincide with the University vacations,
there are usually two weeks at Easter and Christmas and approximately six weeks
in the summer when this is the case.
The following three schools are located in areas close to the Colchester
Campus, if you would like your children to attend one of these schools they
would be pleased to hear from you direct.
For details of schools in Southend, please contact your
Student Services Hub.
The entry age for children into secondary education in the UK is eleven years
of age. The majority of schools in Essex cater for children of all levels of
For further information on primary and secondary education and schools in Essex:
We recommend you read the UKCISA's information on
schooling for your children. There are links to some useful guidance
produced by the British Council and the UK government as well as a guide to
schooling in England commissioned by Action for Social Integration, this is
aimed at newly arrived migrants and refugees and helps to explain the British
Assistance with school admissions
If you need some advice and guidance regarding the school admissions process
the Essex Choice Advice Service
(.pdf) may be able to help you. This is a free, independent and confidential
service for parents and carers who may need some additional assistance to guide
you through the process of applying for a school.