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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

Education – in school or at home – is compulsory in Wales from the school term following the child’s fifth birthday. In practice, most children start school at the beginning of the autumn term of the year in which their fifth birthday falls.

Under fives

All children are entitled to funded part-time education from the term after the one in which their third birthday falls.

Flying Start offers a range of services to help children aged three and under have the best start in life.

The Family Information Service will advise you on all aspects of early years education.

To apply for nursery, primary or secondary schools, contact your local council.

Home schooling

As a parent, you can choose to home school your child full or part-time; however, you must inform your local council. There is no requirement to teach the National Curriculum or have set hours; however, the local education authority can serve a School Attendance Order if they have good reason to believe you are not providing a suitable education for your child.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Some children have learning difficulties or physical/sensory disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age.

If you think your child has special educational needs which have not been identified, speak to your health visitor, teacher or their school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).Sometimes, it may be the , school that identifies a child’s additional learning needs.

You have the right to insist your child remains in a mainstream school unless the education of other pupils would suffer (SEN and Disability Discrimination Act, 2001).

Contact a family publishes a comprehensive guide for families called Special Education Needs – Wales. Call: 0808 808 3555.

Snap Cymru offers advice to parents in relation to their child’s special educational needs. Call: 0808 801 0608.

Special schools

Special schools are exclusively for children with special educational needs. Not all special schools cater for all disabilities. Your local council will advise you about special schools in your area or visit Special Needs UK.

Welsh-medium education

You have the right to express the wish to send your child to a Welsh-medium school; however, this does not always mean you are guaranteed a place at your first choice of school. You do not have to be Welsh speaking yourself.

Leaving school

A young person can legally leave school on the last Friday in June, providing they will be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays.

Last updated: 02/03/2018