School entry points in England

We are often asked what the difference is between a formal entry point to a school and an “in year” admission.

Generally speaking, there are three main entry points to the school system.


4+ :  Children who turn five between 1st September and 31st August will enter school – the Reception class – at the start of that school year.

11+ : Children who turn twelve between 1st September and 31st August will start secondary school – Year 7 – at the start of the school year.

16+ : Children who turn seventeen between 1st September and 31st August will start Year 12 – often called the sixth form – at the start of the school year.


4+ and 11+ are compulsory ages for school.  Children don’t need to be in school from 16+ onwards, but do need to be in some sort of education.


Coronavirus – an education update

Most schools will be breaking for Easter holidays in the next two days, with schools due to resume in principle on 20th April.

Some key updates:

It is unlikely that any schools will be open to accept students in April – apart from the children of key workers.

Schools do not have a timetable as to when they will reopen.   Pessimists are looking at September 2020, optimists at June 2020.

Schools will be looking to provide online access to the curriculum with parents required to oversee their children’s progress.

All public examinations – A Levels, GCSEs, International Baccalaureate – have been cancelled.  Schools are working with the government to work out a fair way of allocating grades and it will likely be a mix of predicted grades, coursework, performance in tests and some international assessments in May.  Results will be available by the end of July rather than in August.

We will update you with more information when available.