School Age Calculator UK

Enter details to determine when your child can start school


Prior to first year of school, child is in

Nursery in 2013

As the first year of Primary, child is in

Reception in 2015

Child will start Year 1 in


Child will start Secondary School Year 7 in


Reception starting age in

Note: Results are based on information from various government departments, please consult your local school prior to enrolling.

Starting School in the United Kingdom

Key Points

  • Children in England and Wales start school if they have turned 4 by the 1st of September that year
  • In Scotland children must be 4 by the 1st of March and 1st of July in Northern Ireland to start that year
  • First year of school is Reception in England and Scotland, and Primary 1 in Wales and Northern Ireland


A child’s early education in the United Kingdom starts with nursery or kindergarten which can start from 2-3 years old up until the child is 4.

Preschool in the United Kingdom is not part of the government education system and is run by childcare centres, crèches, nurseries, kindergartens or playgroups and there is no formal curriculum.

All countries in the UK have a form of subsidy available to assist with the costs of preschool.

Primary School

Primary school in the UK starts with Reception in England and Wales, where the child starts in the year they turn four. Children must be 4 by the 1st of September to start in that year, children born after this date start the following year.

Some children can delay their entry into school until the year they turn 5, any child born between April and August can apply to start in the following year from their local school.

Parents may also choose to defer the start date until their child has turned five. The latest point where the child can start school is the term following their fifth birthday.

In Scotland, children must be 5 by the 1st of March in order to start in August of that year. Children born between August and Febuary can apply to defer their entry until the following year however it is usually up to the admissions board to decide.

Secondary School

Secondary school in the UK commences with Year 7 in England and Wales, Secondary 1 in Scotland and Year 8 in Northern Ireland.

Most children start secondary school at the age of 11 or 12 years old. Secondary runs for 6 years and finishes most commonly when the child is 18 years old.

In England ands Wales, secondary school starts with Year 7 and runs through to Year 13 if the child is taking A levels. While in Scotland, Secondary school starts with Secondary 1 with 6 year levels through to Secondary 6. In Northen Ireland it starts with Year 8 through to Year 14.

School Term Calendar

The school year in the UK starts in early September each year and runs through to the start of summer in June the following year.

The school year is split into three terms, Autumn, Spring and Summer with a one or two week break in the middle of each term.