Parents have a statutory duty to ensure that their children start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age. This will be on 31 December, 31 March or 31 August following their fifth birthday. However, most children start full-time education in the September after their fourth birthday. Michael Evans considers some of the issues associated with school attendance.

Parental freedom of choice

In order to meet their statutory duty to educate their children, parents essentially have three choices.

  1. A state-funded school, chosen by around 93%.

  2. An independent school, where they generally have to pay fees, chosen by around 6.5%.

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