Human Resources

Childcare and Schools

Full-time compulsory education applies to children aged five to 16 years (although children will often begin school at the age of four). If your child was born on or after 1 September 1997, they will need to remain in some sort of education or training until their 18th birthday.

Children start and progress through school years as follows:

  • Primary school: for pupils aged 4-11
  • Secondary school: for pupils aged 11–16 (most secondary schools have sixth forms for those aged 16–18)

Children leaving school at the age of 16 must remain in some form of education or training until they are 18 years old through either work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship, part-time education, training or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

The UK Government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (known as Ofsted) is responsible for regulating and inspecting schools and other childcare providers. Ofsted produces inspection reports every few years, which are published on the Ofsted website for the general public to view.

The Portsmouth City Council Portsmouth schools web pages provide information on Portsmouth schools, admissions, pre-school services and other learning services in the city. They may also be able to provide other Parenting Support.


Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance.