What is compulsory school age?

A child is of compulsory school age the 1st term after their 5th birthday. Therefore:

  • Children who turn 5 between 1st January and 31st March will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st April;
  • Children who turn 5 between 1st April and 31st August will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st September;
  • Children who turn 5 between 1st September and 31st December will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st January.

A child remains of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year that they turn 16.

From September 2013 all 16-year olds need to remain in education or training until the end of the academic year and from September 2015 they will be required to continue until their 18th birthday.