New Students

What are the schools like?

Information on the UK system of education for children.

Primary and secondary school education in Edinburgh

Education in Britain is compulsory for children between 5 and 16 years of age. The state provides the majority of school facilities for free.

Children aged 5 to 12 attend primary school (Primary 1 to 7). Secondary school education is compulsory from age 12 to 16 (1st to 4th year). Not all school pupils leave school at age 16. Many stay on at their secondary school to take higher level examinations up until age 17 or 18 (5th and 6th year).

Placement in schools

Until you have an address in Edinburgh, the Education Department will not be able to offer your child a place at a state primary or secondary school. Edinburgh divides the city into catchment areas. Your address determines the schools where you would be given priority admission.

However, parents may contact schools directly. Depending on availability you may be able to arrange a placement at the school of your choice with the head teacher if there are places available. If you would like more information on placing your child at school while studying at the University, please see the City of Edinburgh Council website.