The Children and Families Act 2014 sets out many of the legal protections and rights for children and young people with SEND. Some of these rights relate to those below, at, or over compulsory school age.

Children must start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age. This is on 31 December, 31 March or 31 August following their fifth birthday - whichever comes first. If their fifth birthday is on one of those dates then they reach compulsory school age on that date.

For example, if your child turns 5 on 10 February 2024 they will reach compulsory school age on 31 March 2024, and they must start full-time education at the beginning of the next term (summer term 2024).

Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday in June which falls in the academic year in which they turn 16. For example, for a child born on 23 September 2007 compulsory school age will end on 28 June 2024. However, young people are expected to remain in education or training until they are 18 and you can find out more information on this online.