Schools 5-16 years

Finding a School

In England, each local authority will have a directory of schools in its area which is available on their website. This will list the type of school, contact details and may include information about available schools places. 

The GOV.UK website has a search directory which allows users to find and compare schools and colleges in England.

Separate sites are available to compare schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

School Inspections and Reports

In England, Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages and publish the results online. 

In Scotland you can find reports at Education Scotland education.gov.scot/education-scotland/inspection-reports/ 

In Wales you can find reports at Estyn – estyn.gov.wales/inspection 

In Northern Ireland – the Education and Training Inspectorate etini.gov.uk/  

If your children are starting or moving schools then browse the excellent guides and resources available on the DCYP web pages and CEAS they include a Moving Schools Pack, and details to seek help and advice from CEAS. 

ACE Education provides independent advice and information on State education in England.

The devolved nations have developed excellent resources to help parents moving in and out of their schools.  In addition to our summary differences tables on the education page you are strongly advised to read and research the different systems.  Our downloadable table summarises some of the main differences to help get you started.

Here are some links to get you started, starting in each case with those specifically aimed at Armed Forces families: 

Scotland: 

forceschildrenseducation.org.uk/ 

rcet.org.uk/ 

gov.scot/education/ 

education.gov.scot/education-scotland/scottish-education-system 

Wales: 

sscecymru.co.uk/  

gov.wales/education-skills 

gov.wales/education-skills 

gov.wales/education-changing 

Northern Ireland: 

education-ni.gov.uk/ 

eani.org.uk/ 

School Governance

One way in which you can help schools support your own service children and others is to consider being a School Governor.   

Inspiring Governance (inspiringgovernance.org/connects skilled volunteers interested in serving as school governors and trustees with schools in England. It also provides free, expert support for volunteers and governing bodies, as well as for employers wanting to run programmes for their staff serving as school governors.  As part of their Armed Forces Covenant pledges, they have produced a leaflet specifically for Armed Forces Families – inspiringgovernance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/AFC-Leaflet.pdf