Childcare and schooling

Oxfordshire has some of the most highly-regarded state schools in the UK. Local independent schools have an international reputation that draw pupils from around the world. These pages provide information on schools and  pre-school childcare in the UK, with links to local authorities and education providers.  

Children must attend full-time schooling from the age of five. They usually attend the school nearest to their home, as priority is given to children who live within a school's catchment area (a defined area around the school, see individual school admissions policies for details). 

The school stages are:

  • Primary school: ages 4-11 (sometimes divided into Infant School for ages 4-7 and Junior School for ages 7-11)
  • Secondary school: ages 11–16
  • Sixth Form: ages 16–18 (pupils may continue at a secondary school, or attend either a Sixth Form college or Further Education college)

Children must receive some form of education or training for at least 20 hours a week until their 18th birthday. Choices include work-based learning, apprenticeships, part-time education, training or volunteering. 

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills ('Ofsted') is the UK regulator for schools and other childcare providers. Ofsted carries out regular inspections of schools, nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. You can view the most recent Ofsted reports, searchable by provider name or by location.