About school

Finding a school

There are 65 primary and secondary schools in the City of York Council area. There are also a number of private schools in York where you will need to pay fees

All schools are happy for parents to visit to help them choose a school. If you would like to do this, you should contact the school. You can take your children to look around and it will be a good opportunity to ask questions.

Contact the Schools Services Team when you are ready to apply for your school place.

School terms and holidays

There are three terms in each year.

  • Autumn – September to December
  • Spring – January to March
  • Summer – April to July

There is a week-long holiday half way through each term called “half term” and a longer holiday at the end of each term.

You are not allowed to take your children out of school for holidays during term time without the head teacher’s permission. You may lose your child’s place if you do not make an arrangement with the head teacher. If you have a special reason for taking your child out of school during term time, the school will give you a holiday form. You must give your reason on the form. If you take your child out of school in term time for a holiday or trip home you can be fined or prosecuted.

A list of holiday dates can be found on the City of York Council website.

Your child’s school will also be closed for five days for teacher training each year. You should ask your child’s school for a list of dates as each school has different training dates.

Education is free

Schools run by the City of York Council are free. Pupils only need to pay for:

  • Their lunch unless they get free school meals or they can bring their own lunch
  • Their school uniform: schools may have a shop and sell good quality used clothes.
  • Some educational visits outside school: if parents can’t afford it, they should talk to the school.
  • Musical instrument tuition
  • Social events at school in the evenings and at weekends.

School transport

If your local school is more than 3 miles away (2 miles for primary school) you can sometimes get a free bus pass. Find out more at https://www.york.gov.uk/info/20018/schools_and_education/952/travel_to_school_or_college

School equipment

Primary schools provide all the equipment your child needs (except for a P.E kit - see below). They may ask you to provide a water bottle and a book bag.

In secondary school you need to provide pens, pencils etc as well as a P.E kit. Your secondary school will give you a list of equipment to buy.

School uniform

Primary School

Children do not have to wear uniform in primary school but most schools prefer children to wear school colours. You can order uniform with the school logo from the school office. You can buy cheaper uniform without a logo in many children’s clothes shops and big supermarkets. Ask the school what you need to buy.

Secondary School

Children have to wear uniform in secondary schools. The school will tell you what you need. They will tell you which shops sell uniform with the school logo but you can buy school trousers and shirts in many children’s clothing stores and big supermarkets. They will also advise you on the school’s uniform policy regarding clothing and other articles of faith which have religious or cultural significance.

Physical Education Kit

In primary school your child needs:

  • a plain white t-shirt,
  • a plain pair of shorts (usually black or dark blue)
  • a pair of trainers.

In cold weather they can usually wear jogging trousers if they go outside.

Secondary schools often want pupils to wear PE kit in the school colours. The school will give you a list of what your child needs and where to buy it.

Sometimes your child may be able to go swimming with. They will need a swimming costume and a towel. Swimming sessions are usually for both boys and girls. If you are not happy with this, please talk to your school.

Girls can cover their arms and legs for PE and swimming if they wish.

Dress and articles of faith

Children can wear religious clothing and jewellery but health and safety must always be the priority. The school will give you advice.