Information on Schools in NI
Education is compulsory for all children between five and sixteen years of age. School term dates in Northern Ireland normally run from the beginning of September until the end of June each year, with breaks in October, Christmas, February and Easter.
Guidance for school attendance in the UK can be found at the Department for Children, Schools and Families website.
Many schools also offer breakfast clubs and after schools/homework facilities which will help bridge the gap between school hours and working hours.
If you are moving to Queen’s with children of school age it is recommended you contact your preferred school as soon as possible in order to ensure you have secured an appropriate school place in good time. For further information please see www.eani.org.uk
Types of schools in the UK
Children's education in the UK begins with primary education at the age of five to eleven. Children then move to secondary education where they stay until they reach at least 16 years of age, but can stay up until they are 18 years old. These are normally local authority maintained schools and are free to all children between the ages of 5-16. You could also choose to send your child to an independent school (private school) but you would pay for their education.
You are expected to make sure that your child has adequate stationary (e.g. pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks) but other costs such as more specialised equipment, text books, or examination fees is covered by the school. You will be expected to pay for your child's school uniform and items of sportswear. Charges may also be made for music lessons and for board and lodgings on residential trips. When you have found a school you would like your children to attend, you must make an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss whether they have places available.
Northern Ireland is devided into different Education and Library Boards. For famillies living in the University area the Belfast Education and Library Board will be the one which is relevant to you.
A list of schools in the Belfast area is available on the Belfast Education and Library Board website. You can search for schools by name or by entering your postal code to find a school near your accommodation.
School Lists >