Bringing your family

Key information on UK schools and nursery care.

Please check the immigration requirements to see if you are eligible to bring dependants with you, with either of these organisations:

If you need further advice, please contact the International Student Support Service.


Your children can go to a state school if they are aged between 5 and 16.

State education is free in the UK.

If you will be searching for schools or childcare provision for your children in the UK, we recommend that you secure your accommodation in Nottingham first. State school places in the UK are allocated on the basis of the area where you are living and it is more convenient to choose childcare provision which is located close to you.

Children under 5 years old

If your child is three or four years old, they are entitled to a free part-time nursery education place before they start primary school. These places are available from the school term following their third birthday either in September, January or April, in most day nurseries and pre-school playgroups in Nottingham.

If your child is under three, or needs to be looked after on a full-time basis while you are studying, there are also a number of private nurseries (which charge fees) close to both the City and Clifton Campuses. Alternatively, you can choose to have your child looked after by a childminder in a private home. (All childminders who look after children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day must be registered with the Office for Standards in Education:.

For comprehensive advice and information on childcare provision in Nottingham including an online directory of nurseries and childcare providers close to you, visit the “Children and Families, Childcare” pages of Asklion or telephone the Families Information Service on 0800 458 4114. Alternatively, you can email (if you are living in Nottingham City). If you are living in Nottinghamshire County, please consult the "Choose childcare" pages of the Nottinghamshire County Council website

Children aged between 5 and 16

If your children accompany you to the UK, they will be able to attend a state school if they are aged between 5 and 16. However, all children who reach the age of four between 1 April and 31 August usually start school in the following September. Advice and information about applying for a school place for your children is available online by clicking on the “School admissions” page option from the Nottingham City Council website and “Apply for a School place” section on the Nottinghamshire County Council webpages.

It can take 4 to 6 weeks to process an application for a school place so you may have to arrange alternative childcare while you wait for a decision. Please be aware that school places may not be available in your nearest / preferred school. Before signing an accommodation contract, you are advised to check with the relevant council as to which schools have places available.

Applying to schools in Nottingham city

Applying to schools in Nottinghamshire county (including Beeston and West Bridgford)


Dependants of international students studying in the UK for six months or more are entitled to access healthcare on the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as permanent UK residents. They are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application to benefit from this entitlement.


Your dependants will be able to work if you are either:

  • a government-sponsored student taking a course that is longer than six months OR
  • taking a postgraduate course of 9 months or longer

For more information about work entitlements (including restrictions on the type of work they can do), please visit the UKCISA website.

More support

If you are planning to bring your family to the UK and need advice, please contact our International Student Support team

  • Last updated: 24/09/2020