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Information from DfE on school admissions on a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Any child living in the UK can apply for and access a school place in England irrespective of migration status. This will continue after our exit from the EU.

In England, school admissions processes do not take into account either immigration status or nationality and so schools must not deny a child a place on the basis of their nationality or migration status. Guidance on admissions processes are set out in the statutory school admissions code. EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss nationals currently have access to a school-based education in England.

In a no deal scenario, following the UK’s exit from the EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss nationals living in the UK by 29 March 2019 can remain in the country and access benefits and public services, including education, on broadly the same terms as now.

Receipt of certain benefits might also qualify families for free school meals. Check if your child can get free school meals in England on GOV.UK. They would need, however, to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020 to remain beyond this date. The government has published arrangements for these EU citizens in the case of a non-negotiated exit from the EU and for EEA EFTA and Swiss nationals.

The right of Irish nationals to access education in England/the UK is/will continue to be protected under the Common Travel Area arrangements.

Applications for a school place can be made from overseas by those with a right of residence in the UK, but admission authorities and local authorities may require an applicant to provide proof of residence in the UK so that schools can apply their admission arrangements. UK nationals returning from the EU should be considered for admission to a school on the same basis as people living in the UK. UK nationals who return from the EU after EU exit will be legally entitled to access benefits in the same way as they are now.

March 2019

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