Local Authorities are required to provide full-time for all children in the term that they become five. However, many Local Authorities will allow the child to start in the term prior to the term they become five. Such schools are called "Foundation" and are administered by LEAs.
You should have little difficulty in placing your child in a locally maintained school, although, depending on the availability of places, the LEA may stipulate which school your child will attend. If you are told that your preferred school is full and cannot accept your child, you may appeal against this decision.
Advice on the appeals procedure can be obtained from the Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS):
CEAS Helpline (0830-1530 Mon-Fri) - 01980 618244
Additionally, you may move into an area in England and Wales where some schools have withdrawn from Local Authority control. These schools are directly financed by central government as Foundation Schools (FS) non-fee paying schools and admission is at the discretion of the governing body and not the LEAs and you are strongly advised to seek guidance from the LEA concerned. You should also be aware that there are some differences in the educational systems in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Service Children’s Education (SCE) is an Agency of the MOD and is dedicated to the education of the children of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, MoD Personnel and sponsored organisations stationed overseas. HQ SCE appoints experienced UK-trained teachers to primary, middle and secondary schools in all major units abroad. The schools follow the same pattern as those in England and Wales and the National Curriculum has been introduced into Service Children's Schools (SCS) overseas. SCS are inspected periodically by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools and its reports are publicly available. GCSE exams are normally taken with the Southern Examination Group. Pupils can also take A levels, CPVE and BTEC courses.