8. Are you a schoolchild or student in full-time education?

Why we ask this question

Your answer helps your community by allowing local and central government to plan services and set aside resources for your area. They base their plans on the number of people living in your area, so it's important that they know how many schoolchildren and students are in the local community.

The census first asked this question in 1851.

This guidance is to help decide how to answer the question about whether the person you are answering for is in full-time education.

The question does not apply for children aged between 0 and 4 years old.

Important information:

Changed circumstances due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

If you're home-schooling, or studying from home because your place of study has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, answer based on the hours you were formally studying before your circumstances changed.

Children aged 5 to 16 years

Attending school

  • Aged 5 years: choose "Yes" only if they attend full-time in their Reception year.
  • Aged 6 to 15: choose "Yes".

Not attending school

Choose "Yes" for children who are:

  • electively home educated, or
  • excluded from school and are without alternative full-time, or full-time equivalent, education

Choose "No" for those not in education full-time, or full-time equivalent, because of health conditions or illnesses.

People in education aged 16 years and over

Choose "Yes" if the person is either:

  • completing an approved apprenticeship, or
  • studying for more than 12 hours a week, for qualifications up to and including A levels and their equivalents

People studying at a higher standard than A level

These students are studying at level 4 or above and are usually aged 18 and over.

Choose "Yes" if they're in the UK, and studying a course that:

  • lasts for at least one academic year, and
  • includes at least 24 weeks of attendance per year, and
  • includes at least 21 hours per week of term-time classes, independent study, work experience, or a combination of any of these

Work placements and international exchanges

Choose "Yes" for students who are:

  • in their placement year of a course, sometimes called a sandwich year, or
  • abroad for less than 12 months in their international exchange year at an overseas university