Supporting Ukraine and its people

Information for families - schools and nurseries

Last updated: 22 September 2022

Applying for places in nurseries and schools

Children from Ukraine have the same right to schooling as all other children in the UK (until the age of 18). We will offer a place in one of our schools or nurseries (for children over three) for your child or children at no cost.

Applying for places in nurseries

Your child can go to a Council or partner nursery at no cost the term after their third birthday. Find out more about nursery places for three and four year olds.

If you are entitled to benefits such as Universal Credit or Income Support, your child may be able to go to a Council or partner nursery at no cost when they are two to three years old. Find out more about nursery places for two year olds on our web pages.

You should contact your local nursery to request a place for your child. Find your local nurseries using our interactive map and type in your address or postcode (in English).

If there is a place at a Council nursery, they will ask you to bring:

To apply at a partner provider nursery or a childminder please contact them directly.

Applying for places in schools

Children from Ukraine have the same right to schooling as all other children in the UK (until the age of 18). We will offer a place in one of our schools for your child or children at no cost. Our schools are closed now for the summer and will begin again on Wednesday 16 August. We can only enrol children in a school when they have arrived in Edinburgh.

When you arrive and you have a home address, contact the local school in the area where you are living. This is known as the catchment school. 

Find your local primary or secondary catchment school using our interactive map and type in your postcode (in English).

You can find contact details for primary and secondary schools on our web pages.

If there is space in your catchment school, you will be asked to come in with:

  • your passport
  • your child’s passport
  • your child’s birth certificate
  • your visa document
  • proof of home address such as a bill or Universal Credit (DWP) letter.

Talk to the school if you do not have all these documents.

If there are no places in your catchment school

Some of our schools are full, so we may have to place your child in school in another catchment area. If we do, we can help with transport to and from school. If your catchment school tells you there are no spaces, please

email education.enquiries@edinburgh.gov.uk

We will reply and tell you which schools have a place for your child. Please contact your preferred school to check there is a space. You can then apply for a place by completing and emailing the request for a school place form.

More information about applying for a place in a school (in English).

Children born between 1 March 2005 and 28 February 2007

If your child is over 15 ½ (moving into S5 or S6 in August 2022), career advisers from Skills Development Scotland can support them make choices about their learning and career.

This could be:

  • in school
  • at college or university
  • in training
  • in employment

To speak to a career adviser, please telephone 0131 718 2040. If you would like to speak to someone in Ukrainian, please ask and we can arrange this.

Find out about support for young people on My World of Work.  

Young persons’ free bus travel

Young people aged 5 to 21 living in Scotland can travel for free on buses. You need a Young Scot National Entitlement card (NEC). If you are 16,17 or 18 years old, you can also get 1/3 discount off rail travel with your NEC card.

How to apply for a Young Scot National Entitlement card (NEC card)

You can apply online at getyournec.scot/nec and will need:

  • a mygovscot myaccount
  • a passport and proof of address
  • a proof of identity (if your child is under 16) such as a full birth certificate.

If you cannot apply online or need any help, come to our Customer Hub at 249 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm. Please bring with you:

  • a passport and proof of address
  • a proof of identity (if your child is under 16) such as a full birth certificate.

School transport

We give free transport for children to and from their catchment school if they live over:

  • two miles for primary school
  • three miles for secondary school.

We also give free transport if your child is unable to walk to school due to a medical condition. Find out more or apply.

If you cannot apply online you can come to our Customer Hub at 249 High Street Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm.

You can also call or email our Travel Hub and ask for a paper form

Telephone 0131 469 2950

Email schooltransport@edinburgh.gov.uk

Free school meals, milk and clothing grants

Families who receive certain qualifying benefits can get help with the cost of lunches and school clothing for children who go to the City of Edinburgh Council primary or secondary schools.

Qualifying benefits 

If you are entitled you will receive:

Pre-school/nursery children

Pre-school or nursery aged children are not eligible for these payments.

The Scottish Child Payment is available for children under the age of 6. Find out more about the Scottish Child Payment on the Scottish Government website.

Children in P1 to P5

All children in in primary 1 to 5 receive free school meals. However, this does not automatically entitle you to receive the meal payments during holidays, free milk, a clothing grant or the Scottish child bridging payment. You must meet the income-based eligibility criteria listed in the section Qualifying benefits and apply.

How to apply

You can apply online or come to our Customer Hub at 249 High Street Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm.

Only one application form is needed for all the payments.

If you apply on or before 30 September, we will backdate your free school meals award to the start of the new school term in August.

If you apply after 30 September, we will award your free school meals from the date we receive your application.

You can find more information on free school meals, milk and school clothing grants on our web pages.