The first big question you will consider about primary school is: together or apart? Can your children achieve independence from their siblings if they're educated together, or would they benefit from being in different classes?

There are no right or wrong answers - every child is different. You will need to consider a number of factors in order to make this decision, including:

  • Whether your school has multiple classes per age group, or whether they would have to be in the same class.
  • Your children's characters and how they interact with each other.


What do I need to consider about splitting my children up for starting primary school?

Putting multiple birth children into separate classes at the age of four requires careful consideration.

Initially, if your children enjoy each other's company and aren't overly competitive, they are likely to benefit from being in the same class. The familiarity will help them settle, especially if they don't know the other children. They can often be separated later in their school life when it comes to more of a formal learning setting.

Before deciding on whether to separate twins or triplets, parents and professionals should meet to discuss the preschool development and experiences of each child. We have created the Together or Apart questionnaire, available to our registered users, to help facilitate this discussion around how to best support the learning of each child.

Register as a free user, or if you are already registered sign-in, to access our Together or Apart questionnaire download.


It should be remembered that no decision is irreversible. Flexibility, continuous feedback and support is essential for everyone involved.

Many schools have their own policies around how they manage multiples in their setting. It's important to discuss these as part of your considerations when choosing schools to apply for.


Two girls in school uniform smile, looking sideways at the camera


Reasons to keep multiples together in primary school

Here are some of the considerations on both sides of the together or apart discussion to help with your decision.

Reasons to keep siblings together include:

  • Only one classroom is available.
  • Most multiple birth children have little experience of separation prior to starting school and they may become upset about having to cope with a dual separation from both their parents and their sibling(s).
  • Very different teaching styles by teachers in the same year group may lead to the children comparing themselves unfairly at home.
  • They don't want to be separated. Forced separation may actually reinforce dependance on each other.
  • They've shown no problems before in preschool or nursery settings.


Reasons to separate multiples in primary school
  • They want to be separated.
  • One child is markedly more academically or socially able than the other.
  • They are a constant distraction for each other.
  • They're overly protective of each other and don’t want to socialise with other children.


Blanket school policies for multiples

Schools shouldn't have blanket policies to always either separate or keep together multiples in their setting, as every family is different and children need to be considered as individuals, not as a 'twin' or 'triplet'. If you aren't happy with your school's policy, you should discuss the matter formally with the school.


Research into whether multiple-birth children should be kept together or apart

In 2018, a researcher looked into this question and the impact on both multiples of being split up or kept together.

Research addresses "Together or Apart at School" question
The impact both separate and same classrooms has on multiples.
Together or apart opinions
Answering that all-important school question for all parents of multiples


Personal stories from parents of multiples
Getting organised for starting school 'take two'!
Mum of five and Twins Trust’s social media officer, Victoria, shares how she felt when her first set of twins started school and her top tips for keeping organised.
Over to you
Together or apart can be a vexed question for parents when multiples start school. But what do the children think?


Further help and resources from Twins Trust

We understand that there are a lot of questions around your children starting primary school - especially when twins and triplets are more likely to experience developmental delays and prematurity. The below resources can help you feel confident and supported with this next stage of parenting.

Online community

Our online community groups offer a supportive environment for parents or carers of twins, triplets or more.


Our helpline, Twinline, is here to support you, answering questions about feeding, sleeping, starting school, friendships, getting to grips with the teenage years, or anything else multiples related.

Professional Referral Service

We have a team of volunteers - all professional experts in their field - who can help families of multiples with educational and development issues.


Access downloadable content as a Twins Trust registered user
Register as a free user, or if you are already registered sign-in, to access further information, including our individuality factsheet.