EDUCATION IN GREAT BRITAIN
Great Britain does not have a written constitution, so there are no constitutional provisions for education. The system of education is determined by the National Education Acts. Schools in England are supported from public funds paid to the local education authorities. These local education authorities are responsible for organizing the schools in their areas and they themselves choose how to do it. Let’s outline the basic features of public education in Britain. Firstly, there are wide variations between one part of the country and another. For most educational purposes England and Wales are treated as one unit, though the system in Wales is a little different from that of England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems. Secondly, education in Britain mirrors the country’s social system: it is class-divided and selective. The first division is between those who pay and those who do not pay. The majority of schools in Britain are supported by public funds and the education provided is free. They are maintained schools, but there is also a considerable number of public schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to these schools. The fees are high. As a matter of fact, only very rich families can send their children to public schools as well as to the best universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge. Another important feature of schooling in Britain is a variety of opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English school syllabus is divided into Arts (or Humanities) and Sciences, which determine the division of the secondary school pupils into study groups: a Science pupil will study Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Maths), Economics, Technical Drawing, Biology, Geography; an Art pupil will do the English Language and Literature, History, foreign languages, Music, Art, Drama. Besides these subjects they must do some general education subjects like Physical Education (PE), Home Economics for girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General Science. Computers play an important part in education. There is a system of careers education for schoolchildren in Britain. It is a three-year course. The system of option exists in all kinds of secondary schools. Besides, the structure of the curriculum and the organization of teaching vary from school to school. Headmasters and headmistresses of schools are given a great deal of freedom in deciding what is taught and how in their schools so that there is really no central control at all over individual schools. The National Education Act of 1944 provided three stages of education; primary, secondary and further education. Compulsory schooling in England and Wales lasts 11 years, from the age of 5 to 16. After the age of 16 a growing number of school students are staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the age of entry into higher education in universities and Polytechnics. British university courses are rather short, generally lasting for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college and speciality which one chooses. Pre-primary and Primary Education
Nurseries. Primary School. Streaming. The Eleven Plus Examination. No More of It? In some areas of England there are nursery schools 3 for children under 5 years of age. Some children between two and five receive education in nursery classes or in infants classes in primary schools. Many ...