The Structure of Education from Early Years to Post-Compulsory Education

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The structure of education from early years to post-compulsory education

Entitlement & provision for early years education.
As part of the every child matters agenda and the Childcare Act 2006 every child aged 3 & 4 is entitled to receive part time early years education of up to 12.5 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year to ensure that they receive up to 2 years free education before reaching school age.

The characteristics of schools & school governance.
All schools are seeking to enforce expectations in terms of meeting the national curriculum.
Under the National Curriculum there are four Key Stages to education:

Foundation4 year olds
Key Stage 15 to 7 year olds
Key Stage 27 to 11 year olds
Key Stage 311 to 14 year olds
Key Stage 414 to 16 year olds

Mainstream State Schools
All children in England aged 5 to 16 are entitled to free education at a state school, most go to state schools.
Nursery school: 3 to 4 year olds
Reception: 4 year olds
Primary: 5 to 11 year olds (Key Stage 1 & 2)
Secondary: 11 to 16 (Key Stage 3 & 4)
There are 4 main types of state school: Community schools, Foundation & Trust schools, Voluntary aided schools, Voluntary Controlled schools.

Community schools
These are run & owned by the local authority & cover all 4 Key Stages.

Foundation & Trust schools
Foundation schools are run by a governing body which employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria. Land and buildings are owned either by the governing body or by a charitable foundation.

Trust schools are similar, but are run together with an outside body – usually a business or charity – which has formed an educational trust.

Voluntary aided schools
Voluntary-aided schools are religious or faith schools. Just like foundation schools, the governing body employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria. School buildings and land are usually owned by a charity, often a church.

Voluntary Controlled schools
Voluntary-controlled schools are a cross between community and voluntary-aided schools. The local authority employs the staff and sets the entrance criteria, like a community school, but the school land and buildings are owned by a charity, often a church, which also appoints some members of the governing body.

Specialist schools
State secondaries often specialise, which means they have an extra emphasis in one or two subjects. Schools can specialise in: the arts, maths and computing, business and enterprise, music, engineering, science, humanities, sports, languages, and technology.

Special schools
Special schools are for the education of students with special needs that addresses the students' individual differences and needs. This could involve the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of success in school and community than would be available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.

State schools with particular characteristics
There are a number of schools within the state schools system with particular characteristics, some may have different admission criteria or funding arrangements but as with other state schools admissions are coordinated by the local authority.

Academies are independently managed schools set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups in partnership with the local authority and the government Department for Children, Schools and Families.

City Technology Colleges
These are urban-based, independently managed secondary schools geared towards science, technology and the world of work. They offer a range of vocational qualifications as well as GCSEs and A levels.

Community and foundation special schools