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Education in Britain

By Taisiya-Solovyova Oct 17, 2014 4664 Words
Education in Britain is compulsory and free for all children between the ages of 5-16. About 93 percent of all children are educated in state schools and the rest attend private schools. Primary school. Schoolchildren attend a primary school for 6 years (5 to 11 years). When students transfer to Secondary School at the age of 11, they do not take any examination, but their reports are sent on from the Primary School. Secondary School. Most children – over 80 percent – go to a comprehensive school. “Comprehensive” means all-inclusive. They admit pupils of all abilities. Pupils in all state in schools in England and Wales study 10 main subjects, among them: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art, Music, Physical Education, Information Technology. Religious education is also taught. Attainment tests are given at the ages of 7, 11 and 14. At the age of 16 students sit the exams in as many subjects as possible. Weak students may only sit for three or four subjects. Better students take ten subjects. At the age of 16 about two thirds of these pupils leave school and get jobs. About one-third stay on at school until the age of 18, preparing themselves for higher education. The 6th Form. More ambitious pupils continue to study in the 6th form. They stay on at school for one or two years to prepare themselves for university. They have only three or four main subjects, which are necessary to pass the advanced level exams at the age of 18. The school year is divided into three terms with the intervals between them during Christmas and Easter holidays lasting about two weeks each and summer holiday which is usually six weeks long. All kinds of out-of-class activities are part of school life in Britain. Most schools have very good libraries which students use for reference work.

The Educational System of Great Britain

The educational system of G.B. is extreamely complex and bewildering. It is very difficult to generalize particular types of schools as schools differ from one to the other. The departament of education and science is responsible for national educational policy, but it doesn't employ teacher or prescribe curricula or text books.

Each school has it's own board of governers consisting of teachers, parents, local politicians, members of local community, businessmen and sometimes pupils. According to the law only one subject is compulsary. It is religious instruction.

Schooling for children is compulsary from 5 to 16, though some provision is made for children under 5 and some pupils remain at school after 16 to prepare for higher education.

The state school system is usually divided into 2 stages (secondary and primary).The majority of primary schools are mixed.They are subdivided into infant schools (ages 5 to 7),and junior schools (ages 7 to11). In junior schools pupils were often placed in A,B,C or D-streams, according to their abilities. Under the pressue of progressive parents and teachers the 11+ examination has now been abolished in most parts of the country. There are several types of schools in G.B.Grammar schools provide an academical cause for selected pupils from the age of 11 to 18. Only those children who have the best results are admitted to these schools. They give pupils a high level of academic education which can lead to the university.

Technical Schools offer a general education with a technical bias and serve those pupils who are more mechanically minded. The curriculum includes more lessons of science and mathematics. Secondary modern schools were formed to provide a non-academic education for children of lesser attainment. The curriculum includes more practical subjects. Comprehensive schools bring about a general improvement in the system of secondary education.

School education:

Primary education may take the form of combined junior and infant schools and therefore lasts for six years or a first stage covering infant schools (two years) and a second stage covering junior schools (four years). Secondary education covers schooling from the age of eleven to the minimum school leaving age of sixteen. Pupils follow a common curriculum leading to the GCSE and VCSE. They may combine a number of GCSEs, VCSEs or a combination of both. At some schools, pupils may stay on at a school sixth form for a further two years when they sit for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A Levels) or the General Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary examinations (GCE AS examinations), or vocational courses leading usually to a Vocational Certificate of Education Advanced Level/Vocational Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary Level). Further education colleges also offer these courses.

Higher education:

Higher education is provided by three main types of institutions: universities, colleges and institutions of higher education and art and music colleges. All universities are autonomous institutions, particularly in matters relating to courses. They are empowered by a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament. As a result of the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992, the binary line separating universities and polytechnics was abolished and polytechnics were given university status (i.e., the right to award their own degrees) and took university titles. The Council for National Academic Awards was abolished, leaving most institutions to confer their own degrees. Higher Education Funding Councils were created for England, Scotland and Wales, replacing the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council. Most universities are divided into faculties which may be subdivided into departments. Universities UK examines matters of concern to all universities. Many colleges and institutions of higher education are the result of mergers of teacher training colleges and other colleges. The Department for Education and Skills is responsible for all universities. Non-university higher education institutions also provide degree courses, various non-degree courses and postgraduate qualifications. Some may offer Higher Degrees and other qualifications offered by most non-university higher education institutions are validated by external bodies such as a local university or the Open University. An institution can also apply for the authority to award its own degrees but it must be able to demonstrate a good record of running degree courses validated by other universities. Institutions can apply for university status but must satisfy a number of criteria, including the power to award its own first and higher degrees. Some higher education is also provided in further education institutions. This provision is funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils and the Department of Education Northern Ireland. The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 allows for the transfer of further education institutions to the higher education sector, if 'the full-time enrolment number of the institution concerned…for courses of higher education exceeds 55% of its total full-time equivalent enrolment number'.

Non-university level:

Non-university level post-secondary technical education is provided by technical colleges, colleges of further and higher education and accredited independent colleges which offer a large number of courses leading to a vocational qualification. The Business and Technology Education Council offers many vocational courses leading to the BTEC First Diploma (one year, full-time) or to the BTEC National Diploma (two to three years, full-time). A Higher National Diploma is conferred after three years' study by the Business and Technology Education Council. As regards professional education, the professions have laid down their own professional qualifications (some thirty major professional bodies exist).

University level studies:

University level first stage: Undergraduate stage:

This stage lasts for three or four years and leads to the award of a Bachelor's Degree in Arts, Science or other fields (Technology, Law, Engineering, etc.). In some Scottish universities the first degree is a Master's Degree. The Bachelor's Degree is conferred as a Pass Degree or an Honours Degree where studies are more specialized. The Bachelor's Honours Degree is classified as a First Class Honours, a Second Class Honours or a Third Class Honours. In some universities and colleges of higher education, a two-year course leads to a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE). This is a recognized qualification in its own right. Some universities have adopted the credit-unit or modular system of assessment. In some universities students must follow a foundation course before embarking on the course leading to the Bachelor's Degree. Students of foreign languages are sometimes required to study or work for an additional year in the country of the target language. Sandwich courses generally involve an additional year's work experience. Some institutions have introduced accelerated two-year degrees which require students to study during the normal vacation period. It is now rare for the class of degree to depend entirely on student performance in final examinations. Most institutions base a component of the degree class on examinaions taken during the period of study, especially those taken at the end of the second year, and many also use some form of continuous assessment. The majority of degree courses also involve the research and writing of an extensive thesis or dissertation, normally making up around 50% of the final year assessment.

University level second stage: Master's Degree, Master of Philosophy:

Study at master's level is at the forefront of an academic or professional discipline. Students must show originality in their application of knowledge and advancement of knowledge. The normal entry requirement for a Master's degree is a good Bachelor's degree. A Master's degree is normally studied over one year. Some Master's programmes, including the M.Eng, are integrated in undergraduate programmes and result in a postgraduate qualification, not an undergraduate one, after four years of study.At a university, after two years of additional study and the successful presentation of a thesis, students obtain the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) degree.

University level third stage: Doctor of Philosophy, Higher Doctorate:

After usually three years' further study beyond the Master's Degree, the candidate may present a thesis for the Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil. or Ph.D.).A further stage leads to Higher Doctorates which may be awarded by a university in Law, Humanities, Science, Medical Sciences, Music and Theology after a candidate, usually a senior university teacher, has submitted a number of learned, usually published, works.

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Primary school teachers must hold a first degree and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education awarded by a university or college of higher education. Alternatively, they must hold a BEd Degree and have a qualified teacher status which can be obtained after successful completion of an approved course of initial teacher training (ITT). The main types of ITT courses are the one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education course or the Bachelor of Education (BEd) course.

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary school teachers must hold a first degree and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education awarded by a university or college of higher education. Alternatively they must hold a BEd Degree and have a qualified teacher status which can be obtained after successful completion of an approved course of initial teacher training (ITT). The main types of ITT courses are the one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education course or the Bachelor of Education (BEd) course which normally lasts for four years.

Distance higher education

The Open University offers instruction for part-time study for degrees and other courses by correspondence, supplemented by radio and television broadcasts, residential summer schools and an extensive counselling and tutorial service which operates through local study centres. Three main types of course are available: undergraduate level courses, postgraduate courses and study packs. They are offered as part of Certificate, Diploma or Degree programmes. Undergraduate students take a series of courses which are worth one half or one full credit. A one-credit course is estimated to require 350-400 hours of study. An Ordinary Degree BA or BSc is awarded to students who have obtained six credits; an Honours degree (BA or BSc Honours) to students who have obtained two of these credits at the higher levels of study. Students may choose from a selection of 134 courses at four levels of difficulty. Up to three credits may be allowed for previous qualifications such as an initial teacher training qualification or a Higher National Diploma. The Open College offers vocational and professional training often leading to recognized qualifications. The Open College of Arts, set up in 1987, is affiliated to the Open University. It aids students of the arts who wish to study at home. It receives no government funding but as a registered charity it receives donations from other organizations.

Lifelong higher education

Extra-mural education is provided by universities or other institutions of higher education to adults living in the region served by the institutions and who do not belong to the regular student body. Higher education institutions may also choose to offer courses that are specifically intended to meet the needs of the local community. Thus they may offer part-time courses providing professional updating which people attend on day-release from work or attend in the evening, or leisure courses on local History or Geography, or Language and Literature classes.

Higher education training in industry

There are sandwich courses in which an undergraduate course is incorporated with periods of industrial training. The duration of study for an Honours Degree is four years. Admission conditions vary enormously and courses are offered only in universities which were formerly colleges of advanced technology.

Other forms of non-formal higher education

Foundation degree programmes were finalized in autumn 2000 for the first students to begin the courses in 2001. Foundation degrees are employment-related higher education qualifications designed to equip students with work-related skills.The sectors include construction, creative industries, e-business, e-commerce, finance, information technology and law. Foundation degrees have been designed with employers to provide an employment base at associate professional and higher technician level. They are awarded by universities and higher education colleges. A Foundation Degree can be used as a starting point for further study, either a related Honours Degree or further professional development in the workplace. There are no specific entry requirements and it is up to the college or university providing the degree to decide if a candidate is eligible.

Education in England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Education in England

Secretary of State (Education)
Minister for Universities and Science (BIS)
Michael Gove
David Willetts
National education budget (2008–09)
£62.2 billion[1][2]
General Details
Primary Languages
System Type
Compulsory education
Education in England is overseen by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. At local level, local authorities (LAs) take responsibility for implementing policy for public education and state schools. Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16. Students may then continue their secondary studies for a further two years (sixth form), leading most typically to an A-level qualification, although other qualifications and courses exist, including Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications, the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Cambridge Pre-U. The leaving age for compulsory education was raised to 18 by the Education and Skills Act 2008. The change will take effect in 2013 for 16-year-olds and 2015 for 17-year-olds.[8] State-provided schools as well as sixth form are free of charge to students, and there is also a tradition of independent schooling, but parents may choose to educate their children by any suitable means. Higher education typically begins with a 3-year Bachelor's Degree. Postgraduate degrees include Master's Degrees, either taught or by research, and Doctor of Philosophy, a research degree that usually takes at least three years. Universities require a Royal charter in order to issue degrees, and all but one are 'financed' by the state with a 'low' level of fees, though these are increasing, for home and European Union students. Contents [hide]

1 Primary and secondary education
1.1 The state-funded school system
1.1.1 School years
1.1.2 Curriculum
1.1.3 School governance
1.1.4 Secondary schools by intake
1.2 Independent schools
1.3 Education otherwise than by schooling
1.4 Further education
2 Higher education
2.1 Postgraduate education
2.2 Specialist qualifications
2.3 Fees
3 Adult education
4 Progression
5 Criticism
6 History
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
Primary and secondary education
The school year begins on 1 September (or 1 August if a term starts in August).[9] Education is compulsory for all children from their fifth birthday to the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16.[10][11] This will be raised in 2013 to the year in which they turn 17 and in 2015 to the year in which they turn 18.[8] The state-funded school system

State-run schools and colleges are financed through national taxation, and take pupils free of charge between the ages of 3 and 18. The schools may levy charges for activities such as swimming, theatre visits and field trips, provided the charges are voluntary, thus ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay are allowed to participate in such events. Approximately 93% of English schoolchildren attend such schools. A significant minority of state-funded schools are faith schools, which are attached to religious groups, most often the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church. There is also a small number of state-funded boarding schools, which typically charge for board but not tuition. However, the charges are often substantial. For example, Wymondham College charged £8,100 per annum in 2010. Nearly 90% of state-funded secondary schools are specialist schools, receiving extra funding to develop one or more subjects in which the school specialises. School years

The table below describes the most common patterns for schooling in the state sector in England. In most cases progression from one year group to another is based purely on chronological age, although it is possible in some circumstances for a student to repeat or skip a year. Repetition may be due to a lack of attendance, for example from a long illness, and especially in Years requiring standard tests. A child significantly more advanced than their classmates may be forwarded one or more years. Age on 31 Aug (before school year)

Curriculum stage
Foundation Stage
Nursery school

Infant school
Primary school
First school
Year 1
Key Stage 1

Year 2

Year 3
Key Stage 2
Junior school

Year 4

Year 5

Middle school
Year 6

Year 7
Key Stage 3
Secondary school
Secondary school
with sixth form

Year 8

Year 9

Upper school or
High school
Year 10
Key Stage 4 / GCSE, etc.

Year 11

Year 12 (Lower Sixth)
Sixth form / A level, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U, etc. College/Sixth Form

Year 13 (Upper Sixth)

In the vast majority of cases, pupils progress from primary to secondary levels at age 11; in some areas either or both of the primary and secondary levels are further subdivided. A few areas have three-tier education systems with an intermediate middle level from age 9 to 13. State-funded nursery education is available from the age of 3, and may be full-time or part-time. If registered with a state school attendance is compulsory beginning with the term following the child's fifth birthday. Children can be enrolled in the reception year in September of that school year thus beginning school at age 4 or 4.5. Unless the student chooses to stay within the education system school attendance ends on the last Friday in June during the academic year in which a student attains the age of 16.[11] Under the National Curriculum system, all pupils undergo National Curriculum Tests (NCTs, commonly still referred to by their previous name of Standard Attainment Tests, or SATs) towards the ends of Key Stage 2 in core subjects, but not foundation subjects, where teacher assessment is used. They normally take GCSE exams in the last two years of Key Stage 4, but may take other Level 2 qualifications, such as GNVQ. Former tests at the end of Key Stage 3 were abandoned after the 2008 tests, when severe problems emerged concerning the marking procedures. Now at Key Stages 1 and 3, assessment is by teacher assessment against the National Curriculum Attainment Targets for all subjects. Test results for schools are published, and are an important measure of their performance.[12][13]

Shrewsbury Sixth Form College in Shropshire.
Years 12 and 13 are often referred to as "lower sixth form" and "upper sixth form" respectively, reflecting their distinct, voluntary nature and situation as the A-level years. While most secondary schools enter their pupils for A-levels (Advanced level GCEs), some state schools have joined the independent sector in offering the International Baccalaureate or Cambridge Pre-U qualifications instead. Some independent schools still refer to years 7 to 11 as "first form" to "fifth form", reflecting earlier usage. Even more historically, this arose from the system in public schools, where all forms were divided into Lower, Upper, and sometimes Middle sections. Year 7 is equivalent to "Upper Third Form", Year 8 would have been known as "Lower Fourth", and so on. Some independent schools still use this way of counting the years. Curriculum

All maintained schools in England are required to follow the National Curriculum, which is made up of twelve subjects.[14] The core subjects—English, Mathematics and Science—are compulsory for all students aged 5 to 16. The other foundation subjects are compulsory at one or more Key Stages: Art & Design

Design & Technology
Information & Communication Technology
Modern Foreign Languages
Physical Education
In addition, other statutory subjects are not covered by the National Curriculum, including Religious Education in all year groups, and Career education, Sex education and Work-related learning at secondary age.[14] Religious Education within Community Schools may be withdrawn at parents' consent. Sex Education in some schools may be subject to withdrawals, or within Catholic Schools prohibited. School governance

Almost all state-funded schools in England are maintained schools, which receive their funding from Local Authorities, and are required to follow the national curriculum. In such schools, all teachers are employed under the nationally-agreed School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document. Since 1998, there have been 4 main types of maintained school in England:[15][16][17] community schools (formerly county schools), in which the Local Authority employs the schools' staff, owns the schools' lands and buildings and has primary responsibility for admissions.

St Barnabas Church of England Primary School, Oxford
voluntary controlled schools, which are almost always church schools, with the lands and buildings often owned by a charitable foundation. However, the Local Authority employs the schools' staff and has primary responsibility for admissions. voluntary aided schools, linked to a variety of organisations. They can be faith schools (often the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church), or non-denominational schools, such as those linked to London Livery Companies. The charitable foundation contributes towards the capital costs of the school, and appoints a majority of the school governors. The governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for admissions.[18] foundation schools, in which the governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for admissions. The school land and buildings are owned by the governing body or by a charitable foundation. The Foundation appoints a minority of governors. Many of these schools were formerly grant maintained schools. In 2005 the Labour government proposed allowing all schools to become Foundation schools if they wished. There are also a smaller number of City Technology Colleges and academies, which are secondary schools funded and monitored directly by the Department for Education.[19] Academies can also accept funding from private sources such as individuals or companies. The current Government is greatly expanding the academy scheme by encouraging many schools to convert to Academy status. All state-funded schools are regularly inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), which publishes reports of the quality of education at each school. Schools judged by Ofsted to be providing an inadequate standard of education may be placed in special measures, which may include replacing the governing body and senior staff. Secondary schools by intake

English secondary schools are mostly comprehensive, except in a few areas that retain a form of the previous selective system (the Tripartite System), with students selected for grammar school by the eleven plus exam. There are also a number of isolated fully selective grammar schools, and a few dozen partially selective schools. Specialist schools may also select up to 10% of their intake for aptitude in the specialism, though relatively few of them have taken up this option. Also, intakes of comprehensive schools can vary widely, especially in urban areas with several schools.[20] Sir Peter Newsam, Chief Schools Adjudicator 1999–2002, has argued that English schools can be divided into 8 types (with some overlap) based on the ability range of their intake. 1. "super-selective": almost all of the intake from the top 10%. These are the few highly selective grammar schools that dominate school performance tables. 2. "selective": almost all of the intake from the top 25%. These include grammar schools in areas where the Tripartite system survives. 3. "comprehensive (plus)": admit children of all abilities, but concentrated in the top 50%. These include partially selective schools and a few high-status faith schools in areas without selection. 4. comprehensive: intake with an ability distribution matching the population. These schools are most common in rural areas and small towns with no nearby selection, but a few occur in urban areas. 5. "comprehensive (minus)": admit children of all abilities, but with few in the top 25%. These include comprehensive schools with nearby selective schools "skimming" the intake. 6. secondary modern: hardly any of the intake in the top 25%, but an even distribution of the rest. These include non-selective schools in areas where the Tripartite system survives. 7. "secondary modern (minus)": no pupils in the top 25% and 10–15% in the next 25%. These schools are most common in urban areas where alternatives of types 1–5 are available. 8. "sub-secondary modern": intake heavily weighted toward the low end of the ability range. This ranking is reflected in performance tables, and thus the schools' attractiveness to parents. Thus, although schools may use the phrase 'comprehensive' in their prospectus or name, the schools at the higher end of the spectrum are not comprehensive in intake. Indeed, the variation in the social groupings in school intake, and the differences in academic performance are enormous.[21][22] Independent schools

Approximately 7% of schoolchildren in England attend privately-run independent schools, commonly called "private schools", but sixth forms are more highly populated, with about 18% of children in England attending. Independent schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum, and their teachers are not required or regulated by law to have official teaching qualifications. Some of the earliest established independent schools are known for historical reasons as "public schools".[4] Education at independent schools is usually chargeable. Such schools, some of which are boarding schools, cover primary and/or secondary education and charge between £2,500 and £30,000 per year.[23] Some schools offer scholarships for those with particular skills or aptitudes or bursaries to allow less well-off students to attend. Traditionally many private schools are single-sex, but a growing number now are co-educational (mixed-sex). Some independent schools take children between age 3-11 transferring to 11-18. Traditional "public schools" such as Westminster, Eton and Charterhouse take boys at 13 years of age. Many students must pass the Common Entrance Exam at 11 or 13 to gain entry into highly selective schools. As in the state sector, there is a hierarchy of independent schools with the schools at the top attracting applications from the strongest 11 or 13 year olds. The net effect is one of 'distillation of talent', which may explain their academic success.

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