State schools are open to all children from 5 to 17 years of age and they are free as they are funded by the Government. On the other hand Independent Schools, also known as private schools, charge money. They don’t depend on the local government for financing but they are funded by donations. 1.1 The four main types of State schools are:
Community Schools – also known as formerly county schools. The LEA employs the schools staff, owns the schools land and buildings and have the responsibility for deciding the arrangements for admitting pupils. These types of schools have a strong link with the local community. They offer use of their facilities and provide services such as childcare and adult learning classes. State schools are the most popular schools in England. They have to follow the national curriculum. The governors play very important part in these type of schools. Voluntary Aided Schools – The land and the buildings are usually owned by a charity which could be a church but the responsibility for running the school is of the governing body. The staff is employed by the governing body but the majority of the governors are appointed by the foundation. These schools follow the national curriculum. Voluntary Controlled Schools – These are church schools. The land and the buildings are owned by a charitable foundation which also appoints the school governors. The LEA employs the staff and is responsible for running the school . Foundation and Trust schools – The buildings of the school are owned by the governing body or a charitable foundation. The former has responsibility for employing the staff and decides who to admit at the school. Sometimes when there is not enough place for all the children, the school has a criteria for admission: if you live in the area of the school; if your child has siblings in the same school; if the child has a disability, which may make travelling to other school difficult. The governors are appointed by the foundation.
Other types of State Schools are:
Specialists Schools – Some of the Secondary schools are designated as a special schools. That means that they still teach the national curriculum but they also emphasize more in one subject such as: music, science and mats, technology, languages, sports, arts etc. In order to achieve the status ‘ Specialists School’ the one has to provide a four year plan with outcome aims which to reach. Nursery Schools – They accept children from 3 to 5 years old but attending one is not compulsory. Some nursery schools offer full time places but others only two and a half hours per day. Some are open during half terms but there are also nurseries which are closed during that time.
- Pupil Referral Units (PRUs ) - These types of schools provide education for children of mandatory school age who have difficulties attending one. Such pupils could be: excluded from school, teenage mothers, school phobics etc.
Independent Schools: They are also called private schools as they have a fee to attend. They are not controlled by the LEA. The parents are who fund the school. These type of schools don’t follow the national curriculum and responsible for the admission of the pupils are the Head Teacher and the governors. Some types of Independent schools are:
- All –Trough Schools ( Ages 2/5 – 16/18 ) – These are schools which educate children from early ages all the way through to 16/19 years old.. They allow the children to receive a special subject education. Some of them even have their own nurseries. - Pre – Preparatory Schools ( 2-7 years of age ) – They are also called nursery schools or kindergartens. In these schools alongside with learning to play the children also learn to read, write and develop numeracy skills. When it comes to admission – some accept on first - come first - served basis but others carry out an interview and observe how the child cooperates with other children. - Junior Schools ( ages 7-11 + 13 ) – This is Key stage 2 from the English education system in Primary education. Junior schools are followed by Secondary schools.
Senior Schools ( Ages 11 – 18 ) - They can be day only schools, boarding only or both. There are entrance procedures such as entry points and admission tests. These schools can be Boys’ only or Girls’ only. They offer three years of general studies which are followed by two years in preparation for GCSE and two years for AS/A2. Senior Schools ( Ages 13 -18 ) – They offer one year of general studies, two years for GCSE after and two years for AS/A2.
Sixth Form ( Age 16+ ) - these are schools which admit students at 16+ usually for two year AS/A2 courses, the International Baccalaureate or GCSE retakes.