Secondary education in UK

Education System in UK | You need to know before studying in the UK

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts. There are separate education systems in England. primary education, secondary education, further education, and higher education. It’s divided into the key stage of the UK education system. Compulsory schooling begins at the age of five in England. Children in England have to legally attend school from 5 years old until the student higher education at 16 years old. 

Further, School in England is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. Younger after, five years old can go to a toddler group, playgroup or nursery school. In this page, you will find general information on the educational system in England. 

The education system in UK curriculum 

The British educational system curriculum is divided into primary, secondary and higher education. Children are required to start primary school education at the age of five. 

Compulsory education lasts until secondary education at the age of sixteen. The education system transfers from primary to secondary education when you are at the age of eleven. Actually, the education system is divided into Foundation Stage (ages 3 to 5), primary education (ages 5 to 11) and secondary education (ages 11 to 16). 

Further, British education is renowned for concerning itself with the development of the whole personality. Learning for tomorrow, personal development, international-mindedness, and global awareness, problem-solving and thinking skills, and ICT (information, communication, and technology) are part of the British education system. 

What are the school years and ages in the UK education system? 

The United Kingdom funded education system is divided into stages based upon age: 

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (ages 3–5); 
  • Primary education (ages 5 to 11), 
  • secondary school (ages 11 to 16), 

Primary and secondary education has been subdivided into Key Stage 1 to 4 based upon ages. 

  • 1. Key stage: Infants (ages 5 to 7) and 
  • 2. Key Stage 2: Juniors (ages 7 to 11); 
  • 3. Key Stage 3: ages 11 to 14) and 
  • Key Stage 4: ages 14 to 16. 

At age 16 the students typically take exams for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or other Level qualifications. Schooling is compulsory until 16. Thus post-16 education can take many forms and may be academic or vocational. 

Primary education in the UK 

Primary school is usually the first stage of formal education. It comes after preschool (nursery and playgroup) and before secondary education. Primary education usually takes place in primary school. 

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In some countries, primary education is followed by middle school, which exists in some countries, and takes place between primary school and high school. 

But in UK Primary schools admit children from the ages of 5 through to 11. Primary schools are split up into Infant and Junior levels. The infant age range (5 to 7 years) is from Key Stage 1. The Junior age range (7 to 11 years) is from Key Stage 2. 

Further, Children leave primary school at the age of eleven, moving on to secondary school.  There are four main types of state schools in the UK. First of all is the community school, which is run by the local authority and has strong links with the local community. There are also the foundation, trust, and Voluntary schools. If you want to get admitted in UK, you have to know how to get Scholarships in UK. 

Foundation schools are run by their own governing body, while a trust school is a type of foundation school which forms a charitable trust with an outside partner. Voluntary schools are mainly religious schools, although anyone can apply for a place. 

UK higher education system 

After completing secondary or further education students attend higher education System. How it works for international students in the higher education system in the UK. 

Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent education. UK higher education offer over 100 University for various degree programs from the UK and all around the world. 

The UK higher education system often begins with a three-year bachelor’s degree. Postgraduate degrees include master’s degrees. Postgraduate degrees are of four main types: taught masters, Masters by Research, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy. 

Doctoral degrees that usually take at least three years to complete are also some specific subjects such as LLM in law, MBA in business and management, master’s in arts, and master’s in science. Tuition fees for first degrees in public universities are up to £9,250 per year for English, Wales and European Union students. 

Read more: Elementary Education degree 

How is schoolwork in England? 

The education system is compulsory in the UK for all children between the ages of 5 to 16, including the children of foreign nationals permanently or temporarily. 

No fees are payable in state schools, which are attended by over 90 percent of pupils. The education system in England is divided into four key stages. 

Primary education in England begins at five years old of children. 

Primary school consists mainly of infant schools (key stage 1) for children aged five to seven. Junior schools (key stage 2) for those ages 7 to 11 and combined first and middle schools for both age groups. 

Secondary schools (key stage 3, 4) are for children aged from 11 to 16 and for those who choose to stay on at school until age 18. 

British school system vs. the American school system 

I can’t tell you too much about the British school system vs American school. But I have a short description of the US vs. UK school system. 

  • Compulsory school in the UK is 5-16 years old. (Primary 5–11 ages: Key Stages 1–2 and Secondary 11–16 ages: Key Stages 3–4. Compulsory school in the US is 5–18 years. (K-5th grade Elementary 5–10 years, 6th-8th Grade is Middle School 11–13 years, 9th-12th Grade is High School, 14–18 years. 
  • British have state-run free school or public/independent fee-based (private) schools. The UK has state-run faith schools. 
  • In the US education system, you progress by merit. You have grades, and you must pass a class to progress to the next. On the other hand, in the U.K education system, you progress by age. If you did good or bad in the previous year you progress to the next. 

Which education system is better American or British? 

It’s quite impossible to say which education system in England is better between British or American. 

Both countries have different types of facilities in their education system. Further, according to the World University ranking for higher education, the top 200 hundred is located in the UK and US. 

In my opinion about the education system in England vs America, the American education system is better than the British education system because of their progress to the next. 

Read also posts 

What is the difference between Undergraduate and postgraduate and graduate? 

High School Grades in USA 

and more. 

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