Structure Of Primary Education In The United Kingdom
Education in the UK is an aspect that is held in high regard all over the world. Based on centuries-old traditions and well-planned guidelines, it follows a strict code of rules. The educational institutions and facilities are world-renowned which attracts parents and students from other countries.
Studying in the UK seems to be a matter of pride for many outsiders who want to give their children the invaluable gift of English education with the exclusive English atmosphere.
So we start with the most basic level of education in UK – the primary education.
Primary education starts from the age of 5 for children belonging to England and Wales. In Northern Ireland, education starts at the age of 4.
Parents can choose to put their children in state run schools or private schools. At this juncture it is important to note that private education is certainly quite expensive. The interesting fact is that all children within the age group of 5-16 are entitled to a free place at all state-run schools.
It is crucial to know about the state-run schools in the UK:
- There are 4 types of state schools:
- Community schools
- Foundation schools
- Trust schools
- Voluntary-aided schools
- Community schools are run by the local authorities.
- The local communities benefit immensely from these schools which permit them to use their facilities.
- Community schools also provide child-care and adult learning classes.
- Foundation schools have their own governing body.
- They employ their own staff and have the liberty to set their own admission criteria.
- Trust schools are based on charitable trusts with partners from outside the community.
- Voluntary-aided schools are mostly religious or faith schools that are run by the local authorities.
Points to consider for primary education in the UK:
- Parents must apply to the school where they want to enroll their child.
- Even if the primary school is linked to the school of your choice, formal application is mandatory.
- School academic years start tentatively in September and last till July of the next following year.
- Primary education is based on the basics of Math, Science, Reading, Writing, Phonetics, History, Geography, Physical Education, Art and Religious education.
Structure Of Secondary Education In The UK
Students within the age group of 11 to 14 step into the secondary level of education after having spent 5 to 6 years in the primary level.
What does secondary education in the UK entail?
- Students in both state-run and private institutions have about 10-15 subjects to study and master.
- Just like primary education, secondary education is compulsory for all.
- Amongst other basic and major subject that are already taught at the primary level, students learn Modern and Foreign Languages, Art and Design, Music, Citizenship, Career Guidance, Sex and Relationship educaiton, etc.
What do we know about GCSE?
Graduation from secondary school lasts for the years 14 and 15. After these two years, students sit for the General Certificate for Secondary Education or GCSE which is a state exam.
- Students are allowed to take upto 10 different subjects with the inclusion of Math and English language.
- The GCSE is set and marked by independent examination boards.
- Until this point of the examination, education is compulsory for all students, after which they can choose to go for higher education or leave school.
- Students can choose to go to vocational or technical schools.
- Higher education in universities is also another choice.
Higher Education And Beyond
There is no dearth of higher education options in the UK. With some of the world’s renowned universities like Cambridge and Oxford, London is known as the education capital of the world.
There are well over a hundred universities offering endless opportunities of higher education to students from within the UK and all over the world.
It is a fact that about one third of all school graduates go on to take courses in these universities.
Students may take Advanced Level Exams required to qualify for university entrance in their first year of higher education. In the second year, they continue with selected 3-4 subjects which gives them full A-level qualification.
UK’s A Level Exam certifications are recognized by all the universities in the UK and by many other world-renowned educational institutions.
Where does life take a student after compulsory education?
- Students who opt for undergraduate courses (UG) have 3 years to complete the course.
- Sandwich courses are also gaining popularity. The course has 3 years of formal education and one year in the workplace which gives the student practical insight about the particular subject.
- Undergraduate degrees consist of Bachelor of Arts or BA, Bachelor of Engineering or BEng and Bachelor of Science or BSc.
- After the completion of UG course, students are free to pursue Post graduation courses which last for 2 years.
- UG Courses in medicine, law and veterinary normally last for 5 years.
While education in UK is a matter of pride it also involves a lot of planning. Examine all your options. Consider the location of the school or university, the cost factor, courses available, ranking of the university and access to amenities.
If you have ticked all the boxes, then you are one lucky person!