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Education in England is overseen by the United Kingdom's
Department for Education The Department for Education (DFE) is the UK government department responsible for child protection Child protection is the safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on th ...
. Local government authorities are responsible for implementing policy for
public education State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English Scottish English ( gd, Beurla Albannach) is the set of varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, th ...
and state-funded schools at a local level. England also has a tradition of
independent schools An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national governments. In British Engli ...
(some of which call themselves ''public schools'') and
home education Homeschooling or home schooling, also known as home education or elective home education (EHE), is the education of School-age, school-aged children at home or a variety of places other than school. Usually conducted by a parent, tutor, or an ...
: legally, parents may choose to educate their children by any permitted means. State-funded schools may be selective ''
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s'' or non-selective ''
comprehensive school A comprehensive school is a public school for elementary aged or secondary aged children (aged approximately 11-18) that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school A selecti ...
s'' (non-selective schools in counties that have grammar schools may be called by other names, such as ''high schools''). Comprehensive schools are further subdivided by funding into free schools, other
academies An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolin ...
, any remaining Local Authority schools and others. More freedom is given to free schools, including most religious schools, and other academies in terms of curriculum. All are subject to assessment and inspection by
Ofsted The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matte ...
(the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills). The state-funded education system is divided into '' Key Stages'' based upon age:
Early Years Foundation Stage The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework for Early Years education in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west ...
(ages 3–4 by August 31st);
primary education Primary education is typically the first stage of formal education, coming after preschool/kindergarten and before secondary school. Primary education takes place in primary school, the elementary school or first and middle school depending on ...

primary education
(ages 5 to 10 by August 31st), subdivided into
Key Stage 1 Key Stage 1 is the legal term for the two years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 1 and Year 2, when pupils are aged between 5 and 7. This Key Stage AP A Key Stage is a stage of the state school, state e ...
(KS1) Infants (ages 5 to 6 by August 31st) and
Key Stage 2Key Stage 2 is the legal term for the four years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, when the pupils are aged between 7 and 11 years. England and Wales Legal definition The te ...
(KS2) Juniors (ages 7 to 10 by August 31st);
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education i ...
(ages 11 to 15 by August 31st), subdivided into
Key Stage 3 Key Stage 3 (commonly abbreviated as KS3) is the legal term for the three years of schooling in maintained schools in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders ...
(KS3; ages 11 to 13 by August 31st) and
Key Stage 4 Key Stage 4 (KS4) is the legal term for the two years of school education which incorporate GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a ...
(KS4; ages 14 to 15 by August 31st);
Key Stage 5Key Stage 5 is a label used to describe the two years of education for students aged 16-18, or at sixth form In the education systems of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It sh ...
is post-16 education (ages 16 to 17 by August 31st); and
tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, ...
(for ages 18+). At the end of Year 11 (at age 15 or 16, depending on their birthdays) students typically take
General Certificate of Secondary Education The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
(GCSE) exams or other Level 1 or Level 2 qualifications. For students who do not pursue academic qualifications until the end of Year 13, these qualifications are roughly equivalent to the completion of high school in many other countries, or high school graduation in the United States and Canada. While ''education'' is compulsory until 18, ''schooling'' is compulsory to 16: thus post-16 education can take a number of forms, and may be academic or
vocational A vocation () is an occupation Occupation commonly refers to: *Occupation or job, one's role in society, often a regular activity performed for payment *Occupation (protest) As an act of protest, occupation is a strategy often used by social m ...
. This can involve continued schooling, known as "
sixth form In the education systems of England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east ...
" or "college", leading (typically after two years of further study) to
A-level#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the ...
qualifications, or a number of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as
Business and Technology Education Council The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider of secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in organic chemistry to classify various types of c ...
(BTEC), the
International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit ins ...
(IB),
Cambridge Pre-UThe Cambridge Pre-U is a school leaving qualification from Cambridge Assessment International Education that is an alternative to the current Advanced Level (UK), A Level qualification. It is principally aimed at students aged 16–19, and has recogn ...
, WJEC or
Eduqas Eduqas is the English brand of the British examination board WJEC exam board, WJEC. Eduqas went into effect in September 2015. All reformed qualifications offered by WJEC in England were now branded Eduqas, whilst those in Wales continued to be WJ ...
. It can also include work-based
apprenticeship An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a ...

apprenticeship
s or traineeships, or volunteering. Higher education often begins with a three-year
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
. Postgraduate degrees include
master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
s, either taught or by research, and
doctoral level
doctoral level
research degrees that usually take at least three years. Tuition fees for first degrees in
public universities A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant Government spending, public funds through a national or subnational government, as opposed to a private university. Whether a natio ...
are £9,250 per academic year for English, Welsh and
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
students. The
Regulated Qualifications FrameworkThe national qualification frameworks in the United Kingdom are qualifications frameworks that define and link the levels and credit values of different qualifications. The current frameworks are: * The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) for ...
(RQF) covers national school examinations and vocational education qualifications. It is referenced to the
European Qualifications Framework The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. The EQF ai ...
, and thus to other qualifications frameworks across the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), which is tied to the RQF, covers degrees and other qualifications from degree-awarding bodies. This is referenced to the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area developed under the
Bologna process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
. The
Programme for International Student Assessment The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coop ...
coordinated by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of British 15-year-olds as 13th in the world in reading literacy, mathematics and science, with the average British student scoring 503.7, compared with the OECD average of 493.https://www.oecd.org/pisa/Combined_Executive_Summaries_PISA_2018.pdf In 2011, the
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 450px, TIMSS 2011 8th grade average Science scores The IEA's Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a series of international assessments of the mathematics and science knowledge of students around the world. The partici ...
(TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in England and Wales 10th in the world for maths and 9th for science.


History of English education

Until 1870 all schools were charitable or private institutions, but in that year the
Elementary Education Act 1870 The Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between the ages of 5 and 12 in England and Wales. It established local education authorities with defined powers, authori ...
permitted local governments to complement the existing elementary schools in order to fill any gaps. The
Education Act 1902 The Education Act 1902 ('' 2 Edw. VII''), also known as the Balfour Act, was a highly controversial Act of Parliament that set the pattern of elementary education in England and Wales for four decades. It was brought to Parliament by a Conservati ...
allowed local authorities to create secondary schools. The
Education Act 1918 The Education Act 1918 (8 & 9 Geo. V c. 39), often known as the Fisher Act, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly ...
abolished fees for elementary schools.
Women's college Women's colleges in higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal ...
s were established in the 19th century to give women access to university education, the first being Bedford College, London (1849),
Girton College, Cambridge Girton College is one of the 31 constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , est ...
(1869) and
Newnham College, Cambridge Newnham College is a women's constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) edu ...

Newnham College, Cambridge
(1871). The
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a p ...
established special examinations for women in 1868 and opened its degrees to women in 1878.
University College Bristol University College, Bristol was an educational institution which existed from 1876 to 1909. It was the predecessor institution to the University of Bristol, which gained a royal charter in 1909. During its time the college mainly served the middl ...

University College Bristol
(now the University of Bristol) became the first mixed higher education institution on its foundation in 1876, followed in 1878 by
University College London University College London, which Trade name, operates as UCL, is a major public university , public research university located in London, United Kingdom. UCL is a Member institutions of the University of London, member institution of the Federa ...
(which had held some mixed classes from 1871).


Legally compulsory education

Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged 5 to 18, either at school or otherwise, with a child beginning primary education during the school year they turn 5. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are entitled to 600 hours per year of optional, state-funded, pre-school education. This can be provided in "playgroups", nurseries, community childcare centres or nursery classes in schools. The age at which a pupil may choose to stop education is commonly known as the "leaving age" for compulsory education. This age was raised to 18 by the
Education and Skills Act 2008 The Education and Skills Act 2008 (c 25) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingd ...
; the change took effect in 2013 for 16-year-olds and 2015 for 17-year-olds. From this time, the school leaving age (which remains 16) and the education leaving age (which is now 18) have been separated.Education and Skills Act 2008
Office of Public Sector Information.
State-provided schooling and sixth-form education are paid for by taxes. All children in England must currently therefore receive an effective education (at school or otherwise) from the first "prescribed day", which falls on or after their fifth birthday until their 18th birthday, and must remain in school until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16. The education leaving age was raised in 2013 to the year in which they turn 17 and in 2015 to their 18th birthday for those born on, or after, 1 September 1997. The prescribed days are 31 August, 31 December and 31 March. The school year begins on 1 September (or 1 August if a term starts in August). The compulsory stages of education are broken into a
Foundation Stage Foundation Stage is the British government label for the education of pupils aged 2 to 5 in England. In Northern Ireland, it is also used to refer to the first two years of compulsory education for pupils aged 4 to 6. England Foundation Stage 1 tak ...
(covering the last part of optional and first part of compulsory education), 4
Key Stage A key stage is a stage of the state education system in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish S ...
s, and post-16 education, sometimes unofficially termed Key Stage Five, which takes a variety of forms, including 6th Form, which covers the last 2 years of Secondary Education in schools.


Stages of compulsory education

A number of different terms and names exist for the various schools and stages a pupil may go through during the compulsory part of their education.
Grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s are selective schools, admitting children from 11 years old onward; they are normally state-funded, though fee paying independent grammars do exist. Schools offering nursery (pre-school) education commonly accept pupils from age 3; however, some schools do accept pupils younger than this.


State-funded schools

Some 93% of children between the ages of 3 and 18 are in education in state-funded schools without charge (other than for activities such as swimming, cultural visits, theatre visits and field trips for which a voluntary payment can be requested, and limited charges at state-funded boarding schools). All schools are legally required to have a website where they must publish details of their governance, finance, curriculum intent and staff and pupil protection policies to comply with The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and 2016. Ofsted monitors these. Since 1998, there have been six main types of maintained (state-funded) school in England: *
Academy schools An Academy school in Education in England, England is a State-funded schools (England), state-funded school which is directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. The terms of the arrangements are s ...
, established by the 1997-2010 Labour Government to replace poorly-performing community schools in areas of high social and economic deprivation. Their start-up costs are typically funded by private means, such as entrepreneurs or NGOs, with running costs met by central government and, like Foundation schools, are administratively free from direct local authority control. The 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government expanded the role of Academies in the ''Academy Programme'', in which a wide number of schools in non-deprived areas were also encouraged to become Academies, thereby essentially replacing the role of foundation schools established by the previous Labour government. They are monitored directly by the Department for Education. Some Academies operate selective entrance requirements for some of their entry, similar to Grammar schools. * Community schools, in which the local authority employs the schools' staff, owns the schools' lands and buildings, and has primary responsibility for admissions. * Free schools, introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, are newly established schools in England set up by parents, teachers, charities or businesses, where there is a perceived local need for more schools. They are funded by taxpayers, are academically non-selective and free to attend, and like Foundation schools and Academies, are not controlled by a local authority. They are ultimately accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. Free schools are an extension of the existing Academy Programme. The first 24 free schools opened in Autumn 2011. *
Foundation school In England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The ...
s, in which the governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for admissions. 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 school Grant-maintained schools or GM schools were state schools in England and Wales between 1988 and 1998 that had opted out of local government control, being funded directly by a grant from central government. Some of these schools had selective admis ...
s. In 2005 the Labour government proposed allowing all schools to become Foundation schools if they wished. *
Voluntary Aided schoolsA voluntary aided school (VA school) is a state-funded school in England and Wales in which a foundation (charity), foundation or Charitable trust, trust (usually a religious organisation), contributes to building costs and has a substantial influenc ...
, linked to a variety of organisations. They can be
faith schools A faith school is a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal ...
(about two thirds
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
-affiliated; just under one third
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
, and a few another faith), or non-denominational schools, such as those linked to London
Livery Companies There are 110 livery companies, comprising London's ancient and modern trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and ...
. The charitable foundation contributes towards the capital costs of the school (typically 10%), and appoints a majority of the
school governors In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, school governors are the overseers of a school. In state school State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English Scottish English ( gd, Beurla Albannach) is ...
. The governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for admissions. * Voluntary Controlled schools, which are almost always
faith schools A faith school is a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal ...
, 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. *
University technical college A university technical college (UTC) is a type of secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both ...
s (UTCs), established in 2010 by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, are a type of
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
in England that are led by a sponsor
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...
and have close ties to local business and industry. They are funded by the taxpayer, and are non-selective, free to attend and not controlled by a local authority. The university and industry partners support the curriculum development of the UTC, provide professional development opportunities for teachers, and guide suitably qualified students to industrial apprenticeships, foundation degrees or full degrees. The sponsor university appoints the majority of the UTC's governors and key members of staff. Pupils transfer to a UTC at the age of 14, part-way through their secondary education. The distinctive element of UTCs is that they offer technically-oriented courses of study, combining
National Curriculum A national curriculum is a common programme of study in school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countri ...
requirements with technical and vocational elements. UTCs must specialise in subjects that require technical and modern equipment, but they also all teach business skills and the use of
information and communications technology Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communicationsUnified communications (UC) is a business and marketing Marketing refers to activities a c ...
. UTCs are also supposed to offer clear routes into
higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
or further learning in work. In addition, three of the fifteen
City Technology College The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon, London In Education in England, England, a City Technology College (CTC) is a State-funded schools (England), state-funded all-ability secondary school that charges no fees but is indep ...
s established in the 1980s still remain; the rest having converted to academies. These are state-funded all-ability secondary schools which charge no fees but which are independent of local authority control. There are also a small number of state-funded boarding schools. English state-funded primary schools are almost all local schools with a small catchment area. More than half are owned by the Local Authority, though many are (nominally) voluntary controlled and some are voluntary aided. Some schools just include infants (aged 4 to 7) and some just juniors (aged 7 to 11). Some are linked, with automatic progression from the infant school to the junior school, and some are not. A few areas still have first schools for ages around 4 to 8 and
middle schools A middle school (also known as intermediate school, junior high school, or lower secondary school) is an educational stage Educational stages are subdivisions of formal learning, typically covering early childhood education, primary educati ...
for ages 8 or 9 to 12 or 13. English secondary schools are mostly
comprehensive Comprehensive may refer to: *Comprehensive layout In graphic design Graphic design is the profession and academic discipline whose activity consists in projecting visual communications intended to transmit specific messages to social groups, wi ...
(i.e. no entry exam), although the intake of comprehensive schools can vary widely, especially in urban areas with several local schools. Nearly 90% of state-funded secondary schools are
specialist school A specialist school, also called a specialist college, is a type of secondary school in the United Kingdom that specialises in a certain Academic field, field of curriculum. In England, most specialist schools were originally maintained schoo ...
s, receiving extra funding to develop one or more subjects (performing arts, art & design, business, humanities, languages, science, mathematics, technology, engineering, etc.) in which the school specialises, which can select up to 10% of their intake for aptitude in the specialism. In areas children can enter a prestigious
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
if they pass the
eleven plus exam The eleven-plus (11+) is an Test (assessment), examination administered to some students in England and Northern Ireland in their last year of primary education, which governs admission to grammar schools and other secondary schools which use ac ...
; there are also a number of isolated fully selective grammar schools and a few dozen partially selective schools. A significant minority of state-funded schools are
faith school A faith school is a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal ...
s, which are attached to religious groups, most often the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
or the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
. All state-funded schools are regularly inspected by the
Office for Standards in Education The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Go ...
, often known simply as Ofsted. Ofsted publish reports on the quality of education, learning outcomes, management, and safety and behaviour of young people at a particular school on a regular basis. Schools judged by Ofsted to be providing an inadequate standard of education may be subject to special measures, which could include replacing the governing body and senior staff. School inspection reports are published online and directly sent to parents and guardians.


Independent schools

Approximately 7% of school children in England attend privately run, fee-charging
independent schools An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national governments. In British Engli ...
. Some independent schools for 13–18-year-olds are known for historical reasons as ' public schools' and for 8–13-year-olds as ' prep schools'. Some schools offer scholarships for those with particular skills or aptitudes, or bursaries to allow students from less financially well-off families to attend. 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.Table 1.2: Full-time and Part-time pupils by age, gender and school type
Education and Training Statistics for the United Kingdom: 2008
,
Department for Children, Schools and Families Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) was a department of the UK government, between 2007 and 2010, responsible for issues affecting people in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of th ...
. Enrolment at independent schools is not partitioned by stages in the source, and has been estimated using an equal division. The error is within the precision of these figures.
The
Independent Schools Inspectorate The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is approved by the Secretary of State for Education The Secretary of State for Education, also referred to as the Education Secretary, is a secretary of state position within the Government of t ...
regularly publishes reports on the quality of education in all independent schools.


School subjects

State-funded schools are obliged to teach thirteen subjects, including the three core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. The structure of the 2014 national curriculum is: Text was copied from this source, which is available under a
Open Government Licence v3.0
© Crown copyright.
All schools are also required to teach
religious education In secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation") is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference ...
at all key stages, and secondary schools must provide . In addition to the compulsory subjects, students at
Key Stage 4 Key Stage 4 (KS4) is the legal term for the two years of school education which incorporate GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a ...
have a statutory entitlement to be able to study at least one subject from the arts (comprising art and design, dance, music, photography, media studies, film studies, graphics, drama and media arts), design and technology (comprising design and technology, electronics, engineering, food preparation and nutrition), the humanities (comprising geography and history), business and enterprise (comprising business studies and economics) and one modern language.


Curriculum

The National Curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they require to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said, and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievements. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject. These aims set out to support the statutory duties of schools to offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, while preparing pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life, as set out in the
Education Act 2002 The Education Act 2002 (c.32) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cro ...
.


Nursery

In Early Years, the curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning; * Communication and language * Physical development * Personal, social and emotional development * Literacy * Mathematics * Understanding the World * Expressive arts and design


Foundation

In
foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good cause ...
, the curriculum is organised into six areas of learning; * Personal, social and emotional development * Communication, language and literacy * Mathematical development * Knowledge and Understanding of the World * Physical development * Creative development


Primary

In
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

primary school
, school children remain in one class throughout the year, but may change classrooms for English and Mathematics. Each school can decide the name of classrooms: some choose world animals, significant individuals, world countries and continents, or simply their year range (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, etc.). English, mathematics, and science are normally taught in the mornings and art & design, history, geography, design & technology, ancient & modern languages, religion, citizenship, computing, music, physical education, etc. in the afternoons. Literacy, reading, mathematics, science, geographical and historical skills are often incorporated in cross-curriculum assessments and activities. Topics & themes are covered around world affairs, healthy eating, nature, wildlife, the environment, mindfulness, etc. Every primary school has a library, assembly hall, computing facilities, and playground. Exercise books, novels, pens and stationery are provided by the school. National Curriculum assessments (known as standard attainment tests or Sats) in Reading; Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling; and Mathematics are taken place at the end of
Key Stage 1 Key Stage 1 is the legal term for the two years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 1 and Year 2, when pupils are aged between 5 and 7. This Key Stage AP A Key Stage is a stage of the state school, state e ...
and
Key Stage 2Key Stage 2 is the legal term for the four years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, when the pupils are aged between 7 and 11 years. England and Wales Legal definition The te ...
. In addition to the tests, teachers are required to provide teacher assessments in the core subject areas of Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science.


Secondary

In
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
, school children have their own tutor group, but are split up into different classes and have their own timetable (sometimes divided between week A and week B). Tutoring lessons in the mornings and late afternoons are for citizenship studies and the rest of the day consists of subjects such as English literature, English language, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc.), citizenship, history, geography, art and design, design and technology, drama and media arts, modern languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc.), business and economics, religion, music, photography, engineering, computing, physical education, etc. In the final two years of secondary education, school children pursue an optional programme of study from interests or career prospects; English language, English literature, mathematics, science, citizenship studies, religious studies, computing, and physical education remain core and foundation subjects. A range of entitlement and optional subjects from the sciences and mathematics, humanities and social sciences, business and enterprise, arts and design, design and technology, and ancient and modern languages are studied. Non compulsory subjects such as journalism, digital technology, home economics are offered and studied by some schools. England allows children to specialise in their academic learning fields earlier on than other countries. This allows stronger educational engagement and more time for children to spend in their most respected subjects. School children are provided with school planners; which hold learning resources, school management, and timetables. Every secondary school has a library, assembly hall, playground, dining hall, computing facilities, and a sports hall or gymnasium. Some secondary schools have a theatre for performing arts. Exercise books, novels, pens and sometimes stationery are provided by the school, although, school children are expected to bring in a basic level of stationery equipment.


School dinners

In
Key Stage 1 Key Stage 1 is the legal term for the two years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 1 and Year 2, when pupils are aged between 5 and 7. This Key Stage AP A Key Stage is a stage of the state school, state e ...
and foundation, all children in government-funded schools are entitled to free school meals and fruit. In
Key Stage 2Key Stage 2 is the legal term for the four years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, when the pupils are aged between 7 and 11 years. England and Wales Legal definition The te ...
,
Key Stage 3 Key Stage 3 (commonly abbreviated as KS3) is the legal term for the three years of schooling in maintained schools in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders ...
and
Key Stage 4 Key Stage 4 (KS4) is the legal term for the two years of school education which incorporate GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a ...
, students from low income families may be eligible for free school meals. All school meals must follow the government's healthy eating standards and promote a healthy diet.


School uniform

School uniforms are defined by individual schools, within the constraint that uniform regulations must not discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief. Schools may choose to permit trousers for girls or religious dress. Local councils may provide assistance with the cost of uniforms and PE kit.


After school activities

Schools may provide childcare outside of school hours, including breakfast clubs in the early mornings and after school curriculum activities (languages, food preparation, arts, crafts, geography and history, gardening, sports, reading, science, mathematics, etc.).


Education by means other than schooling

The
Education Act 1944 The Education Act 1944 (7 and 8 Geo 6 c. 31) made major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education, R. A. Butler. Historians ...
(Section 36) stated that parents are responsible for the education of their children, "by regular attendance at school or otherwise", which allows children to be educated at home. The legislation places no requirement for parents who choose not to send their children to school to follow the National Curriculum, or to give formal lessons, or to follow school hours and terms, and parents do not need to be qualified teachers. Small but increasing numbers of parents do choose to educate their children outside the conventional school systems. Officially referred to as "Elective Home Education", teaching ranges from structured
homeschooling Homeschooling or home schooling, also known as home education or elective home education (EHE), is the education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educat ...

homeschooling
(using a school-style curriculum) to less-structured
unschooling Unschooling is an informal learning Informal learning is characterized “by a low degree of planning and organizing in terms of the learning context, learning support, learning time, and learning objectives”.Kyndt, E., & Baert, H. (2013). ...

unschooling
.
Education Otherwise Education Otherwise (EO) is a registered Charitable organisation, charity based in England. From a modest start made by a small group of parents in 1977, Education Otherwise (EO) has grown to become a well respected and vibrant registered charity ...
has supported parents who wished to educate their children outside school since the 1970s. The state provides no financial support to parents who choose to educate their children outside of school.


Post-16 education

Students at both state schools and independent schools typically take
GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
examinations, which mark the end of compulsory education in school. After this, students can attain
further education Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a s ...
(the "
sixth form In the education systems of England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east ...
"); this can either be in the sixth form of a school or a specialized sixth form or further education college. Alternatively, students can also opt for
apprenticeships An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a Tradesman, trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study (classroom work and reading). Apprenticeships can also enable practitioner ...
instead of a sixth form. In the 16–17 age group by August 31st, sixth form education is not compulsory, but mandatory education or training until the age of 18 was phased in under the
Education and Skills Act 2008 The Education and Skills Act 2008 (c 25) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingd ...
, with 16-year-olds in 2013 and for 17-year-olds in September 2015. While students may still leave school on the last Friday in June, they must remain in education of some form until their 18th birthday. Above school-leaving age, the independent and state sectors are similarly structured.


Sixth form colleges / further education colleges

Students over 16 typically study in the sixth form of a school (''sixth form'' is a historical terms for Years 12–13), in a separate
sixth form college A sixth form college is an educational institution, where students aged 16 to 19 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A Levels#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferre ...
, or in a Further Education (FE) College. Courses at FE colleges, referred to as ''
further education Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a s ...
courses'', can also be studied by adults over 18. Students typically study Level-3 qualifications such as A-Levels, BTEC National Awards and level-3 NVQs. Some 16–18 students will be encouraged to study
Key Skills The Key Skills Qualification is a frequently required component of 14-20 education in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The aim of Key Skills is to encourage learners to develop and demonstrate their skills as well as learn how to select and app ...
in Communication, Application of Number, and Information Technology at this time.


Apprenticeships and traineeships

The
National Apprenticeship Service The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, is a government agency that coordinates apprenticeships in England, enabling young people to enter the Tradesman, skilled trades. History At the beginnin ...
helps people 16 or more years of age enter
apprenticeship An apprenticeship is a system for training a new generation of practitioners of a trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a ...

apprenticeship
s in order to learn a
skilled trade A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education Vocational education is education th ...

skilled trade
. Traineeships are also overseen by the National Apprenticeship Service, and are education and a training programmes that are combined with work experience to give trainees the skills needed to get an apprenticeship.


T Levels

T Level T Levels are a planned technical-based qualification to be introduced between 2020 and 2022 in England. T Levels are two-year courses in England that can be studied by 16-18 year olds after finishing their GCSEs. They are the responsibility of th ...
s are a technical qualification introduced between 2020 and 2023 in England. The aim of the new T Levels is to improve the teaching and administration of technical education which will enable students to directly enter skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship. Students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas: *accountancy *agriculture, land management and production *animal care and management *building services engineering *catering *craft and design *cultural heritage and visitor attractions *design and development *design, surveying and planning *digital business services *digital production, design and development *digital support and services *education *financial *hair, beauty and aesthetics *health *healthcare science *human resources *legal *maintenance, installation and repair *management and administration *manufacturing, processing and control *media, broadcast and production *onsite construction *science


Higher education

Higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
in England is provided by Higher Education (HE) colleges,
university college In a number of countries, a university college is a college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication ...
s,
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

universities
and private colleges. Students normally enter higher education as
undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree. For example, in the United States, an entry-level ...
s from age 18 onwards, and can study for a wide variety of vocational and academic qualifications, including certificates of higher education and higher national certificates at level 4, diplomas of higher education, higher national diplomas and foundation degrees at level 5,
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
s (normally with
honours Honour (British English) or honor (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the idea of a bond between an individual and a society as a quality of a person that is both of socia ...
) at level 6, and integrated
master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
s and degrees in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science at level 7. Historically, undergraduate education outside a small number of private colleges and universities has been largely state-financed since the 1960s, with a contribution from
top-up fees Tuition fees were first introduced across the entire United Kingdom in September 1998 under the Labour government of Tony Blair to fund tuition for undergraduate and postgraduate certificate students at universities; students were required to pa ...
introduced in October 1998, however fees of up to £9,000 per annum have been charged from October 2012. There is a perceived hierarchy among universities, with the
Russell Group The Russell Group is a self-selected association of twenty-four public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, ...
seen as being composed of the country's more prestigious universities. League tables of universities are produced by private companies and generally cover the whole UK. The state does not control university syllabuses, but it does influence admission procedures through the
Office for Fair Access 150px, OFFA's logo The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) was an independent public body in England that supported the Director of Fair Access to Higher Education in his or her work that was intended to safeguard and promote fair access to higher educ ...
(OFFA), which approves and monitors access agreements to safeguard and promote fair access to higher education. The independent
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Quality may refer to: Concepts *Quality (business), the ''non-inferiority'' or ''superiority'' of something *Quality (philosophy), an attribute or a property *Quality (physics), in response theory *Energy quality, used in various science discipli ...
inspects universities to assure standards, advises on the granting of degree awarding powers and university title, and maintains the Quality Code for Higher Education, which includes the Framework for Higher Education Qualification. Unlike most degrees, the state has control over
teacher training Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teacher A teacher, also called a schoolteacher or formally an educator, is a person who helps student A student ...
courses, and standards are monitored by
Ofsted The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matte ...
inspectors. The typical first degree offered at English universities is the
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
with
honours Honour (British English) or honor (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the idea of a bond between an individual and a society as a quality of a person that is both of socia ...
, which usually lasts for three years, although more vocational foundation degrees, typically lasting two years (or full-time equivalent) are also available in some institutions. Many institutions now offer an integrated
master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
, particularly in
STEM Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...
subjects, as a first degree, which typically lasts for four years, the first three years running parallel to the bachelor's course. During a first degree students are known as
undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree. For example, in the United States, an entry-level ...
s. The difference in fees between integrated and traditional
postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, u ...
master's degrees (and that fees are capped at the first degree level for the former) makes taking an integrated master's degree as a first degree a more attractive option. Integrated master's degrees are often the standard route to chartered status for STEM professionals in England.


Postgraduate education

Students who have completed a first degree can apply for
postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, u ...
and graduate courses. These include: *
Graduate certificate A graduate certificate is an educational credential representing completion of specialized training at the college or university level. A graduate certificate can be awarded by universities upon completion of certain coursework indicating mastering ...
s, graduate diplomas, professional graduate certificate in education – level 6 courses aimed at those who have already completed a bachelor's degree, often as conversion courses *
Postgraduate certificate #REDIRECT Postgraduate certificate A postgraduate certificate (abbreviated as PGCert, PgCert, PG Cert, PGC, or PgC is a postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent entirely wit ...
s,
postgraduate diploma #REDIRECT Postgraduate diploma A postgraduate diploma (PgD, PgDip, PGDip, PG Dip., PGD, Dipl. PG, PDE) is a postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent entirely within the No ...

postgraduate diploma
s,
postgraduate certificate in education The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE/PGCertEd) is a one- or two-year higher education course in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales ...
– level 7 courses shorter than a full master's degree *
Master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
s (typically taken in one year, though research-based master's degrees may last for two) – taught or research degrees at level 7 *
Doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Doctorate
s (typically taken in three years) – research degrees at level 8, the top level of the qualifications frameworks, often requiring a master's degree for entry. These may be purely research based (
PhD A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...
/
DPhil A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin or ''doctor philosophiae'') is the most common Academic degree, degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole bre ...
) or research and practice (
professional doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s). "New Route" PhDs, introduced in 2001, take at least 4 years and incorporate teaching at master's level. Postgraduate education is not automatically financed by the state.


Fees

Since October 1998, most undergraduates have paid fees that had risen to a set maximum of £3,375 per annum by the academic year 2011–12. These fees are repayable after graduation, contingent on attaining a certain level of income, with the state paying all fees for students from the poorest backgrounds. UK students are generally entitled to
student loan A student loan is a type of loan In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. S ...
s for maintenance. Undergraduates admitted from the academic year 2012-13 have paid tuition fees set at a maximum of up to £9,000 per annum, with most universities charging over £6,000 per annum, and other higher education providers charging less. Postgraduate fees vary but are generally more than undergraduate fees, depending on the degree and university. There are numerous bursaries (awarded to low income applicants) to offset undergraduate fees and, for postgraduates, full scholarships are available for most subjects, and are usually awarded competitively. Different arrangements apply to English students studying in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
, and to
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...
and
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
students studying in England. Students from outside the UK and the attending English universities are charged differing amounts, often in the region of £5,000 to £20,000 per annum for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The actual amount differs by institution and subject, with the lab based subjects charging a greater amount. The gap between rich and poor students has slightly narrowed since the introduction of the higher fees. This may be because universities have used tuition fees to invest in bursaries and outreach schemes. In 2016, The Guardian noted that the number of disadvantaged students applying to university had increased by 72% from 2006 to 2015, a bigger rise than in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It wrote that most of the gap between richer and poorer students tends to open up between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 4 (i.e. at secondary school), rather than when applying for university, and so the money raised from tuition fees should be spent there instead. A study by Murphy, Scott-Clayton, and Wyness found that the introduction of tuition fees had "increased funding per head, educational standards, rising enrolments, and a narrowing of the participation gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students".


Adult education

Adult education Adult education, distinct from child education, is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values.Merriam, Sharan B. & Brockett, Ralph ...

Adult education
,
continuing education Continuing education (similar to further education in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Brit ...
or
lifelong learning Lifelong learning is the "ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated"Department of Education and Science (2000).Learning for Life: Paper on Adult Education Dublin: Stationery Office. pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons ...
is offered to students of all ages. This can include the vocational qualifications mentioned above, and also: * One or two year
access course Access may refer to: Companies and organizations * ACCESS (Australia)ACCESS is the youth network of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, a non-government institution dealing with all aspects of Australia's foreign relations and inter ...
s, to allow adults without suitable qualifications access to university. * The
Open University The Open University (OU) is a British public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English ...
runs undergraduate and postgraduate distance learning programmes. * The
Workers' Educational Association The Workers' Educational Association (WEA), founded in 1903, is the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult education and one of Britain's biggest charities. The WEA is a democratic and voluntary adult education movement. It delivers learn ...
offers large number of semi-recreational courses, with or without qualifications, made available by Local Education Authorities under the guise of Adult Education. Courses are available in a wide variety of areas, such as holiday languages, arts, crafts and yacht navigation.


Qualifications Frameworks

The two qualifications frameworks in England are the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), for qualifications regulated by
Ofqual The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is a non-ministerial government department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Go ...
, and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) for qualifications granted by bodies with degree awarding powers, overseen by the
Quality Assurance Agency Quality may refer to: Concepts *Quality (business) In business, engineering, and manufacturing, quality – or high quality – has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or wikt:superiority, superiority of something; it's also defin ...
. These share a common numbering scheme for their levels, which was also used for the earlier
Qualifications and Credit Framework The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) was the national credit transfer system for education qualification in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders wit ...
. The RQF is linked to the
European Qualifications Framework The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. The EQF ai ...
(EQF) and the FHEQ to the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA).


Standards

The
Programme for International Student Assessment The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coop ...
coordinated by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of British 15-year-olds as 13th in the world in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average British student scoring 503.7, compared with the OECD average of 493, ahead of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and most of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
in 2018. The United Nations ranks the United Kingdom (including England) 10th in the
Education Index An Education index is a component of the Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expec ...
, measuring
educational attainment Educational attainment is a term commonly used by statisticians A statistician is a person who works with theoretical or applied statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, a ...

educational attainment
,
GDP per capita Lists of countries by GDP per capita list the countries in the world by their gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money ba ...

GDP per capita
and
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and other demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancien ...

life expectancy
, ahead most of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. From 1997 to 2010, the Labour government introduced a new type of school known as ''academies'' for poorly performing schools in areas of social deprivation. More former local council managed schools, deemed 'inadequate' or 'requiring improvement', transitioned to an academy trust in this period and beyond are now rated 'good' or 'outstanding'. From 2010, the Conservative government raised discipline standards in schools; basic manners and politeness in classrooms became more prioritised. From 2015, more students were in 'good' and 'outstanding' rated schools from all social backgrounds than 2010.


Funding

Since 2018, English schools have been funded through a national formula. The
Institute for Fiscal Studies The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is an economic research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic research or may be ...
maintains real spending on schooling per pupil has dropped by 8% since 2010. In August 2019, it was announced that the budget for schools and high needs would be increased by 6% (£2.6 billion) in 2020–21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23 respectively – plus an extra £1.5 billion per year to fund additional pensions costs for teachers. This new funding includes £780 million in 2020–21 to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


See also

*
Education in the United Kingdom Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England England ...
* City Learning Centre * British Schools Foundation * Education by country * Language education in the United Kingdom * List of schools in England * National Union of Students (United Kingdom) * School uniforms in England * Science Learning Centres * Science education in England * Special education in England * List of universities in England * List of universities in the United Kingdom


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * Martin, Mary Clare. "Church, school and locality: Revisiting the historiography of 'state' and 'religious' educational infrastructures in England and Wales, 1780–1870." ''Paedagogica Historica'' 49.1 (2013): 70–81. * Passow, A. Harry et al. ''The National Case Study: An Empirical Comparative Study of Twenty-One Educational Systems.'' (1976
online


External links


Department for Education

Fully searchable UK school guide independent and state

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

A history of education in England by Derek Gillard, an advocate of the comprehensive system
* *
Guardian Special Report - Education

Statistics: school and pupil numbers
Department for Education {{DEFAULTSORT:Education In England Education in England, Secondary education by country