The state-managed schools in England are funded by the tax of the inhabitants and are attended by the vast majority (over 90%, in fact) of the children. These schools are administered and managed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families throughout the entire United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The educational aspects are governed by the Department of Education, who are responsible for such aspects as planning the syllabus, and so on. The remainder of the children that are of a school-going age go to private schools or institutions known as “faith schools”, which are usually run by the Church of England or the Catholic Church.
The school levels are divided into:
Nursery school – 3 to 4 years of age (mandatory)
Primary school – 4 to 11 years of age (mandatory)
Secondary School – 11 to 16 years of age (mandatory)
Sixth Form College - 16 to 18 years of age (optional)
Education is enforced from the fifth birthday of all children until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16. By 2015, this will have been extended to 18 years.
Most schools in England are comprehensive, which means that they accept children without some sort of examination or aptitude test. However, there are a small percentage of schools that require children to pass the eleven plus exam before they can be accepted. Private schools are financed by private individuals and companies, as opposed to the state.
Once children are finished the compulsory level of schooling that the state requires of them, pupils have to take the GCSE examination. Once they have passed this, they are able to choose to continue their education through an education college.
From 18 years of age, they will then decide whether to pursue an academic degree at a university or to opt to enter the working world. There are almost 100 universities in England that are funded by tax-payers’ mandatory contributions. The levels of degrees are:
Bachelor’s Degree (usually 3 years)
Master’s Degree (1 year)
Doctorate Degree (3 years)
England has gained worldwide acclaim for some of its educational institutions. A marked import is placed upon education in this country and schools and universities have even become tourist attractions and major parts of the local heritage as a result.
Some well-known institutions include:
•Oxford University – although it remains unknown when exactly this famous public institution was established, records indicate that teaching has taken place there since as far back as 1096 of our Common Era (CE). This makes it the English-speaking world’s oldest university. It is also the home of the renowned Rhodes Scholarship, which allows students from all over the world to do their postgraduate degrees or second bachelor’s degrees at this esteemed institution. More information is available at http://www.ox.ac.uk/
•Cambridge University – established in about 1209 CE, Cambridge University is a public research university. It is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the seventh oldest university overall. It remains one of the best universities in terms of the quality of education received by its students. In fact, Cambridge students have won more Nobel Prizes than those from any other academic organisation, testifying to its fantastic level of education. Look at www.cam.ac.uk for additional information.
•The King's Schools (in Canterbury and Rochester) – both known as the oldest schools in the English-speaking world.
•St Paul's School