While education is compulsory until 18, schooling is compulsory to 16, thus post education can take a number of forms, and may be academic or vocational. This can involve continued schooling, known as " sixth form " or "college", leading typically after two years of further study to A-level qualifications similar to a high school diploma in some other countries , or a number of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as Business and Technology Education Council BTEC , the International Baccalaureate IB , Cambridge Pre-U , WJEC or Eduqas.
It can also include work-based apprenticeships or traineeships, or volunteering. Higher education often begins with a three-year bachelor's degree. Postgraduate degrees include master's degrees , either taught or by research, and doctoral level research degrees that usually take at least three years.
The Regulated Qualifications Framework RQF covers national school examinations and vocational education qualifications.
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It is referenced to the European Qualifications Framework , and thus to other qualifications frameworks across the European Union. Until all schools were charitable or private institutions, but in that year the Elementary Education Act permitted local governments to complement the existing elementary schools in order to fill any gaps. The Education Act allowed local authorities to create secondary schools. The Education Act abolished fees for elementary schools. Women's colleges were established in the 19th century to give women access to university education, the first being Bedford College, London , Girton College, Cambridge and Newnham College, Cambridge The University of London established special examinations for women in and opened its degrees to women in 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.
This can be provided in "playgroups", nurseries, community childcare centres or nursery classes in schools.
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The age at which a student 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 ; the change took effect in for year-olds and for year-olds. From this time, the school leaving age which remains 16 and the education leaving age which is now 18 have been separated. 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 The Compulsory stages of education are broken into a Foundation Stage actually covering the last part of optional and first part of compulsory education , 4 Key Stages , and post education sometimes unofficially termed Key Stage Five, which takes a variety of forms including 6th Form covering the last 2 years of Secondary Education in schools.
Below is a table summarising the most common names of the various schools and stages. Grammar schools are normally state-funded but selective schools, admitting children from 11 years old onward, but there are exceptions. The government has been unable to recruit sufficient teachers and lecturers. There are 1, too few computing teachers, 1, too few physics teachers and 1, too few maths teachers.
Lecturers in further education colleges fell by just under 20, from to The public sector pay cap is blamed. This leads to larger classes as well as pupils getting less individual attention. The Department for Education predicts secondary school pupil numbers will rise by Thousands of children with special education needs SEND are at home without a school place because funding for places was not provided. The number rose from in to in Others are cutting help for SEND pupils. There is legal action against many local authorities over failure or possible failure to meet the needs of SEND children.
There is also legal action planned against the central government for not funding the system. Since , there have been six main types of maintained state-funded school in England:   . In addition, three of the fifteen City Technology Colleges established in the s still remain; the rest having converted to academies.
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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 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 for ages 8 or 9 to 12 or English secondary schools are mostly comprehensive i. In a few areas children can enter a grammar school if they pass the eleven plus exam ; there are also a number of isolated fully selective grammar schools and a few dozen partially selective schools. All state-funded schools are regularly inspected by the Office for Standards in Education , often known simply as Ofsted.
Ofsted publish reports on the quality of education 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. Some independent schools for 13—year-olds are known for historical reasons as ' public schools ' and for 8—year-olds as ' prep schools '.
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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. The Education Act 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.
The state provides no financial support to parents who choose to educate their children outside of school.
Students at both state schools and independent schools typically take GCSE examinations, which mark the end of compulsory education in school. Above school-leaving age, the independent and state sectors are similarly structured. In the 16—18 age group, 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 , with year-olds in and for year-olds in September While students may still leave school on the last Friday in June, they must remain in education of some form until their 18th birthday.
Students over 16 typically study in the sixth form of a school, in a separate sixth form college , or in a Further Education FE College. Courses at FE colleges, referred to as further education courses, can also be studied by adults over Some 16—18 students will be encouraged to study Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number, and Information Technology at this time.
Education in England
The National Apprenticeship Service helps people 16 or more years of age enter apprenticeships in order to learn a 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. Apprenticeships come in four levels: Intermediate level 2 , Advanced level 3 , Higher level 4 — 7 and Degree level 6 — 7. A study in found that unemployment rates among former apprentices one year after completing their apprenticeships were one-third those of university graduates one year after finishing their degrees.
The report also found that apprenticeships had a lower perceived value compared to degrees in Britain than in many other countries. In , the Department announced a major restructuring of the further education sector, through 37 area reviews of post provision.
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Higher education in England is provided by Higher Education HE colleges, university colleges , universities and private colleges. Students normally enter higher education as undergraduates 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 degrees normally with honours at level 6, and integrated master's degrees and degrees in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science at level 7.
There is a perceived hierarchy among universities, with the Russell Group seen as being composed of the country's more prestigious universities. The state does not control university syllabuses, but it does influence admission procedures through the Office for Fair Access OFFA , which approves and monitors access agreements to safeguard and promote fair access to higher education.
The independent Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 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. The typical first degree offered at English universities is the bachelor's degree with honours , 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 , particularly in STEM 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 undergraduates. The difference in fees between integrated and traditional postgraduate 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. Students who have completed a first degree can apply for postgraduate and graduate courses. These include:. 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 loans for maintenance. 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 , and to Scottish and Welsh students studying in England.
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The actual amount differs by institution and subject, with the lab based subjects charging a greater amount. Adult education , continuing education or lifelong learning is offered to students of all ages. This can include the vocational qualifications mentioned above, and also:. These share a common numbering scheme for their levels, which was also used for the earlier Qualifications and Credit Framework. Katharine Birbalsingh wrote in of the problems she perceives in many community schools.
She cites the impossibility of effective classroom management , bad teachers who cannot be dismissed, and government policies encouraging "soft" subjects. Birbalsingh has visited schools in Jamaica and India where pupils are desperate to gain the kind of education to which pupils in her own school and their parents were indifferent. She was a deputy head teacher in south London until she spoke at a Conservative Party conference in and was quickly sacked. A analysis by The Guardian claimed that state faith schools were not taking a proportional share of the poorest pupils in their local areas, using free school meal claims as a proxy for socioeconomic status.
The authors suggested that selection by religion led to over-representation of children from more well-off families.
A National Union of Teachers survey in raised concerns that young teachers may be leaving the profession due to long working hours, high stress levels, and concerns about the effect on their mental wellbeing.
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