British education permits to develop
fully the abilities of individuals, for their own benefit and of society as a
whole. Compulsory schooling takes place between the ages of 5 and 16, but some
pupils remain at school for 2 years more, to prepare for further higher
education. Post school education is organized flexibly, to provide a wide range
of opportunities for academic and vocational education and to continue studying
through out life.
Administration of state schools is
decentralized. The department of education and science is responsible for
national education policy, but it doesn't run any schools, if doesn't employ teachers,
or prescribe curricular or textbooks. All schools are given a considerable
amount of freedom. According to the law only one subject is compulsory. That is
Children receive preschool education
under the age of 5 in nursery schools or in infant's classes in primary
Most pupils receive free education
finance from public funds and the small proportions attend schools wholly
independent. Most independent schools are single-sex, but the number of mixing
schools is growing.
Education within the maintained
schools system usually comprises two stages: primary and secondary education.
Primary schools are subdivided into infant schools (ages 5 - 7), and junior
schools (ages 7 - 11). Infant schools are informal and children are encouraged
to read, write and make use of numbers and develop the creative abilities.
Primary children do all their work with the same class teacher except for PT
and music. The work is based upon the pupil’s interests as far as possible.
The junior stage extends over four
years. Children are learning arithmetic, reading, composition, history,
geography nature study and others. At this stage of schooling pupils were often
placed in A, B, C and D streams according their abilities. The most able
children were put in the A stream, the list able in the D stream. Till recently
most junior school children had to seat for the eleven-plus examination. It
usually consisted of an arithmetic paper and an intelligent test. According to
the results of the exam children are sent to Grammar, Technical or Secondary
So called comprehensive schools
began to appear after World War II. They are much mixed schools which can
provide education for over 1000 pupils. Ideally they provide all the courses
given in Grammar, Technical and Secondary modern schools.
By the law all children must receive
full-time education between the ages of 5 and 16. Formally each child can
remain a school for a further 2 or 3 years and continue his studies in the
sixth form up to the age of 18 or 19. The course is usually subdivided into the
lower 6 and the upper 6. The curricular is narrowed to 5 subjects of which a
pupil can choose 2 or 3.
The main examinations for secondary
school pupils are general certificate of education (the GCE) exam and
certificate of secondary education (the CSE) exam. The GSE exam is held at two
levels: ordinary level (0 level) and advanced level (A level).
Candidates set for 0 level papers at
15 - 16 years away. GCE level is usually taken at the end on the sixth form.
The CSE level exam is taken after 5 years of secondary education by the pupils
who are of average abilities of their age.
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