UK Education
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The United Kingdom (UK) consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all follow a system which educates children from age 5 until they go onto university at age 18 or 19. There are some minor differences in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but the same broad outlines still apply:

Age Education  
2-5+ Kindergarten (usually called Nursery School) Optional
5 - 11+ Primary Education Compulsory
11 - 16+ Secondary Education Compulsory
16 - 18+ Secondary Education (Sixth Form ) Optional


AGE ENGLAND & WALES NORTHERN IRELAND SCOTLAND
20-21 University: Year 3 University: Year 3 University: Year 4
19-20 University: Year 2 University: Year 2 University: Year 3
18-19 University: Year 1 University: Year 1 University: Year 2
17-18 Year 13 Year 14 Secondary 6/
University: Year 1
16-17 Year 12 Year 13 Secondary 5
15-16 Year 11 Year 12 Secondary 4
14-15 Year 10 Year 11 Secondary 3
13-14 Year 9 Year 10 Secondary 2
12-13 Year 8 Year 9 Secondary 1
11-12 Year 7 Year 8 Primary 7
10-11 Year 6 Primary 7 Primary 6
9-10 Year 5 Primary 6 Primary 5
8-9 Year 4 Primary 5 Primary 4
7-8 Year 3 Primary 4 Primary 3
6-7 Year 2 Primary 3 Primary 2
5-6 Year 1 Primary 2 Primary 1
4-5 Reception (Foundation) Primary 1 Nursery
3-4 Nursery (Pre-School)    
  Public Exams:
Courses taking during Y12 &13:
A Level/International Baccalaureate/Cambridge Pre-U

Courses taking during Y10 & Y11:
GCSE: General Certificate of Secondary Education
IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education
Public Exams:
Courses taking during Y13 &14:
A Level

Courses taking during Y11& Y12:
GCSE: General Certificate of Secondary Education
IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education
Public Exams:
Course taking during S5: Scottish Higher
Course taking during S6: Advanced Higher

There are two main types of school :

1. State Schools:

Where the costs of education are covered by the government and the parent pays no fees. All children between the ages of 5 and 16 are entitled to a free place at a state school. Most state schools are day schools, but a very few have boarding facilities and for these the parents will have to pay the cost of boarding only.


2. Independent/Private Schools:

Where the whole cost of the education and boarding is paid by the parent. The fees for a boarding education in an independent school are normally the same for an overseas student as for a British student, but there may be an additional charge for English language support for overseas students.


Note: Some independent senior schools, especially the larger boys’ schools, only admit students at 13+ and operate Years 9 – 13 only. Boys and girls are prepared for the entrance exams for these schools by attending what is called a Preparatory School from Year 3 or 4 until the end of Year 8. These schools are not language schools, they are highly academic and excellent small schools specializing in training boys and girls for admission to a senior school at age 13. British students normally join these schools at Age 8 or 9, but it is often possible for overseas students to be admitted for the last year or 2 years only.

The school/college/university year is divided into three terms:

Autumn from early September to mid-December
Spring from early January to March
Summer from mid-April to early July

Although it is very unusual for a British student to change schools mid-year, schools will sometimes agree to consider an overseas student for entry in January or April, depending on availability of places and the year group applied for.

The British examination system is more flexible, and therefore more complicated, than it used to be!

14+ - 16+

Most schools still use the I/GCSE examination (International/General Certificate of Secondary Education) which students take in 8 – 10 subjects, with a wide choice of subjects available. They are not required to commit themselves to a science or arts stream at this stage.

16+ - 18+

The majority of schools still use the A Level examination, the alternative examinations – the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge Pre-U – are available in UK schools.

Most students proceed direct to university on completion of sixth form, provided their performance in the A Level exam (or one of the alternatives) meets the requirements of their chosen university. Some British students take a ‘Gap’ year between school and university and use it to travel or gain work experience. First degree university courses in the UK are generally 3 years in length, but some courses, such as medical studies, veterinary science and engineering, are more than 3 years.

Independent/Private School:

School fee (includes tuition and boarding fees) ranges approximately from £27,000+ upto £40,000 per year. Many schools also charge for extra English tuitions fee for overseas students. On top of the above, parents should expect to pay for the cost of hiring guardians and flights for holidays. Roughly, cost of guardians is £3000 per year.


State School:

As UK government pays for the tuition fee, parents only need to pay for boarding fees ranges approximately from £13,000+ upto £17,000 per year. On top of the boarding fee, parents should expect to pay for the cost of hiring guardians and flights for holidays. Roughly, cost of guardians is £3000 per year.