STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN THE UK

The education and training systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are broadly similar. Scotland has always had a separate system. Differences across the UK are particularly marked in the school systems at the higher education level and for training.

Education provision in England, Wales and Scotland is a part of the local government structure. In Northern Ireland education is a central government responsibility with local authorities having a consultative role through local Education and Library Boards.

The Government helps set the framework for the education and training system and works in partnership with other central and local bodies to implement those policies. It also provides funds for many of the public bodies involved in education and training.

The Government’s aims are:

–      to support economic growth and improve the nation’s competitiveness and quality of life by raising standards of educational achievement and skills;

–      to promote an efficient and flexible labour market by enhancing choice, diversity and excellence in education and training, and by encouraging lifelong learning.

The legislative framework

The education system in the UK are governed by a series of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments. The legislation sets out the rights, obligations and powers of individuals and institutions, controls the spending of public money, and lays down penalties for failure to comply with legal obligations.

A national curriculum has been introduced in schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to give all young people access to a broad and balanced education.

Established under the Education Reform Act 1988, the national curriculum sets out the subjects pupils should study, what they should be taught and the standards they should achieve.

In Scotland, there is no prescribed national curriculum; guidelines on the curriculum provide the framework within which schools work. These guidelines were introduced after consultation and reflect the consensual, pragmatic approach taken towards education in Scotland.

Education in England, Wales and Scotland is compulsory for children between the ages of five and sixteen. In Northern Ireland, education is compulsory from the age of four.

England

The foundation stage curriculum is organised in six areas of learning:

–      personal, social and development;

–      communication, language and literacy;

–      mathematical development;

–      knowledge and understanding of the world;

–      physical development.

Scotland

Arrangements in Scotland are broadly similar. The Government is committed to two goals for pre-school education:

–      to provide a quality part-time education place for every child in the pre – school year whose parents want one;

–      to provide, by 2002, a similar place for every three-year-old whose parents want one.

A Curriculum Framework for Children, 3–5 is available offering curriculum advice to preschool centres in Scotland.

Wales

In Wales, there are Desirable Learning Outcomes for children in the early years. The National Assembly is consulting on the introduction of a foundation stage in Wales and on the ages the stage will cover.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, a pre-school expansion programme is under way. The long-term aim is to provide a year of pre-school education for every child whose parents wish it.

State Schools

Over 90 per cent of pupils go to publicly-funded schools, usually known as state schools. There is no charge to parents for the education provided, but the small number of state boarding schools charge for board and lodging.

In most children aged 5 to 10 attend primary schools and move on to secondary schools at the age of 11 for education up to the age of 16 or beyond.

Primary schools usually have both girls and boys as pupils; secondary schools may be either single-sex or co-educational. In addition there are special schools catering for pupils with particular needs. These schools often cater for both the primary and secondary phases of education.

The size of infant classes has been steadily falling towards the target class size of 30 pupils. Classes in secondary schools are smaller, with an average pupil teacher ratio 18 : 1.

Independent Schools

Independent schools are known as private schools. Some of the older-established ones are called public schools, although they are not funded by the state and obtain most of their finances from fees paid by parents and income from investments. Some independent schools are boarding schools.

About seven per cent of pupils in England attend around 2,200 independent schools. In Scotland, some four per cent of pupils go to independent schools, of which there are around 115.

All independent schools look after their own day-to-day affairs, but they are subject to basic regulation and regular inspection to ensure they maintain acceptable standards of premises, accommodation, instruction and welfare.

The School Year

The school year is divided into three terms, each with a week’s holiday at half-term. The school year starts in September, with the first term running to December. After the Christmas holidays the second term lasts from the end of the Easter holidays to July. Public examinations usually take place in May and June.

England

All state schools in England must teach the National Curriculum. This sets out the subjects pupils should study, what they should be taught and the standards they should achieve. Through the national Curriculum pupils cover a board range of subjects that helps them to develop the qualities and skills needed in adult and working life as citizens in a democracy.

The period of compulsory education is divided into four key stages, depending on pupil age.

Key Stages

1

2

3

4

Ages

5–7

7–11

11–14

14–16

English

+

+

+

+

Mathematics

+

+

+

+

Science

+

+

+

+

Physical education

+

+

+

+

Design & technology information & communication tech

+

+

+

+

Modern foreign language

+

+

History

+

+

+

Geography

+

+

+

Music

+

+

+

Art & design

+

+

+

Citizenship (from September 2002)

+

England

Teachers conduct a baseline assessment of pupils when they enter primary school. This is followed by statutory assessment and testing of pupils at the age of 7 (Key Stage 1), at the age of 11 (Key Stage 2) and at the age of 14 (Key Stage 3) to check on their progress under the National Curriculum and to inform teachers and parents on areas of strengths and weaknesses. At the end of Key Stage 1 children are assessed through teacher assessments and nationally designed tests and tasks against attainment targets in the core subjects of English and mathematics, and in English, mathematics and science at the end of Key Stages 2 and 3. At the end of Key Stage 4, pupils take qualifications, primarily GCSE, awarded by independent examination boards.There is similar system of pupil assessment in Northern Ireland and Wales.

Последнее изменение: Среда, 24 Октябрь 2018, 17:04