Educational System in the UK

The Education system within the United Kingdom varies depending on which country you are in. The Compulsory School Age (CSA) is from 5-16 throughout the UK, unless you are born after September 1997 in England, where it is 5-18. Here we shall focus on England.

Nursery is not compulsory and therefore, it is up to parents to fund this for their children. This means that you can choose where you send your child and/or can have it done at home.

Throughout the United Kingdom, when it comes to choosing schools, there is a choice between the “state” and “private” sectors:

  • State education in the UK is free, however the way in which children are allocated spaces varies by local authority. Often there is what the press call a “postcode lottery,” which means that schools have “catchment areas” within, which they choose their students. Consult Law Firm Limited for more information about individual state schools.
  • The Private education system in the UK is widely regarded as among the best in the world, including some globally recognised schools. The majority of private schools can be separated into two categories: boarding and day schools. Boarding schools is where a child can reside and study 7 days a week at school during term-time and tend to possess more international students. Day schools are schools where students are not able to reside while studying. Unlike the state sector, the private system does not have to follow the ‘national curriculum.’

In England the majority of students sit GCSE’s at 16 and A-levels at 18. However, in the private sector and certain types of state schools, children can sit qualifications including GCSEs, IGCSEs, A-levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Pre-U’s.

Upon finishing school, lots of young people go on to study at university. The most well known British universities tend to be part of Oxbridge and the Russell group. Fees are up to £9000 per annum if you are UK/EU student. Otherwise international fees are applicable, and these vary tremendously. Upon completing an undergraduate degree, they can then choose to pursue further study including a second degree or a Master’s. Most students who do a doctorate (PhD) have completed a Master’s programme first. Master’s programmes vary and can be done part-time. The majority in the UK are 1-year courses.

If you have any queries about the Education System in the UK please contact us.