UK Education Systems
The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old. The education system in the UK is also split into “key stages” which breaks down as follows:
Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4. Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE’s or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE’s they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.
The education system in the UK is divided into five main sections:
Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system.
From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE’s – learn more about secondary education in the UK and what it will involve. Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.
Probably the most important subject area on this site, this explains more about the higher education system in the UK and how it works for international students. Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s “further education.”
Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ’s, BTEC’s or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.
Education System in Scotland
The higher education system in Scotland is slightly different to the system in other parts of the United Kingdom. For example, in Scotland, many students move into higher education at the age of 17 (rather than 18 in other parts of the UK). The Scottish higher education system also favours a four year undergraduate degree programme, which has been replicated in the United States and Hong Kong. The four year degree offers students enhanced flexibility and academic breadth and is attractive to employers.
Tuition fees in Scotland are also different from other parts of the UK.