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Can someone explain the education system to me?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by big_white_dog84, 26 Jan 2006.

  1. big_white_dog84

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,183

    I started my education in England before moving to Scotland when I was about 8 or 9 I don't understand the English education system at all, so I can't really form any kind of opinion on the current education debate. Can someone please outline the possible paths of progress from age 5 through to age 18. Can you explain things like schools specialising in a particular subject area, the eleven plus if it still exists, grammar (sp?) / comprehensive schools, sixth form colleges, taking power away from central government etc etc.
    Sitting up here in Glasgow the whole debate seems so strange - our system has not been touched for a long time and it seems to work OK so I can't understand what is going on south of the border.
  2. Psyk


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,444

    Location: Leamington Spa

    At the age of 5 you start off in an infant school (which is part of primary school, sometimes seperate, sometimes not). This is called year 1. For year 3 you go into junior school (still primary school). You move into secondary school in year 7 (so that's an age of about 11). You can either go to a standard comprehensive school or go to a grammar school which usually set their own entrance exams. In year 10 (age 14) you start GCSEs which you finish at the end of year 11. For GCSEs you get a little choice of what subjects you do but everyone has to do the main ones.

    After that your choices are:
    a)Quit education and get a job
    b)Stay on at your current school to do A-levels in 6th form.
    c)Go to a seperate 6th form college.

    You normally choose 4 A-levels in whatever subjects are offered. A-levels are now split into two parts, the AS which is just the first year and the A2 which is the whole 2 year A-level. Often people drop one subject after the first year and only do 3 full A-levels.

    Of course there are other qualifications to do instead of A-levels (NVQs, BTEC, etc.) but generally A-levels are what you need if you want to go to uni.

    I don't really get the idea of specialised schools. It just means they get extra money for being "good" in a certain subject. I'm not sure what the definition of good is since my school became a "maths and computing specialist" school before computing was even a subject they offered.


    Joined: 26 Sep 2003

    Posts: 834

    Location: essex

    The eleven plus exists but not many people take it - mainly some private schools. It was used as a means to separate children into two different types of school :-

    the ones who scored highly(the wheat) went to grammer schools, those who didn't (the chaff) went to secondary moderns. It was seen as a very bad idea now as it meant that one exam determined the rest of your education (and possibly the rest of your life.)

    All that changed (although Grammer schools still exist) when comprehensive schools were introduced.

    I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong on anything. ;)