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The British education system has much in common with that in Europe,
that :
      . Full-time education is compulsory for all children  in  the  middle
        teenage years. Parents are  required  by  law  to  see  that  their
        children receive  full-time  education,  at  school  or  elsewhere,
        between the ages of 5 and 16 in England, Scotland and Wales  4  and
        16 in Northern Ireland.
      . The academic year begins at the end of summer.
      Compulsory education is free  charge,  though  parents  may  choose  a
      private school and spend their  money  on  education  their  children.
      About 93% of pupils receive free education from  public  funds,  while
      the others  attend  independent  schools  financed  by  fees  paid  by
      . There are three stages of  schooling  with  children,  moving  from
        primary school  to  secondary  school.  The  third  stage  provides
        further and higher education, technical college of higher education
        and universities.
There is, however, quite a lot that distinguishes education in Britain  from
the way it works in  other  countries.  The  most  important  distinguishing
features are  the  lack  of  uniformity  and  comparatively  little  central
control.  There  are  three   separate   government   departments   managing
education: the Departments for Education and Employment is  responsible  for
England and Wales alone; Scotland and Northern Ireland retain  control  over
the education within  their  respective  countries.  None  of  these  bodies
exercises much control over  the  details  does  not  prescribe  a  detailed
program of learning, books and materials to be used,  nor  does  it  dictate
the exact hours of the school day, the  exact  days  of  holidays,  school’s
finance management and such lick. As many details possible are left  to  the
discretion of the individual institution.
          Many distinctive  characteristics  of  British  education  can  be
ascribed at least partly, to public school tradition. The present-day  level
of “grass-root” independence as well as different approach to education  has
been greatly  influenced  by  the  philosophy  that  a  school  is  its  own
community. The 19th century public schools educated the sons  of  the  upper
and upper-middle classes and the main aim of schooling was to prepare  young
men to take up positions in the higher ranks of the  army,  the  Church,  to
fill top-jobs in business,  the  legal  profession,  the  civil  serves  and
politics. To meet this aim the emphasis  was  made  on  “character-building”
and the development of “team spirit” rather than on academic achievement.
    Such schools were (and still often are) mainly boarding  establishments,
so they had a deep and lasting  influence  on  their  pupils,  consequently,
public-school leaves  for  formed  a  closed  group  entry  into  which  was
difficult, the ruling elite the core of the Establishment.
    The 20th century brought education  and  its  possibilities  for  social
advanced within everybody’s reach, and new, state schools  naturally  tended
to copy the features of the public schools. So today, in  typically  British
fashion, learning for its own sake, rather than for  any  practical  purpose
is still been given a high value. As distinct from most other  countries,  a
relatively stronger emphasis is on the  quality  of  person  that  education
produces rather than helping people to develop useful knowledge and  skills.
In other words, the general style of teaching is  to  develop  understanding
rather  than  acquiring  factual  knowledge  and  learning  to  apply   this
knowledge to specific tasks.

                        2.Public Schools – For Whom?

          About five per cent of children are educated privately in what  is
rather confusingly called public schools. These  are  the  schools  for  the
privileged. There are about 500 public schools in England and Wales most  of
them single-sex. About half of them are for girls.
          The schools, such as  Eton,  Harrow,  Rugby  and  Winchester,  are
famous for their ability to lay the foundation of  a  successful  future  by
giving their pupils self- confidence, the  right  accent,  a  good  academic
background and, perhaps  most  important  of  all,  the  right  friends  and
contacts.  People  who  went  to  one  of  the  public  schools  never  call
themselves school-leaves. They talk about “the old school tie” and “the  old
boy network”. They are just old boys or old girls. The  fees  are  high  and
only very rich families can afford to pay so much.  Public  schools  educate
the ruling class of England. One  such  school  is  Gordonstoun,  which  the
Prince of Wales, the elder son of the Queen, left in 1968. Harrow School  is
famous as the place where Winston Churchill was educated,  as  well  as  six
other Prime Ministers of  England,  the  poet  Lord  Byron,  the  playwright
Richard Sheridan and many other prominent people.
          Public schools are free from state control. They are  independent.
Most of them are boarding schools. The education is of a high  quality;  the
discipline is very strict. The system of education is  the  same:  the  most
able go ahead.
          These schools accept pupils from preparatory schools at  about  11
or 13 years of age usually on the basis of an examination, known  as  Common
Entrance. There  are  three  sittings  of  Common  Entrance  every  year  in
February, June and November. Scholarships are rarely awarded on the  results
of Common Entrance. The fundamental requirements are very high. At  18  most
public school-leaves, gain entry to universities.


          Great Britain does not have a written constitution, so  there  are
no constitutional provisions for  education.  The  system  of  education  is
determined by the National Education Acts.
          Schools in England are supported from public  funds  paid  to  the
local  education  authorities.  These  local   education   authorities   are
responsible for organizing the schools in their areas.
          Let’s outline the basic features of public education  in  Britain.
Firstly, there are wide variations between  one  part  of  the  country  and
another. For most educational purposes England and Wales are treated as  one
unit, though the system  in  Wales  is  a  little  different  from  that  of
England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems.
          Secondly,  education  in  Britain  mirrors  the  country’s  social
system: it is class-divided and selective. The  first  division  is  between
those who pay and those who do not pay. The majority of schools  in  Britain
are supported by public funds and the education provided is free.  They  are
maintained schools, but there are  also  a  considerable  number  of  public
schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to  these  schools.
The fees are high. As matter of fact,  only  very  rich  families  can  send
their children to public schools. In some parts of Britain they  still  keep
the old system of grammar schools, which are selective. But  most  secondary
schools  in  Britain,  which  are  called  comprehensive  schools,  are  not
selective – you don’t have to pass an exam to go there.
          Another important feature of schooling in Britain is  the  variety
of opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English school  syllabus  is
divided into  Arts  and  Sciences,  which  determine  the  division  of  the
secondary school pupils into  study  groups:  a  Science  pupil  will  study
Chemistry, Physics,  Mathematics,  Economics,  Technical  Drawing,  Biology,
geography; an Art pupil will do English Language  and  Literature,  History,
foreign languages, Music, Art, Drama. Besides these subjects  they  must  do
some general education subjects like Physical Education, Home Economics  for
girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General Science. Computers  play  an
important part in education. The system of options exists in  all  kinds  of
secondary schools.
          The National Curriculum, which was introduced in  1988,  sets  out
detail  the  subjects  that  children  should  study  and  the   levels   of
achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14, and  16,  when  they
are tested. Until that year headmasters and headmistresses of  schools  were
given a great deal of freedom in deciding what subjects to teach and how  to
do it in their schools so that there was really no central, control  at  all
over  individual  schools.  The  National  Curriculum  does  not  apply   in
Scotland, where each school decides what subjects it will teach.
          After the age of 16  a  growing  number  of  school  students  are
staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the  age  of  entry  into  higher
education in universities, Polytechnics  or  colleges.  Schools  in  Britain
provide careers guidance. A specially trained person called careers  advisor
or careers officer helps school students to decide what job they want to  do
and how they can achieve it.
          British university courses are  rather  short,  generally  lasting
for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college or university  and
special which one chooses.

                           4.Education in Britain.

|class                 |school                |age                  |
|                      |nursery school        |3                    |
|                      |playgroup or          |4                    |
|                      |kindergarten          |                     |
|reception class       |                      |5                    |
|year 1                |infant school         |6                    |
|year 2                |                      |7                    |
|year 3                |primary school        |8                    |
|year 4                |junior school         |9                    |
|year 5                |                      |10                   |
|year 6                |                      |11                   |
|year 7                |                      |12                   |
|year 8                |                      |13                   |
|year 9                |secondary school      |14                   |
|year 10               |                      |15                   |
|year 11               |                      |16                   |
|year 12               |sixth form college    |17                   |
|year 13               |                      |18                   |
|first year (fresher)  |                      |19                   |
|second year           |University or         |20                   |
|third/final year      |Polytechnic           |21                   |
|postgraduate          |University            |23                   |

                    5.Pre-primary and Primary Education.

          In some of England there are nursery schools for children under  5
years of age. Some children  between  two  and  five  receive  education  in
nursery classes or in infants’ classes in  primary  schools.  Many  children
attend informal  pre-school  playgroups  organized  by  parents  in  private
homes. Nursery schools are staffed with teachers and students  in  training.
There are all kinds of toys to keep the children busy from 9 o’clock in  the
morning till 4 o’clock in the afternoon while their  parents  are  at  work.
Here the babies play, lunch and sleep.  They  can  run  about  and  play  in
safety with someone keeping an eye on them.
          For day nurseries, which remain  open  all  the  year  round,  the
parents pay according to  their  income.  The  local  education  authority’s
nurseries are free. But only about three children in 100  can  go  to  them:
there aren’t enough places and the waiting lists are rather long.
          Most children start school at five in primary  school.  A  primary
school may be divided into two parts-infants and juniors. At infants  school
reading, writing and arithmetic are  taught  for  about  20  minutes  a  day
during the first year, gradually increasing to about 2 hours in  their  last
year. There is usually no written timetable. Much time is spent in  modeling
from clay or drawing, reading or singing.
          By the time children are ready for the junior school they will  be
able to read and write, do simple addition and subtraction of numbers.
          At seven children go on from the infants’  school  to  the  junior
school. This marks the transition from play to  “real  work”.  The  children
have set periods of  arithmetic,  reading  and  composition  which  are  all
Eleven Plus subjects. History,  Geography,  Nature  Study,  Art  and  Music,
Physical Education, Swimming are also on the timetable.
Pupils are streamed, according to their ability to learn into, A, B,  C  and
D streams. The least gifted are in the D stream. Formerly  towards  the  end
of their fourth year the pupils wrote their  Eleven  Plus  Examination.  The
hated 11 + examination was a selective  procedure  on  which  not  only  the
pupil’s future schooling but their future careers  depended.  The  abolition
of selection at  Eleven  plus  Examination  brought  to  life  comprehensive
schools where pupils can get secondary education.

                           6.Secondary Education.

          The majority of state  secondary  school  pupils  in  England  and
Wales attend  comprehensive  schools.  These  largely  take  pupils  without
reference to ability or aptitude and  provide  a  wide  range  of  secondary
education for all or most children in a district. Schools  take  those,  who
are the 11 to 18 age-range, middle schools (8 to 14), and  schools  with  an
age-range from 11 to 16.  Most  other  state-educated  children  in  England
attend grammar or secondary modern schools,  to  which  they  are  allocated
after selection procedures at the age of 11.
          Before 1965 a selective system of secondary education  existed  in
England. Under that system a  child  of  11  had  to  take  an  exam,  which
consisted  of  intelligence  tests  covering  linguistic,  mathematical  and
general knowledge which was to be taken by children  in  the  last  year  of
primary schooling. The object  was  to  select  between  academic  and  non-
academic children. Those who did well in the examination went to  a  grammar
school, while those who  failed  went  to  a  secondary  modern  school  and
technical  college.  Grammar  schools   prepared   children   for   national
examinations such as the GCE at O  level  and  A-level.  These  examinations
qualified children for the better jobs, and for entry higher  education  and
the professions. The education in secondary  modern  schools  was  based  on
practical schooling, which would allow entry into a variety of  skilled  and
unskilled jobs.
          Many people complained that it was wrong for a person’s future  to
be decided at a so young age. The children who went to  “secondary  moderns”
were seen as “failures”. More over, it was noticed  that  the  children  who
passed this exam were almost  all  from  middle-class  families.  The  Labor
Party, returned to power in 1965, abolished the 11+ and tried  to  introduce
the non-selective education system in the form of  “comprehensive”  schools,
that would provide schooling for children of all  ability  levels  and  from
all social backgrounds, ideally under one roof.  The  final  choice  between
selective and  non-selective  schooling,  though,  was  left  to  LEAS  that
controlled  the  provision  of  school  education  in  the   country.   Some
authorities  decided  for  comprehensive,  while  others  retained   grammar
schools and secondary moderns.
          In the late 1980s the Conservative government  introduced  another
major change. Schools cloud now decide whether to remain  as  LEA-maintained
schools or to “opt-out” of  the  control  of  the  LEA  and  put  themselves
directly under the control  of  the  government  department.  These  “grant-
maintained” schools were financed directly by central government.  This  did
not mean, however, that there was  more  central  control:  grant-maintained
schools did not have to ask anybody else about how to spend their money.
          A recent development in education administration  in  England  and
Wales in the School Standards and Framework Act passed  in  July  1998.  The
Act established that from 1.09.1999 all state school  education  authorities
with the ending of the separate category of grant maintained status.
          There  are  some  grant-maintained  or  voluntary  aided  schools,
called City Technology Colleges. In  1999  there  were  15  City  Technology
Colleges in England. These are non-fee-paying independent secondary  schools
created by a partnership of government  and  private  sector  sponsors.  The
promoters own or lease the schools, employ  teachers  and  make  substantial
contributions to the costs of building and  equipment.  The  colleges  teach
the NC, but with an emphasis on mathematics, technology and science.
          So, today three types of state schools  mainly  provide  secondary
education:  secondary  modern  schools  grammar  schools  and  comprehensive
schools. There should also be mentioned  another  type  of  schools,  called
specialist  schools.  The  specialist  school  programmer  in  England   was
launched  in  1993.  Specialist  schools   are   state   secondary   schools
specializing  in  technology,  science  and  mathematics;   modern   foreign
languages; sports; arts.
          State schools are absolutely free  (including  all  textbooks  and
exercise books) and generally co-educational.
          Under the NC a greater emphasis at the secondary level is laid  on
science and technology.  Accordingly,  ten  subjects  have  to  be  studied:
English,  history,  geography,  mathematics,  science,  a   modern   foreign
language,  technology,  music,  art  and  physical  education.  For  special
attention  there  of  these  subjects  (called  “core  subjects”):  English,
science, mathematics and seven other  subjects  are  called  “foundation  or
statuary subjects”. Besides,  subjects  are  grouped  into  departments  and
teachers work in teams and to plan work.
          Most common departments are:
    .  Humanities  Departments:  geography,  history,   economics,   English
      literature, drama, social science;
    . Science Department: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics;
    . Language Department: German, French, English;
    .   Craft   Design   and   Technology   Departments:   information   and
      communications technology, computing, home economics and photography.
          The latter brings together the  practical  subjects  like  cooing,
woodwork, sewing, and metalwork  with  the  new  technology  used  in  those
fields. Students can design a T-shirt on computer  using  graphics  software
and make-up the T-shirt design. Students can also  look  at  way  to  market
their  product,  thus  linking  all   disciplines.   This   subject’s   area
exemplifies the process approach to learning introduced by the NC.
          It is worth mentioning here the  growing  importance  of  personal
and Social Education.  Since  the  1970s  there  has  been  an  emphasis  on
“pastoral” care, education in areas related to life skills  such  as  health
(this includes looking at  drug,  discussing  physical  changes  related  to
poverty, sex education and relationship).  There 

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