Schools Options in United Kingdom


Schooling In The UK

The first thing you must be made aware of is that the education system in the United Kingdom is split into four major parts. They are; primary, secondary, further, and higher education.

Little kids in the UK have to attend primary and secondary education legally and it runs from when they are five years old till they get to sixteen years. More so, the educational system here is further divided into Key stages.

These Key stages are broken down as:

•          Key Stage One: Five to seven years old

•          Key Stage Two: Seven to eleven years old

•          Key Stage Three: Eleven to fourteen years old

•          Key Stage Four: Fourteen to sixteen years old

On a general note, the key stages one and two are undertaken at primary school. Then when they get to eleven years old, the kids move to secondary school and finish up Key stages three and four.

At the end of every stage, the students get to be assessed. However, the most important assessment is carried out at the age of sixteen. This is when the students begin pursuing their GCSEs; General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Immediately after they get the GSCE completed, they can choose to move to further education and then the prospective higher education. Or, they can finish school and move into the world of work.

Furthermore, we will be splitting the education system in the United Kingdom into five main sections. They are:

•          The Primary Education

The Primary education starts at the tender age of five and continues until the child is eleven. And it comprises the key stages one and two under their educational system.

•          The Secondary Education

The Secondary education begins from age eleven to sixteen and it comprises key stages three and four. It helps to begin their move towards writing their GSCEs. The primary and secondary education in this country is compulsory.

However, after you cross the age of sixteen, education becomes optional.

•          The Further Education

As for the  Further education, once students finish their secondary education they can decide to extend into further education or not. When they embark on the Further education, they will take their A levels, BTECs, GNVQ, and all other qualifications.

If you plan on going to a university or college, then you must complete your further education.

•          The Higher Education

Higher Education is the most vital subject area here as it explains more about UK’s Higher educational system and how it operates for foreign students.

Prep Schools: Apart from above five options, there is prep schools for children starting from 3 in UK are eligible to avail free education facility before they start their primary school at the age of around 5 years old.

Before you select your location, please review the schooling options as your address will determine your catchment school. You will have to justify if you wish to send out of catchment.

Secondary schools vary in their teaching and ethos based on their focus and faiths. Students starts selecting their ‘Strems’ or ‘focus’ by selecting their subjects or area of interests such as sports, academics, languages or arts etc.

UK education system offers various options when it comes to choosing best school for their child that fits their budget and belief. These school options are ranging from free school funded by government to expensive schools for elites. The schools are categorized as below.

Types of school

  • Public Schools (state schools, no fee paying)
  • Faith schools
  • Free schools
  • Academies
  • City technology colleges
  • State boarding schools
  • Private schools / independent schools (fee paying)

For more details, please visit – UK Government’s Education Site

Public schools: They are state schools and are free. It means, the parents do not have to pay any application fees, tuition fees, etc. Please note that there are some “public” schools, which accepts fees, are expensive and elite. They usually start at 13 years.

Faith Schools in UK:

There are faith based such as Catholic or jewish or Islamic schools; The cost of education in the faith-based schools are usually nominal. However, you will have to prove that you are a serious follower of the faith by having to submit the record of involving your religious activities for getting the admissions.

For more details, please visit – Faith Schools in UK

Free schools:

There are approximately 20,000 government but not run by the local authorities. also known as state schools. These school manage indecently and they, who offer free education for students aged from 3 till 18. This is the most popular schooling options in UK as close to 93% British children attend these schools.  For more details, please visit – Free Schools in UK

These schools can set their own pay and conditions for staff and change the length of school terms and the school day. Additionally, they do not have to follow the national curriculum.


They receive the funding from the government directly and do not charge fees. Academic schools usually run by academy trusts, who have more control over they school in managing the schools as compare to community schools. Although the academic schools can follow their curriculums and day-to-day functioning, they have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools and students sit the same exams. Academies are also inspected by Ofsted.

For more information, please visit Academic Schools in UK.

City technology colleges:

These are city colleges emphasis on teaching science and technology. These are government funded independent schools and they are free to attend.

For more information, please visit City technology colleges in UK

State boarding schools:

There are about 40 state boarding schools in England which are funded by government. They offer free education; however, they charge for boarding facilities. providing state-funded education but charging for boarding.

For more information, please visit State Boarding Schools

Private Schools in UK:

Private schools, also known as independent schools are funded by the tuitions fees they charge to their students. They do not follow the national curriculum. However, they are mandatorily registered with government and often inspected by members of the associations of the independent schools Councils or School Inspection Service. Their reports are published on the inspecting organizations. Ofsted is one of the leading organizations that inspects nearly 50% of the private schools and publish their reports on their website. These reports can be accessed at –  Ofsted – GOV.UK

For more information, please visit Private schools in UK

Eligibility for free schooling: These state funded schools are offered by UK government to British citizens and foreigners who are legally living in UK. It is also extended to foreigners living abroad but has right to abode option in UK.

Note that, the majority of foreigners get into the higher education system of the UK after they have finished their home country’s further education which is equivalent to that of the UK.

Aside from all of these, the United Kingdom also offers degrees online. Due to the growing popularity of online programs, you can find top-notch online programs available here.

For those interested in obtaining the UK accredited degree without relocating to the country, you can decide to study online as an ideal option. In getting this accredited online degree, you will be capable of fitting your studies into your schedule.

More so, it will assist you in saving money on travel while simultaneously having easy access to diverse top programs.

Importantly, Scotland does not conform to the education system structure of the UK. This is because they gave a separate education system.

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