Education in the UK

edukacja w wielkiej brytanii
Britain is one of the countries that decided about free and compulsory education. For many years, education was reserved for upper classes. In 1870, the first Educational Act was introduced. It said about free and compulsory education. The existence of Local Authorities supported the development of this act. In 1944, the Second Act was introduced. It dealt with small changes. Free and compulsory education for the secondary level was available to everyone.

In 1980’s Great Britain faced the package of reforms. 1st reform meant the establishment of national curriculum. All schools had the right to decide how to teach but exams were the same all over the country. 2nd reform- the abolishment of a principle known as catchment area.

Education in England is divided into three stages. The first stage is called “infants”. Education is obligatory till 16 years old. Children are educated in state and private schools. The state schools are run by Local Educational Authorities.

In England schools divide into private and public. The first public schools were established in the 15th century. Most of the schools is situated in the south of England. They  are independent and expensive based on the tuition system, which means that you have to pay money for being taught. The most famous public school is ETON. It was built in the 16th century. It is the top public school in England. It is known for the Old Boy’s list. If you are graduated from Eton, you just place the name of your unborn son. It is a form of  the  reservation of the place for your unborn son.  Students from 11 to 12 take the eleven plus examination determining which type of secondary school they want to attend. Generally speaking, the system of education is free of all charges. It absorbs 6% of GNP. At the age of sixteen, children take the Certificate of Secondary Education, which indicates the completion of schooling at a certain level. At this stage, all students are free to leave school. However, most of them cannot find employment and stay at school until 18 preparing themselves for the General Certificate of Education, which may be taken at two different levels: ordinary and advanced. The advanced level may be taken in three subjects.  The Scottish Certificate of Education is much broader and is prepared by Scottish Examination Boards. These exams are different in the systems of marks. In England we have a uniform system of marks from A to G. A,B,C, are the best. While in Scotland we have grades in numbers. During the last year at school, the students are obliged to prepare in a narrow field. After passing A-levels every students receives a grant to cover his or her expenses at universities. In the UK, we can distinguish several universities.

- Redbricks-  This group of universities comprises the universities founded in the 19th century. in 1830, the University of Durham was found. It broke the dominance of Oxbridge.

- Civil Universities- These are modern universities with a campus structure.

- Open Universities- these were founded in 1969. They are characterised by

- teaching at distance

- they are without classrooms

- they have a huge reputation and offer all types of degrees.

- they are associated with Milton Keynes. This town was built from scratch in 1960. It is the location of the Open Universities. The most famous universities are Oxford and Cambridge commonly known as Oxbridge. The University of Oxford was established in 1167. The University of Cambridge was established in 1207.  These two universities compete on every area. Oxbridge offer two types of classes

a) lectures

b) tutorials- meetings with professors in small groups. ( the more advanced you are, the fewer people take part in the meetings). The last stage concentrates on individual classes. These universities have huge libraries in England. They are known as copyright libraries, which means that they have a special agreement with a group of publishing houses and every book which is published in Britain is given to these libraries.

author Adam Cendrowski Education in the UK