In the UK, there are various kinds of schools:
Arranged by level:
s - Ages about 4.
s - Ages 5-11
s - Ages 5-8
s - Ages 8-13
s - Ages 11-18
s - Ages 13-18
Colleges - Ages 16-18
Not everyone gets all of these. There are two main transitions:
Primary -> Secondary
Lower -> Middle -> Upper
Many Primary schools are divided into Junior
departments - Junior being the Senior group.
Ages 18+ are covered by various Higher/Further Education systems, which we do not tend to refer to as schools in the way which Americans
do. At that level, school
denotes a faculty
Arranged by organisation:
s: The standard. Provided by the government
s: Short for 'preparatory
', these provide courses suitable for those entering public or private schools, and run from 7 to 11 or 13.
s: Privately-run schools that typically cost money to attend.
s: Private secondary- or upper-level schools of the highest quality. Expensive, elitist, but effective.
s: Now almost obsolete. State-run secondary schools with entrance examinations. Abolished, as they were considered elitist. They provided a better level of education, free, to anyone who passed the exam. Nowadays, in the interests of equality, this level of education is only available to those willing and able to pay. A few remain, after a fashion, in some parts of the country.
Secondary Modern Schools
: Where you went if you failed to get into a grammar
school. Under-financed, poorly-thought-of, not missed.
: The replacement for the former two: much more like the latter than the former, generally. Referred to be the present (Labour
) government as 'bog standard
Thanks to everyone for their additions.
gives some insight into the 'form' notation, and I'll attempt to add some more.
Schools traditionally numbered their year-groups from youngest to oldest, starting at '1'. In secondary
, and preparatory
schools, the years were called 'forms', and the last two years (ages 16-18) were collectively the 'sixth form
', divided into 'lower sixth
' and 'upper sixth
In recent years, a standardised state system has been introduced, running from 'Reception
' or year 0, at the bottom of the infant schools, to 'Year 13
' - the old Upper Sixth. Many people find the zero-indexing
of the new system confusing. The zero-year is often referred to as 'R', just as the National Curriculum zero attainment level is referred to by letter, so that no-one actuall registers a zero achievement.