Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am sure that somewhere on this forum there is a good article regarding the primary and secondary school system in the UK. In particular, what is the difference between a comprehensive school and an academy; is there a difference between public and private; and how does one find a good school? Is there any ranking or a website that assists? Also, what are the fees for each?

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,123 Posts
Well, the education system is always in a state of flux but currently:
Comprehensive - it's a major distinction in secondary state (non fee-paying) education from 1970s. A comprehensive school takes pupils regardless of academic ability (non-selective) - though some give preference to those of particular faith like Catholic and Jewish, while selective school can and does. In the state system, the latter is normally a grammar school, which exists in a few parts of the country that have retained it, where entry is by competitive exam (called Eleven-plus). Among the latter is some of the most high-achieving schools, esp in London (like Henrietta Barnet). An academy (it can be both primary and secondary) is a state school that is taken out of the control of the local authority and is funded directly by central government, and is run by a charitable trust that may have involvement of businesses, religious bodies etc. An academy has more freedom to run its own affairs, and can hire non-qualified teachers, follow its own curriculum in non-core subjects etc. There is also a free school, which is a type of academy but smaller and can be run, for example, by a group of parents, again by central government grant.
A public and private school. In UK, a public school in the sense that it is funded by public purse and no fees are charged is called a state school. A public school is a name given to more prominent and long-established fee-paying private school like Eton, Harrow, Rugby, often boarding and exclusive. So the distinction is between non fee-paying state and fee-paying private school, which is also called independent school.
You can study various 'good schools guide', and Dept for Education publishes school performance tables based on exam results and other criteria. Ofsted - school inspection body - publishes report on every state school. There are similar tables and reports for private, independent schools. A good school, whether state or private, is in big demand and getting a place can be difficult.

System in Scotland is quite different, and the word Academy can mean a comprehensive, selective, state or private school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Hi

I am sure that somewhere on this forum there is a good article regarding the primary and secondary school system in the UK. In particular, what is the difference between a comprehensive school and an academy; is there a difference between public and private; and how does one find a good school? Is there any ranking or a website that assists? Also, what are the fees for each?

Thanks in advance!
There is no "UK school system" per se, as Scotland has always maintained a distinct and separate education system of its own.

You will find answers to most of your questions here:

England: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England

Scotland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Scotland

All state primary and secondary schools are free. Most operate on a 'catchment area' system. (Note that private (fee-paying) schools are confusingly referred to as public schools in England; in Scotland however they are known as private schools.)

School performance 'league tables' are issued annually by the Department for Education (for schools in England) and Education Scotland/Foghlam Alba (for schools in Scotland).

teuchter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,123 Posts
The origin of the phrase 'public school' to refer to prestigious private, often boarding school is due to its medieval foundation. Many have been set up for 'public' benefit as a charitable foundation, as opposed to other schools catering exclusively to a particular class, religious affiliation or occupation. Also their charitable status ensured they were not there to generate profit for proprietors.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
There is no "UK school system" per se, as Scotland has always maintained a distinct and separate education system of its own.

You will find answers to most of your questions here:

England: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England

Scotland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Scotland

All state primary and secondary schools are free. Most operate on a 'catchment area' system. (Note that private (fee-paying) schools are confusingly referred to as public schools in England; in Scotland however they are known as private schools.)

School performance 'league tables' are issued annually by the Department for Education (for schools in England) and Education Scotland/Foghlam Alba (for schools in Scotland).

teuchter
Hm. The private, fee-paying school my daughter attends in Edinburgh never refers to itself as "private" but rather as "independent" or indeed as "public".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Hm. The private, fee-paying school my daughter attends in Edinburgh never refers to itself as "private" but rather as "independent" or indeed as "public".
I have never heard of a private school in Scotland being referred to as a "public" school (other than perhaps by uninformed English media) - and I used to work for the precursor to Education Scotland/Foghlam Alba! :) (Maybe it's true what they say; that Edinburgh has more English people than Scots nowadays?!)

Nonetheless: "independent school" is the 'official' moniker here in Scotland and "private school" is the vernacular equivalent.

teuchter
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
I have never heard of a private school in Scotland being referred to as a "public" school (other than perhaps by uninformed English media) - and I used to work for the precursor to Education Scotland/Foghlam Alba! :) (Maybe it's true what they say; that Edinburgh has more English people than Scots nowadays?!)

Nonetheless: "independent school" is the 'official' moniker here in Scotland and "private school" is the vernacular equivalent.

teuchter
No idea. There are lots of English pupils there, though...
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top