Education in Great Britain

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1.Education.

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 parents.

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, schools 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 everybodys 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.

: 12/01/2010