The English school system
Education in Britain is provided by the Local Education Authority (LEA) in each county. It is financed partly by the government and partly by local taxes.
Until September 1988, each LEA was free to decide
how to organise education
in its own area. But the National
Curriculum was introduced in September 1988.
It sets programmes of study in a range of subjects for all state schools in England and Wales. Independent schools need not follow it, though many do.
The academic year starts in September and is divided into three terms.
Pupils have holidays at Christmas, Easter and during the summer, and short breaks at half-term.
In the past, secondary
schools used to be very selective since they
accepted the pupils only if they had passed an exam
called the eleven-plus.
The ancient grammar schools are not as numerous as in the past and have been turned into comprehensive schools.
Children study subjects in the national curriculum and take SATs at 14, and then prepare the GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in as many subjects as they want. Pupils who want to go to university need to pass their A levels in two or three subjects.
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