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2021-01-13 00:01:18

Education in London: primary, secondary, higher education for foreign students

Education in London: primary, secondary, higher education for foreign students

Thinking about moving to a multicultural metropolis and looking for a school for your kids, or want to join the vast community of London students? London is one of the world's greatest capitals with a rich culture and history, one of the most popular tourist destinations with bustling shopping districts and an internationally renowned financial center - the capital of England has something to offer everyone.

London's education system is overseen by the Department of Education and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Local governments are responsible for implementing public education and public school policies at the regional level.


London school system

Education is compulsory for children from 5 to 16 years old, then students can continue their studies in high school for another 2 years (Six Form), high school graduates receive an A-level qualification. Other diplomas:

  • Business and Technology Education Council ( BTEC ) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate ( IB )
  • Cambridge Pre-U.

There are two educational systems in London - state and independent schools. Public schools are funded by the state and run by the local education authority. Most of the private schools are funded by parents, public organizations, and various foundations.

London schools are divided into several types:

  • High School - High School: Children are not selected based on academic achievement or ability.
  • Gymnasium is a selective school with a compulsory examination of 11 years.
  • Private schools: education is paid, in some there is a strict selection for academic indicators.

At the end of the compulsory period of 16 years, all students take the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exam . Those who successfully pass the academic tests undergo a two-year college or Sixth Form (senior classes, focused on preparing future students). After completing a 2-year course, students take A-Levels . Pupils usually choose 3 subjects to pass the exam, the highest mark is A *.

About 90% of English students study in public schools: some of them are very good and not at all pretentious. In general, for London parents, getting a child into a good school is a priority long before the start of their studies, because there are long queues for good schools.

The education system is divided into periods:

  • Preschool - nursery (0-3 years), kindergarten (3-4 years)
  • Primary education (4-11 years old)
  • Secondary education (11-18 years old)
  • Higher education (age 18+).

Early education in London

Children from 0 to 3 years old can attend kindergartens. Private schools can be very expensive, ranging from £ 50 to £ 120 per day. Parents book for visits 1-5 days a week and pay for them, even if the child is sick or misses. It is possible to arrange a suspension of attendance up to 3 months with prior notice. Kindergarten visits are from 8:00 to 18:30 (some are open from 9:00 to 15:15).

Children between the ages of 3 and 4 are eligible for free kindergarten attendance (Early Childhood Grant is paid by the Council and can be ~ £ 2,300 per year).

Primary education in London

Formal primary education begins in the year children turn 5. The school year begins on September 1 (or August 1 if the semester starts in August).

Public elementary schools are free, but admission depends on the coverage area: popular schools do not have much. All publicly supported schools in London are required to follow the national curriculum of twelve subjects. The main disciplines - English, mathematics, science - are compulsory for all students from 5 to 16 years old.

High School in London

Students move from the elementary to the middle level at the age of 11, and individual educational institutions offer three-level education systems with a stage for children from 9 to 13 years old.

According to the national curriculum, all students take tests on the national curriculum ( NCT ) by the end of the 2nd academic stage in the main subjects: literacy, mathematics, science. Students usually take exams GCSE, GNVQ .

Senior classes in London

The Sixth Form (sometimes referred to as Key Stage 6) brings together grades 12 and 13 of the school system. These are the last (optional) two years of secondary education, when students are 16-18 years old. preparing for A-level exams (or equivalent).

Private schools offer some students an improved environment, but this comes at extra costs. Most hold open days for parents-to-be, but making an appointment on a regular working day is more effective.

What to clarify:

  • Is there a program for gifted / talented children, special facilities for people with disabilities?
  • Are there English classes for international students?
  • What is the curriculum: is it broad and balanced enough?
  • Does the school have specialist teachers?
  • Do teachers work for a long time in their post?
  • Does the school offer fun extracurricular activities?
  • Does the school have facilities that are qualified and experienced enough to meet the special needs of the child?

Example semester prices

  • Pre-Prep (2 / 3-7 liters) - from £ 1000 to £ 1500
  • Junior / Prep (7-11 / 13 y.) - from £ 1400 to £ 4250 (day form)
  • Junior / Prep (7-11 / 13 liters) - from £ 2055 to £ 5010 (boarding)
  • Senior classes (11 / 13-18 y.) - from £ 3360 to £ 5390 (day form)
  • Senior classes (11 / 13-18 years old) - from £ 5640 to £ 8360 (boarding).

Additional activities (instrumental training, school uniforms or school trips) may require additional fees. Many private schools have their own second-hand shops selling uniforms and other student supplies.

Boarding schools in London

The world is modeling boarding schools based on classic British boarding schools with a dormitory, a refectory, and study halls. Boarding schools offer permanent or weekly accommodation, which gives students the opportunity to return home on weekends or only occasionally stay at school.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate program is offered by a number of private schools and is taught under the supervision of the IB International. All students study languages, social and experimental sciences, mathematics and arts.

The IB program is divided into three cycles, covering the following age groups:

  • Primary School Program ( PYP ) - 3-12 years old .
  • Secondary Education Program ( MYP ) - 11-16 years.
  • Diploma program ( DP ) - 16-18 years old.

University studies in London

Many of the world's elite universities are based in London, renowned for their distinguished history and research results. Students usually enter university at age 18, with a bachelor's degree awarded after 4 years of study.

Top Universities in London

  1. Imperial College London is a leading research institute with a strong tradition of teaching, research in medicine, science and technology. It was founded in 1907 through the merger of the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines and City & Guilds College. Imperial's flagship campus is located in central London in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The university annually awards more than 6,000 academic degrees to students from 125 countries, offers various approaches to solving global problems, conducts targeted interdisciplinary research, bringing together academia and industry. Imperial's distinguished alumni include 29 Nobel Prize winners, including the founding fathers of modern antibiotics, Sir Alexander Fleming and Sir Ernst Boris Chain.
  2. UCL (University College London), founded in 1826, became the first higher education institution in London. It is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in London's West End, close to famous theaters, tourist attractions and government offices. UCL calls itself "the global university of London": its multinational campus attracts students from more than 150 countries, the university maintains partnerships with 300 overseas institutions. UCL boasts 29 Nobel laureates including radioactivity pioneer Otto Hahn and English political economist John Stuart Mill.
  3. The London School of Economics and Political Science has been a world leader in the social sciences since 1895, and the LSE is a global center for academic discussion. It regularly hosts lectures by some of the most influential politicians of our time, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The LSE's rich academic portfolio covers the entire spectrum of social sciences disciplines from anthropology, sociology to accounting and finance. LSE teaches students from 140 countries of the world, among its graduates - about 30 members of the House of Commons, 40 members of the House of Lords and 16 Nobel laureates.
  4. Founded in 1829 by order of King George IV and Duke of Wellington, Kings College London is one of the most respected institutions of higher education in the UK. The main campuses are located on The Strand in the heart of London, within walking distance of the Houses of Parliament, Waterloo Bridge and Guy's Hospital. Students from all cultural backgrounds are among the 28,000 who make up the institution's student body. King's distinguished alumni and faculty include 12 Nobel laureates, including virologist Max Tyler (for developing a vaccine against yellow fever) and biochemist Frederick Hopkins.
  5. Queen Mary London University was opened in 1785 through the merger of four medical colleges: the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Royal St Bartholomew's Hospital, Westfield College and King Mary's College. The main campus is located at Mile End, East London. It offers affordable student accommodation and is located in close proximity to attractions including Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market. Distinguished alumni of Queen Mary include chemist Michael Dewar and journalist John Rentul.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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