British Education Children in the United Kingdom are required to attend school from age 5 to age 16. State schools are maintained by local government and offer pupils free education up to the age of 18, while the so-called public schools are private institutions that charge attendance fees. The country has many universities, colleges, and adult education facilities.
I. The purpose of school • Common goals The three “R’s” • The purpose of the British education “to socialize children”
II. The debate on education • Corporal punishment • Varieties in English • Class inequality & education
III. History • The Ministry of Education • The influence of the Church on schooling
Eton College is a private secondary school in Berkshire County in southern England. The preparatory school was founded by King Henry VI in 1440. A statue of Henry VI stands in the courtyard of the college.
The playing fields of Rugby School, in Warwickshire, witnessed the birth of rugby football in 1823 when William Webb Ellis, a pupil, picked the ball up while playing football. Founded in 1567, the school is a leading English public school, renowned for its science education.
Before 1870 voluntary, closely related to churches • 1870 effects of Industrial Revolution first Education Act (inspired by Germany) • 1880 compulsory education (5-10) • 1902 LEA • WWI the school leaving age 14 • WWII new system emphasizing equality • 1944 the Education Act (5-15)
1960s comprehensive schools Grammar schools & vocational schools • 1973 5-16 • 1976 “the Great Education Debate” • 1989 National Curriculum changes
IV. The present education system • Compulsory education (5-16) • State schools or private schools • Public schools in Britain • Progress in education
School's Out in Belfast A group of primary school children race across a street in Falls Road, Belfast. Early education is an important objective in Northern Ireland. In addition to primary school education, the government provides nursery school education for children under five years old. All Northern Irish children are entitled to free schooling; however, a number of popular private schools attract local students, as well as pupils from overseas.
Pre-primary schooling (before 5) • Primary schools (5-11) co-educational (mixed) • Secondary schools (11-19) mixed / boys (girls) schools “11+ Exam”; GCSE Exam; A-level Exam; GNVQ Exam • Tertiary education
V. Higher education • Well-known universities • Elitists
Five categories: Foremost univ. (Oxbridge, St Andrews, etc) Redbrick univ. (19th-20th century) Ultramodern univ. (last half of the 20th c.) Polytechnics (science and applied tech.) Open Univ.
England’s oldest institution of higher learning, Oxford University, is a federation of 35 colleges, each with its own structure and activities. Many prominent people have attended the All Souls College, shown here.
Students at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, prepare to receive their academic degrees. The sashes of their gowns are lined with different colors of silk, designating each student’s respective college or field of study.
Founded in the 13th century, Cambridge University is one of the oldest educational institutions in Europe and one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Among its many distinguished graduates are Charles Darwin, John Maynard Keynes, Oliver Cromwell, and John Milton.
Question • Why does the author say that universities in Britain have been rather elitist?
The Open University Question What is the Open University in Britain? What do you think of this system?