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The Educational System of Great Britain

In Great Britain education is compulsory for all children from 5 to 16 years. There are state and private schools in Great Britain. State schools provide the pupils with the books and equipment free of charge.

In private schools parents pay for education. 7% of children attend them. It is rather difficult to get to the most famous schools such as Eton, Harrow or Rugby. Often it is necessary to put the child’s name on a waiting list at the birth to be sure the child gets a place in such school.

At five all children go to Infant School and stay there till they are seven. Then they go to Junior School. In these schools they learn reading, writing and do physical exercises.

At 11 pupils go to a secondary school called comprehensive. In this school there are different programmes: the Grammar School programme, the Technical School programme and the Modern School programme. Children who have good results in learning take the Grammar or Technical programme. Those who have bad results take the Modern School programme. The Grammar School teaches modern languages, sciences and classics. This school prepares pupils for university or college.

At 16 pupils take national exam called “GCSE” (General Certificate of Secondary Education). This is the end of compulsory education.

There are colleges in Great Britain where young people get practical (vocational) diplomas. They are like a Ukrainian vocational school.

In order to enter a university young people study till 18 to pass a national examination called “A” level” (Advanced level) in the six form school or six form college.

Universities and colleges of higher education accept students with “A” level from 18. There are 97 universities in Great Britain. The oldest and the most famous of them are Oxford University and Cambridge University. Study at the university may be full-time and part time. Full-time education includes sandwich courses in which periods of full-time study alternate with full-time practical work and training in industry.

Usually a British university consists of a number of colleges of higher education each with its own regulation and subjects. Students of a wide variety of subjects belong to and live for one time in one college, going out from there to different faculties or laboratories for their academic work. In addition, each student goes weekly to a tutor to show and discuss definite work. A person studying for a degree at a British universities is called an undergraduate; one who has taken a degree is called a graduate. Students study three years of full-time study and receive a bachelor degree. After two more years of study they get a master degree. If they take a special course and made a successful research work, they may get a doctorate degree.


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