The educational system in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs. Primary education starts in a nursery school and a  kindergarten. British children begin their education at the age of 5 and must attend school until the age of 16. In Britain there are state schools and public schools. The majority of British children are educated in state schools which are free of charge. There are many public schools in Britain, mainly for the 13-18 age group. Their tuition fees are very high.


Children in Britain continue to study at a secondary school:


  1. comprehensive schools /which offer a general education/,

  2. grammar schools /which prepare students for university study/,

  3. modern schools /which provide general education and focus on practical activities/,

  4. technical schools /which emphasize industry, commerce and agriculture/.


General Certificate of Secondary Education /GCSE/ exams are taken at the age of 16. These exams give pupils a qualification that is recognised across the whole country. Most students continue their further education after 16, for another 2 years, in the 6th form /2 extra years at school/ or at college. This study is leading to advanced examinations.


These examinations are important for those who want to go on to higher education:


  1. universities,

  2. polytechnics and

  3. colleges of higher education /e.g. for teachers/.


The oldest and the most prestigious British universities include Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The most common titles for those who have graduated from university are Bachelor of Art, Science and Education. Postgraduate titles include Master of Arts, Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.