Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 2 In England, responsibility for the education service lies with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The DCSF is in charge of planning and monitoring the education service in schools in England, ensuring the provision of integrated services for children, and bringing together policy relating to children and young people. The BIS is responsible for science and innovation, skills, further and higher education and enterprise.
In Wales, responsibility for education rests with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS). The Department of Education (DE) is responsible for the central administration of all aspects of education and related services in Northern Ireland, except the further and higher education sector, which is the responsibility of the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL). Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 3
Agencies in charge of inspection at national level: In England, Ofsted: Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills In Wales, Estyn: Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training. In Ireland, the Education and Training Inspectorate. Higher education: the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) provides quality assurance services across the UK. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 4
At local level, the responsibility for organising publicly-funded school education lies with 174 local authorities (LAs) in England and Wales and with the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) in Northern Ireland. In addition, all institutions have a governing body. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 5
In England and Wales, the legal framework for maintained primary and secondary schools divides them into community, foundation, and voluntary schools: Community schools: are established and fully funded by LAs. Foundation schools: are also funded by LAs, but are owned by the school governing body or a charitable foundation. Voluntary schools: were originally established by voluntary bodies, mainly churches. They are now largely funded by LAs. They all enjoy a high level of autonomy. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 6
In Northern Ireland there is a separate legal framework. The school system remains largely segregated on religious lines. Further and higher education institutions are fully autonomous. Higher education institutions are independent, self-governing bodies empowered by a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament to develop their own courses and award their own degrees. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 7
Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 8 Pre-primary education: In England and Wales, it is governed by the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998, as amended by the Education Act, 2002. In England, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provides a single, statutory framework for care, learning and development for children from birth to age five. In Wales, the Foundation Base is a statutory framework for three to seven-year-olds.
Compulsory education: From age 5 (4 in Northern Ireland) to age 16. Curriculum: In England and Northern Ireland, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) is in charge of developing the National Curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations at present. In Wales, the DCELLS performs similar functions. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 9
Primary education: usually lasts six years (could be a combination of infant schools and junior schools). Secondary education: covers education from age eleven to the minimum school leaving age of sixteen. Exams: GCSE and VCSE. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 10
Home Schooling: In Britain, there has never been a legal obligation for parents to send their children to school. The only demand is that every child receives an “efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude ... either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”. There are different motivations and methods of home schooling and results of a Home Education (both social and academic) vary. 17% is the estimated annual increase in children who are home schooled in the UK (presently estimated at 50,000). Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 11
Post compulsory education: Secondary school: ages 16-18 Sixth form college (England only): ages 16-18 Further education college: ages 16-18 Tertiary college (England and Wales only): ages 16-18. Secondary schools and sixth form colleges offer general/academic education, along with some courses in vocational/applied subjects. Further education colleges place a greater emphasis on vocational courses although they also offer general courses, and tertiary colleges offer both general and vocational education. Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 12
Higher education: is provided by three types of institutions: universities, colleges and institutions of higher education and art and music colleges. All universities are autonomous institutions and they determine their own admissions policy and requirements. Non-university level post-secondary studies: technical/vocational Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 13
University level studies - Degrees: Bachelor’s Degree (three or four years of study) Master’s Degree Doctorate Degree Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 14
Most UK universities can be classified into four categories: Ancient universities Red Brick universities New universities The Open University Education System in the UK - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 15
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