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I once asked a question here about the police hiarchy in Great Britain. I was given the exact answers I needed. Now I find that I don't understand the educational "levels" quite often mentioned in the British cozies or police procedurals. Will someone please explain how the school system is divided in England, from preschool to ..... I guess it's graduation, but I've yet to read about anyone going through a graduation such as we have in the states. Thanks for your help.
Will someone please explain how the school system is divided in England, from preschool to ..... I guess it's graduation, but I've yet to read about anyone going through a graduation such as we have in the states.
Yes, we don't have a high school graduation in England (or prom for that matter!) and we can leave school at 16.
Elementary/First/Primary School is started at age 5 years.
Middle School is from age 8 - 12 years old. (These can be separate schools or might be the same one, I attended the same school from 5 -12 years old).
High School lasts 4 years from 12 - 16 years of age. We don't have a high school diploma (hence the reason there's no graduation), instead in the last year, we study for and take exams (called G.C.S.E's since the 1980's, before then they were called "O" levels) in individual subjects eg, English language, English literature, Mathematics (all round syllabus), Science, History, Geography, French etc. Most people take around 7-8 G.C.S.E subjects. High Schools are almost always public but parents can pay to send their child to private schools (sometimes referred to as Grammar schools).
You can then leave school at 16, to find a job or go to a specialist college (for secretarial, beauty, mechanical work etc) or choose to stay on a further 2 years, until 18 years of age, to take more exams (at a sixth form college) called "A" levels. These are more advanced/specialist courses in English, Mathematics, Science etc and the grades received in these exams are important for getting a place at university. (Many people staying on until 18, will be planning to go to university).
From age 18, it's pretty much the same as here, you can start work or go to college/university.
I hope that's helped - it might be a little out of date, if you're reading very modern British mysteries, as it was 20+ years since I left school and I've also been over here in the States now, for 6 of them! If you need to know anything else, just send me a PM and I'll help if I can.
Also remember that if you see "public school" mentioned in a British novel, it really means what we here in the States would call "private" school with tuition paid by the parents, not funded by government. That one threw me for a loop (it was a comment made in the book about a "poncy public school" LOL) until I asked my husband (who is British) about it.