There are several different types of schools in England and parents often have a hard time distinguishing between them. In this blog, we will show you the difference between state, academy and grammar schools, so that you can select the school for your child that best suits his or her needs.
State schools refer to government-funded schools which offer free education to all students, aged three to eighteen. A huge majority are overseen by local education authorities. There are several state schools which have a “specialist” status. Such schools receive more funding to develop and focus on the subjects in which they specialise as long as they also follow the National Curriculum.
Though education in state schools is free, they may request payment from parents for extracurricular activities, like field trips and swimming lessons. These activities are voluntary.
About 93% of English pupils attend an estimated 20,000 state schools. Since 2008, almost 75% of state schools have progressed to “academy status.” This means they are given more budget from the Department of Education per pupil.
Beverley Grammar School, founded in 700 AD, is the oldest state school in England.
Academy schools are a type of state-funded schools in England, established by the Labour Government of 1997-2010. Their goal was to take the place of poorly-performing community schools in underprivileged areas.
Academy schools are directly funded by the Department of Education. However, they are independent and exempt from following the National Curriculum. These schools are governed by a set of Academy Funding Agreements. These make sure academy schools teach mandatory subjects like English, Math, and Science, along with a broad, balanced curriculum. They are inspected by Ofsted.
Academies can also receive extra funding from sponsors, like NGOs and entrepreneurs.
Most secondary schools and about 25 per cent of primary schools, as well as the first and middle schools, are academy schools.
Grammar schools are state secondary schools that enrol pupils by means of an examination, known as “11-plus.” This test is taken by children in the last year of their primary school and who are at least 11 years old. The 11-plus test is designed to determine if the children have enough aptitude to be taught in a grammar school environment.
Grammar school entrance test consists of subjects, including numerical reasoning/maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English comprehension, grammar and punctuation, and creative writing.
Pupils who pass this exam can enrol in grammar school. Those who fail can go to “secondary modern schools,’ which were intended for children who meant to go into trades.
There are no grammar schools in Scotland or Wales, although some schools keep the name “grammar school.” However, they do not have any special status and are not selective in accepting pupils. The more common type of school across the UK is the “comprehensive” school system. In these types of school, students of all aptitudes are taught together.
We hope this blog helped you understand the major difference between state, academy and grammar schools. If you are still confused, please feel free to reach out to us at https://www.bigfishtutors.com. We can help you understand where you need to send your child.