There are hundreds of independent and private schools and colleges in the United Kingdom available. This means that, with so many independent school options, you are certain to find the right school for your children or college for your needs. Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions that children and parents, especially when talking about specialty of boarding schools. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the factors involved and the different private and independent school option that are available in the UK today.
The first thing to understand when looking for private schools and colleges in the UK is the education system. There are slight differences depending on the region when it comes to compulsory education. In England, education is obligatory from ages five to seventeen (which will be raised to eighteen starting in 2015.) In Scotland and Wales, education is compulsory from five to sixteen years old. In Northern Ireland, the compulsory education ages are four to sixteen.
After the compulsory education period, most students in the UK continue studying, up until they are eighteen. After this, students can continue into higher education, offered at different colleges and universities in the UK. Compulsory education (and generally up until age eighteen,) is offered for free by the state in the UK. It is important to note that some state-funded schools are referred to as independent because they are not subject to the local education authorities. However, due to their state funding, these are not really independent or private schools. Is is also important to note that the curriculum in private and independent schools is often greatly expanded. This is because state schools must follow the UK National Curriculum, while independent schools are free to improve their curriculum to adapt it to their students’ needs.
Private schools available in the UK are not supported by the state. Parents usually pay a tuition fee and a fee to cover housing and meals if the private school is a boarding school. The UK has a many well established independent boarding schools with impressive histories and reputation. These attract international students from all around the world. Currently, about 26,000 international students are studying at independent boarding schools in the UK.
There are three different types of private schools for students that are yet not eighteen years old. For the youngest schools (from ages seven up to about twelve) are preparatory or junior schools. Senior or secondary schools are for students that are about twelve years old up to sixteen to eighteen years old. Independent colleges (also known as sixth-form, tutorial, or further education colleges) usually take students that are sixteen and up. After eighteen, students will usually opt for higher education in one of various universities in the UK. Some schools are specifically geared towards a specific sector, such as international study centers or schools specializing in music or the arts. There are also schools geared towards students from a particular country or background.