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Abby Acre
almost 4 years ago by

UK School System

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The UK school system follows strict guidelines that ensure that pupils receive the best education for pupils. We understand that it can often prove difficult for overseas teachers to get to grips with a whole new system, so we have put together a guide to give you all the information you need before you apply for a teaching job.

In the UK, we are proud of our system that’s in place as we go above and beyond to ensure that all children progress as much as possible in each subject area whilst learning valuable life lessons on the way.

Schools in the UK

There are 4 types of schools within the UK which are:

  • State Schools: they are open to the public and funded by the government

  • Grammar Schools: Entrance exams must be taken but they are funded by the government

  • Religious Schools: Privately funded and open to the public

  • Independent/Private Schools: Entrance exams may be required, but they are funded by tuition fees.

The UK School Key Stages

All children are legally required to attend school from the age of 5 to 16 years old, their education period is split into four Key Stages.

The Key Stages are;

Key stage 1 (Primary School/ Education): 5 to 7 year olds
Key Stage 2 (Primary School/Education): 7 to 11 year olds
Key Stage 3 (Secondary School/ Education): 11 to 14 year olds
Key Stage 4 (Secondary School/ Education): 14 to 16 year olds

In our vacancies, you will often find that they are often displayed as Key Stages, so the above will make this clearer for you!

During each of the 4 key stages, The National Curriculum must be followed. Basically, it creates a framework of subjects and attainments.


Pupils are assessed at the end of every key stage to analyse where they are on the spectrum and how their education skills can be developed even further. However, the most important assessments are at the age of 16 when pupils undertake GCSE’s.

The school curriculum combines a broad variety of development skills that are built around preparing pupils for experiences and opportunities in the future. Religious Education is a required subject that must be taught in schools at every key stage, along with provisions for personal, social and health education. Obviously, this is simultaneous to the core subjects of Maths, English and Science.

Subject Areas

The UK teaching curriculum is built up around twelve subjects areas which are:

    • • English (core)


    • • Mathematics (core)


    • • Science (core)


    • • Information & Communication Technology


    • • Physical Education


    • • Art & Design


    • • Citizenship


    • • Design & Technology


    • • Geography


    • • History


    • • Modern Foreign Languages

    • • Music

Further & Higher Education

When pupils finish secondary school they have the opportunity to move on to Further Education to gain A-Levels, GNVQ’s or BTEC’s. Then they could move onto Higher Education to gain an academic degree or professional certificate.

We hope this has given you all you need regarding the UK school system, leave a comment below if you would like any further information.

Take a look at our teaching jobs in London.