chapter  16
14 Pages

Working within schools and alternative educational settings

ByCLAUDIA MCLOUGHLIN

In the UK, a child's state education usually starts with nursery provision around three years of age, with children entering a more formal learning environment at reception stage, at age ®ve. Children then attend primary school for six years until the age of eleven, at which stage they have to transfer to a larger secondary school for a further ®ve years, taking them up to the age of sixteen years. There is a current debate in government whether to raise the compulsory school age to eighteen years. A broadranging National Curriculum is adhered to by all schools, with attainment in the key subjects of English, Maths and Science being measured at regular intervals. Some secondary schools teach mixed ability classes, others group pupils according to their academic attainment. At sixteen, adolescents either go into the sixth form or are encouraged to move on to further education colleges which cater for the full range of abilities and often offer vocational training courses alongside more academic subjects. From there, young people can enter university or the world of work. Average class sizes throughout the years tend to be around thirty children.