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What is education system like in the UK

Posted by : IDP INDIA on | Jan 03,2018

The UK education system is a four tier one. It comprises of the primary level, the secondary level, further education and higher education. As per the norms of education in UK, children above the age of five are legally required to attend primary and secondary school.

There is also a division in the form of “key stages”:

Key stage 1: 5-7 years

Key Stage 2: 7-11 years

Key Stage 3: 11-14 years

Key Stage 4: 14-16 years.

The child remains in Primary school for the first two stages and moves on to secondary school at the age of 11. He then completes the next two stages in Secondary school. A student is assessed at the end of every stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when a child is required to give his GCSE’s (General Certificate of Secondary Education). After that he may choose to pursue further studies and then higher education, start learning from online courses or he may choose to complete his schooling and look for a job.

The overview of the system can be divided accordingly:


It begins at age 5 and ends at age 11; composed of the first two keys stages.


It begins at age 11 and ends at age 16 when students have to take their GCSE’s. These two levels of education are compulsory. Thereafter, it becomes optional.


This involves a student taking his A levels or GNVQ’s or BTEC’s or such similar qualifications. This is an essential level for a student intending to pursue higher education.


Once Further education has been completed, higher education can be accessed. This is of course of particular interest to international students.

Each level of education in UK has its own requirements. Due to the popularity of quality online programmes, one can even obtain a degree without relocating to the UK, thereby saving substantial costs.