England - School
In England, education is decentalized. Apart from schools which are state supported and publicly maintained, there are also the so called "public schools" which are independent and which charge high fees for studying.
Education in England is obligatory between the ages of five and fifteen. At the age of five, children go to Infant School. At the age of seven they move to Junior School where they stay until they are eleven. At the age eleven children take the so-called "eleven plus" examination, determining which type of secondary school they will attend. However, this early selection has been strongly criticized and that is why many comprehensive schools excluding this stressful examination have been set up.
There are three types of secondary school in England. Childreen may go to grammar schools, secondary modern schools and secondary technical schools. Only about 25% of the pupils attend grammar schools. They provide education of an academic type and many students go on to university upon graduation. More children go to secondary modern schools which give a general but also more practical education.
Many pupils leave school at the age of fifteen, but others stay on until they are sixteen. Most grammar school children stay at school until the age of seventeen or eighteen. Upon leaving, pupils may take an examination for the General Certificate of Education. It consists of two levels: 0-level (ordinary), usually taken at the age of 16, and A-level (advenced) taken at the age of eighteen or nineteen.
After completing secondary education, some young people go to a colleges or universities. Universities offer two types of studies: undergraduate ones. At the age of twenty one, students usually get a Bachelor's Degree and at the age of twenty three - a Master's Degree.