Education in the UK

The United Kingdom's education system has four main stages namely higher education, further education, secondary education and primary education. Attending school is mandatory until the age of 16 years, while education is mandatory until age 18. After 16, one is free to continue their education by either selecting vocational training, or the A-levels.


There are many schools situated across the United Kingdom. Birmingham in particular has many primary schools (independent and private), non-selective secondary schools, grammar schools, special schools and further education institutions. This huge number of schools means that there are many birmingham teaching jobs available with advertisements done weekly for available vacancies.

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Primary Education


Primary education basically starts from age 5 up to age 11. It comprises of stage one and two of the education system in the UK.


Secondary Education


Secondary education runs from age 11 to age 16. This represents stages 3 and 4. The most important assessment at this level occurs at 16 when students are expected to sit for the General Certificate of Secondary Education. Upon finishing secondary education, students can either finish school and seek employment, or seek university education.


Further Education


After finishing secondary education, students may choose to extend their education by taking their GNVQ's, A-Levels or BTEC's.


Higher Education


The United Kingdom's university education is revered across the globe for its quality education and excellent job market preparation. Every year, an unprecedented number of international students join the two million plus local students eager to study in the country. UK colleges and universities are highly respected with outstanding teaching facilities. UK's university education is respected by academics and employers worldwide.


Those eligible for higher education must achieve the set qualifications required like the A-levels, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate and other equivalent qualification. Higher education courses are taught in colleges, universities, business schools, agricultural colleges and specialist art institutions. This system is divided into two

Undergraduate programmes include higher national diplomas, foundation degrees and bachelors' degrees.

Postgraduate programmes include MBAs, Masters' degrees, PhDs and doctorates. One needs an undergraduate qualification to be eligible for a postgraduate programme.


Community College Education


A community college is an educational institution that provides continuing and tertiary education that supplements traditional colleges and universities. In the UK, community colleges provide education for school age pupils, adults and other community members. The education offered may include adult literacy, lifestyle and sports.


Normally at 16, students move on to do their A-levels for two years and later proceed to university or a further education college. Community colleges are essential because they provide education and training to students regardless of their age or grades. They help prepare students for vocational training and professions that are not fully academic-dependent.


In England, students take three years to earn their bachelor's degree while in Scotland they take 4 years. In 2009, the British government capped the cost of university tuition fees at 9,000 per annum. For foreign students, this figure is upwards of 10,000.


The UK is famed for its top class university education and its academic certifications are respected globally. Birmingham has many learning institutions with a diverse variety of job vacancies. This provides individuals with fantastic employment opportunities.