Education in Britain

Approximately 10 million children attend to the 35000 schools spread all over England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. When going to primary school the students are often mixed with the opposite sex, but secondary schools have separate boys' and girls' schools as well as mixed schools.

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Correspondingly to Norwegian schools, the British students also have finals/take examinations after finishing five years of secondary education. There are no lower or upper limit for how many examinations each student take, but normally it is up to ten.

School attendance is not an optional offer. All children in England and Wales between the age of 5 and 16 must go to school, while children in Northern Ireland begin at the age of 4. After finishing these years of full-time education, they can attend colleges or other further education institutions.

After the introduction of the National Curriculum in 1992, the core subjects are mathematics, science, design and technology, information and communication technology, history, geography, modern foreign languages, music, art and design, physical education and citizenship. There are also other compulsory subjects, for instance religious courses.

Britain is a society where social class is still very important. The schools you attend, the clothes you wear and the accent you speak are features that marks your social rank. “The old boys network” refers to the elite of men who went to public schools like Eton and Winchester and universities like Oxford and Cambridge. The school uniform is a typical element in British schools, both for the posh and the not so posh schools.


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