The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted inspection reports can be viewed online at www.reports.ofsted.gov.uk and these are often used as the basis of school selection criteria.
A collective term referring to the 800-year-old universities of Oxford and Cambridge and sometimes modified to Loxbridge to include London universities.
Schools for children aged 3-7/8. The majority are co-educational and independent.
Schools for children aged 7/8 to 11, or 13, depending on the departure age to a senior school. The majority are co-educational and independent. They are either stand-alone or attached to a senior school and can be day prep or boarding prep schools.
Schools for children aged 4-11, usually in the state sector.
Also known as independent schools, they charge fees to attend instead of being funded by the government. Pupils don’t have to follow the national curriculum and the schools are inspected regularly, either by Ofsted, the Independent Schools Inspectorate or The Bridge Schools Inspectorate.
One of the most confusing terms in the UK education system. These schools are not open to the public as one has to pay to attend. Many have a long and rich history and are the type of schools foreign visitors imagine most of our politicians and royal family attended. Originally established to educate children of civil servants and soldiers working in far-flung corners of the empire, they tend to mirror establishment values.
Specialist and mainstream schools which provide specialist units or bases for children with special educational needs (SEN).
Schools for children aged 11-16 or 11-18, usually within the state sector.
Voluntary Aided School
A state-funded school/college where the governors are responsible for the admissions policy.