Education is decentralized and organized differently in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Schools have a high degree of autonomy. Higher education and training institutions are completely autonomous. School attendance is compulsory from 5 years (4 years in Northern Ireland) to 16 years of age. Attending pre-school facilities is voluntary and partly chargeable. In addition to the state schools, there are private schools (providers: mainly foundations or church organizations) that charge school fees and are attended by around 7% of the students. Some of the most renowned include Eton, Rugby and Winchester (Public Schools). The language of instruction is English, in Wales alternatively also Welsh and in some schools in Northern Ireland Irish. Gaelic can also be learned in some schools in Scotland.
As a rule, children move from Primary School to Secondary School at the age of 11 (Scotland 12). The dominant form of secondary school is comprehensive school, the only form of school in Wales and Scotland. There are also grammar schools in England, Secondary Modern Schools and City Technology Colleges. Some parishes in England have minor first schools (ages 5 to 8 or 9) and middle schools (ages 8 or 9 to 12 or 13). In Northern Ireland there are only grammar schools and secondary schools. Secondary school usually ends at the age of 16 with the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), in Scotland with the Scottish Qualification Certificate Standard Grade. Upper secondary education covers the age group from 16 to 18 years. In general education, the General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A-level) can be obtained at a secondary school or a Sixth Form College, in Scotland the Scottish Qualification Certificate at Higher Grade.
The next level of education in the UK involves further education. Further Education Colleges and other tertiary educational institutions offer v. a. professional qualifications. Common degrees are Vocational A-levels (VCEs), National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and, in Scotland, Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). In addition, there are youth training programs and, to a lesser extent, in-company training courses for young people who do not attend secondary school. The Further Education Colleges, along with other institutions, also play an important role in adult education. Visit jibin123 for United Kingdom higher education. The Open University (Fernuniversität) offers courses for adults at university level. The over 150 universities and other higher education institutions can choose their students. Tuition fees are charged. Common degrees are Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Philosophy. The oldest and most famous universities are Oxford and Cambridge. – Public spending on education represents (2011) 5.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the classic land of freedom of the press and is considered the “home country” of newspapers. – Press: The British newspaper market has been determined by the concentration on a few publishing groups since the beginning of the mass press. The largest press groups include Trinity Mirror plc., News Corporation Ltd. (R. Murdoch), Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), Guardian Media Group and Telegraph Media Group. – The national quality newspapers include the two conservative papers “The Daily Telegraph” (founded 1855) and “The Times” (founded 1785) as well as the liberal newspapers “The Guardian” (founded 1821) and “The Independent” (founded 1986). The Financial Times (founded in 1880) is widely recognized by the UK and international business community for its comprehensive and reliable information. The market leaders among tabloids are The Sun (founded 1921), Daily Mail (founded 1896) and Daily Mirror (founded 1903). The regional daily newspaper with the highest circulation is the free newspaper »Metro«. The Sunday newspapers also achieve high circulations, including “The Mail on Sunday”, “Sunday Mirror” and “The Sunday Times”. The oldest national Sunday newspaper is the »Observer«, first published in 1791. Important news magazines are “The Economist” and “Time Magazine”; the oldest magazine still in existence is the political weekly “Spectator” (founded in 1828). – News Agencies: The Press Association (PA), founded in 1868, co-op owned by British newspaper publishers; the financial news agency The Exchange Telegraph Co. Ltd. (EXTEL), founded in 1872. The former Reuters Group PLC, founded in 1851, is only partly active in the traditional news market. – broadcasting: As a regulatory commission, the Office of Communications (OFCOM) is responsible for the issuing of radio and television licenses, the definition of advertising guidelines and compliance with the quality and variety of programs in commercial television and has to promote competition among providers. – As early as the 1950s, a dual broadcasting system was established in Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the coexistence of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC, founded in 1922) and the private, advertising-financed Independent Television (ITV), an association of 15 regional television companies today. In 1982 “Channel 4” and 1997 “Channel 5” (Viacom Inc.) were added as private TV stations.
In addition to the fee-financed main TV channels “BBC 1” and “BBC 2”, the BBC operates six special digital channels (including “BBC 3” and “BBC 4” with an upscale cultural, educational and entertainment program) throughout the country. Through its commercial subsidiary, BBC Global News Ltd. It also operates the international news and international information program “BBC World News” (founded in 1991) and the entertainment channel “BBC Entertainment” (founded in 1995 as “BBC Prime”). The UK pay-TV market is the most developed in Europe. Sky plc is the largest provider.
In the area of radio, the BBC broadcasts national, regional and local radio programs and the international broadcaster “BBC World Service”. There are also several commercial networks. Digital radio is standard, and most radio programs are also offered over the Internet.