The British education system is second to none in its quality, consistency, reliability, integrity, adaptability and comprehensive coverage.

The education system in the UK is also split into “Key Stages” which breaks down as follows:

  • Key Stage 1 (Years 1 – 2): 5 to 7 years old
  • Key Stage 2 (Years 3 – 6): 7 to 11 years old
  • Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9): 11 to 14 years old
  • Key Stage 4 (Years 10 – 11): 14 to 16 years old
  • Key Stage 5 (Years 12 – 13): 16 to 18 years old

Key Stages 1 & 2 are known collectively as ‘Primary Education’ in the UK.

Key Stage 3 signifies the start of ‘Secondary Education’ although many Independent Schools do not begin their Senior School until Year 9 (13 years old).

At the end of Key Stage 4, all pupils in the UK take their first important examinations, called GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education).  Students usually take between 5 – 10 GCSE subjects and would be expected to achieve Level 5 or higher in each of their subjects to be able to continue their education [note that GCSEs are now graded from 9 (high) to 1 (low)].

Upon successful completion of GCSEs, pupils can move on to further education (Sixth Form) at Key Stage 5, taking A Levels, the IB Diploma, Foundation or BTECs. These examinations are required for entry into Universities (Higher Education), either here in the UK or abroad.