secondary education in england
School in the UK is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. Children younger than five can go to a toddler group (accompanied by a parent), playgroup or nursery school.
After primary school, students go to secondary school until they are sixteen (practical emphasis) or 18 (secondary school with 6th form – academic emphasis).
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The plans for post-war secondary education in Britain aimed to remove the inequalities which remained in the system. The proportion of ‘free places’ at grammar schools in England and Wales increased from almost a third to almost half between 1913 and 1937. However, when poorer children were offered free places, parents often had to turn them down owing to the extra costs involved.
The Education Act of 1944 was steered through Parliament by the Education Minister, R.A. Butler, and was followed by a similar Act for Scotland in 1945. The Act provided free secondary education for all pupils.