Main Types of State and Independent Schools

Describe the characteristics of the different types of schools in relation to educational stages and school governance.

Community schools

These are run by the Local Education Authority and are funded by the state via the local authority. These schools follow the national curriculum. The LEA usually owns and has responsibility for all buildings and premises as well as employing staff and admissions.

Voluntary controlled schools

These schools have a religious affiliation (predominantly Church of England) and are funded by central government via the local authority. The LEA are responsible for the land and buildings although these are typically owned by a charitable foundation who also appoint about a quarter of the schools governors. The LEA are responsible for employing staff and admissions and pupils follow the national curriculum.

Voluntary aided schools

These schools also have a religious affiliation and are largely funded by the state although a trust or foundation, represented by a proportion of the schools governors, provide some funds for buildings etc. These schools have more autonomy than voluntary controlled schools and the governors are responsible for employing staff and admissions. They follow the national curriculum and are also advised and supported by the LEA.

Foundation schools

These are state funded via the LEA, who also have responsibility for buildings and premises as well as curriculum and a supporting and advisory role. Governors are responsible for employing staff.

Free schools

These are state funded directly with no links to the LEA. Governors are responsible for employing staff and admissions as well as buildings and premises. Pupils do not follow the national curriculum. This type of school can be set up by any group applying to the government, but they must adhere to strict rules.

Academies

State funded with no link to LEA. Governors are responsible for employing staff and admissions as well as buildings and premises. pupils do not have to follow the national curriculum but must meet the core subject requirements. They are self governing and most are constituted as registered charities and may also have corporate sponsors.

Independent (private) schools

Privately funded and usually fee paying. The owners are responsible for buildings and premises as well as employing staff and admissions. they do not have to follow the national curriculum but they have to be registered with the Department for Education and inspected by an independent schools inspectorate.
Educational Stages and Age Groups
Nursery & Reception

Year 1 & 2
Year 3-6
Year 7-9
Years 10 & 11
Years 12 & 13

foundation 3-5yrs

key stage 1
5-7yrs
key stage 2
7-11yrs
key stage 3
11-14yrs
key stage 4
14-16yrs
key stage 5
16-18yrs

Nursery

3-4

Infants

4-5
5-7

Junior

7-11

Primary

4-5
5-7
7-11

Secondary

11-14
14-16
ay have sixth form

First

4-5
5-7
7-8 or 9

Middle

8 or 9-11
11-13

Upper

13-16

6th form college

16-18

Special schools

all
age
ranges
and
stages

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