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Education Policy In U.S.A And United Kingdom

3724 words - 15 pages

Similarities and Differences between U.K’s and U.S.A’s Education Policy

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Introduction
Education policy refers to the guidelines and principles that the government put in place as laws in order to govern the activities around education systems in their country (Dewey, 2012). These policies are meant to be implemented in all the stages of education that is from early childhood education, kindergarten through to 12th grade, university and college education, graduate, adult education and job training. The areas that the government focuses on while formulating and implementing education policy include school ...view middle of the document...

The countries in the United Kingdom have their own separate education systems. The education system in England is governed by the United Kingdom government whereas the education system in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is governed by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Welsh government and the Scottish government respectively (Gearon, 2002). Each of these countries in the United Kingdom has five stages of education (Dewey, 2012). They include early year’s education, primary education, secondary education, further and higher education. Children between the age of 5 and 16 are required to get education as a compulsory measure by the government. The minimum age for a child to start attending school in North Ireland is 4 years old. However, further education is not compulsory. The fifth stage, higher education, takes place in colleges, universities and other higher education institutions.
In England and Wales, the framework for education is provided by the “National Curriculum” established in 1988. This caters for children between the age of 5 and 18. However, Scotland uses the 5-14 programme that is the equivalent of the “National Curriculum”. Northern Ireland uses the “Common Curriculum” (Machin & Vignoles, 2005). The United Kingdom has been known to be one of the highest performing countries internationally. However, in the last three years, it has stagnated and has held middle positions in rankings such as in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2013. This has been so for the last three years.
For the purpose of specificity in comparison for this essay, the main focus is going to be on England’s education system and policies, which are formulated and implemented by the United Kingdom government. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills together with the Department of Education oversees the education activities in England. Policies for state schools and public education are implemented by the local authorities (Machin &Vignoles, 2005).
Education for children between the ages of 5-16 years is compulsory and full-time (Gearon, 2002). This was recently revised to a maximum of 17 years from 2013 and it will be revised again to 18 years in 2015. This was done by the Education and Skills Act 2008. After high school, students continue with their studies for two more years and qualify for their A-levels. The two years extension has other alternative qualifications which include Cambridge Pre-U, International Baccalaureate (I.B) and Business and Technology Education Council (B.T.E.C) (Dewey, 2012). Payment for sixth form education and State-provided schooling is done by taxes. Independent schooling is also advised but parents have the option of educating their children in the way they view is the most suitable (Machin &Vignoles, 2005).
A three-year bachelor’s degree is the beginning of higher education. A master’s degree and a doctorate are postgraduate degrees that students might choose to pursue after...

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