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British junior schools

In the UK, education is compulsory from 5 years of age to 18 (from September 2015). The UK education system is divided into nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary (university) education. Primary can also be called Prep (Preparatory) when is a private school. Prep schools prepare children to take the Common Entrance exam to get them into a private secondary independent school.

Private schools (also known as ‘independent schools’) charge fees to attend instead of being funded by the government. Pupils don’t have to follow the national curriculum. All private schools must be registered with the government and are inspected regularly.

In the UK, many private schools offer single sex education. If going to a single sex senior school, boys and girls usually leave preparatory (prep) schools at different ages. Girls attend prep/junior school from 4-11 and secondary/senior school from 11-18. Occasionally girls can start in a pre-prep from 4-7 and then move to a prep school from 7-11 before starting secondary school. Girls may also stay at some prep schools until the age of 13. Boys attend pre-prep school from 4-7/8, prep school 8-13 and senior school from 13. Many schools combine pre-prep and prep which allow boys to stay from 4-13, and most co-educational senior schools will have an entry at 11 for both boys and girls.

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