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State schools

State schools are free of charge, although parents may have to pay for uniform, sports kits, extra tuition (like music classes), and school trips.
They are predominantly co-educational.

Secondary state schools are either Comprehensive, those that do not select children on the basis of academic achievement, or Grammar, those that do assess pupils for entry. For this reason, Grammar schools often achieve better results though there are very few in the Greater London area.

Some state schools may have a religious affiliation, primarily linked to either the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church. In some areas, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh schools are also available. These so-called Faith schools usually provide high standards of education and may have some special requirements for entry. For example, letters from the family’s present parish-priest or proof that the parents have been married within the same faith as the selected school.

There are increasingly a number of Academies offering good standards of education usually focused in an area such as technology, science, arts and others. Academies are independently managed, all-ability schools, set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and the local authority. Together they fund the land and buildings, with the government covering the running costs.
City Technology Colleges are independently managed by companies and independent bodies, non fee paying, usually in urban areas and are for aged 11 to 18.
Community and Foundation Special schools cater for children with specific special educational needs. These may include physical disabilities or learning difficulties.
There are a few Maintained Boarding schools which offer free tuition, but charge fees for board and lodging.

All schools in the UK are inspected regularly by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The Education Act requires parents to ensure their children are educated either by attending school or alternative means, such as home schooling.

With competition for places increasing, many parents may end up appealing for a place at their preferred school.  Here are SA Law  Top 10 Tips on School Admission Appeals.

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