Musings on education systems

My son and I have been travelling around this part of England looking at colleges.

Now: some worlds of explanation.  Neither my wife nor I were born or raised in the UK, so we experienced schooling which was 30 years old and 3,000 miles different – or thereabouts.  Education in the UK appears to be – as most things British – a strange mixture of haphazard happen-stance, clever design, and politics.  From a distance the Scots system (no, they’re not English…) appears slightly more rational – by which I mean straightforward – but no doubt there are mums and dads north of the border gnashing their teeth at the local elementary (or kindergarten, reception, nursery, primary) school and gazing with longing at the system in use down here.

There are four main levels of schooling in the local system: primary, secondary, college, and university.  Actually I lie.

There are seven types of school if you count all the stages such as nursery, infants, junior, secondary, six form (with lower sixth and upper sixth making the first and second years) or college, and then university.  No wonder students emerge from all this schooling with a wonderfully complex view of the world.  Parents, of course, never emerge.  Most are last seen selling kidneys to pay for the endless fees once free schooling ends.  I shouldn’t complain: most schooling world-wide isn’t free and having a government pay for excellent teaching until my child is 18 is, well, ridiculous.


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