Education in United Kingdom

The Evolution of Education in the United Kingdom

Education in the United Kingdom has come a long way from what it was in the beginning. The record of education in the UK has been documented from the Saxon settlement and can be traced back to the setting up of the first cathedral schools in 597 and 604. In the early days, most of the education was closely related and linked to religious institutes and this continued till the 19th century. However, during the later parts of the century, charity schools and free grammar schools were open for children belonging to any religious beliefs, and over time, these schools become more popular.

According to a dissertation writing service, with the change of time, it was observed that people shifted from religious schools to these other forms of schools. As the 19th-century approaches, reforms expanded the provision of education and state-funded schools were established all over the United Kingdom that led to an evolution in the schooling system.  By the 1880s, education was mandatory for children aged 5 to 10 years, and with time, the students’ school leaving age raised to 18 as the education system was established in such a manner that students were taught basic education as well as life skills that would help them move forward in life and seek jobs too.

Early Times:

In the early times, before the arrival of Augustine of Canterbury in England in 579, education was just an oral affair, and it mostly followed the roman model among integrated families. Most of the schools were connected to the church, and with time, more schools were set up in the 7th and 8th centuries that either taught Latin or songs to train singers for cathedral choirs.

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The main recipients of education were sons of aristocracy or those who were destined to become priests, monks or join the ministry or practice law. The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge were established to train the Catholic Christian clergy. It was the Protestant Reformation that brought a major change in education and literature and encouraged the common man towards learning. It would not be wrong to say that the early years of the industrial revolution brought a big change to the education system.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge founded many charity schools for students whose parents could not afford to pay, especially for the 7 to 11 age group. These schools became the basis for the development of the modern concept of primary and secondary education, and things began to move forward in the right direction. As the industrial revolution progressed, education for the masses also started. The population increased from 1750 to 1820, and people began to industrial cities, and cheap child labor became rampant.  Laws were passed in 1802, and it required apprentices and children to receive some numeracy and literacy to work.

All through the 20th century, the education system was expanded, and it went through a reorganization and restructuring several times. It included the introduction of the Tripartite System in the 1940s that split secondary education into grammar schools, secondary technical schools, and secondary modern schools. Further reforms in the 1980s led to the National Curriculum and allowed parents to choose which school their children went to. Academies were introduced in the 2000s and became the main type of secondary school in the 2010s.

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In 1811, the National Society was established to found National School in every English and Welsh parish.  The national school system was also developed in the last parts of the 19th century incorporated the earlier endowments philanthropies.

Education In Modern Times:

Progress in education continued till the end of the 19th century, and by this time, education was easily available to everyone. There were day schools, night schools, various institutes, polytechnics, universities, and working men’s clubs and colleges. In 1902, the responsibility for further education was passed to the Local Education Authorities, but it was after the Second World War before commercial schools for further education were fully integrated into the UK education system.

The education system in the United Kingdom has evolved a lot since the early days. As the years passed, the significance of early as well as higher education has become apparent and people who look forward to success and understanding in their life can get the degree in the subject of their choice. This often restricts the number of students who can study or seek admissions due to the limited space each academic institute has, but it has also given rise to competition and made students work harder and choose the right path to success.