US school system vs. UK school system

You would think that since the US and the UK both have a lot of similarities when it comes to language you might believe that their school systems are very alike. But in reality, they aren’t.

The education system in the UK

The UK(England, Wales and Northern Ireland) follow the National Curriculum, but Scotland, however, has its very own system that I will not cover here. 

In the UK, children start schooling in grade 4, earlier than in the US, and with more focus on academics. With key-stage examinations and a two-year GCSE program, starting at age 14. Then followed by the two-year A Level program, starting at age 16. This system leads the students towards increased specialization and is called a winnowing system.

A huge problem in UK´s school system is their lack in teachers. There are 1,200 too few physics teachers, 1,000 computing teachers and 1,850 math teachers. The problem is greatly shown in inner London, where only 57% of teachers who qualified in 2012 are still working as teachers in 2017.  Thousands of children that is in need of special education can’t get it, because of funding for schools that provide it. The number rose from 1710 in 2016 to 4050 in 2017.

The education system in the US

The US system focuses less on examination and students focuses more on the general all the way through to the end of secondary school. They graduate high school in year 12 (year 13 in the UK). More than 500 billion dollars are spent each year in public primary and secondary education. 

In the early years of US schools, the children are eased into academics and the focus heavily on the social skills of the students. They also have a heavy emphasis on developing basic English and math skills. The US school are divided into three levels of schools: elementary (Grades K–5), middle (Grades 6–8) and high (Grades 9–12). 

A problem is the US school system is the rate of high school dropouts. Around 3 million students in the ages 16 – 24 drop out each year, a rate of 6.6 percent of 2012. And what´s really scary is that 75 percent of crimes are committed by those students who drop out. 

In 2011, a survey showed that teachers in America work 1,097 hours in the classroom. This study was by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This was the most of any industrialized nation. 

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