“European School Systems”

di Laura Di Masi

Europe put the political education to the attention of the European Union for the first time with the Maastricht Treaty on E.U. In fact the treaty in Title VIII was dedicated to social policies for education, vocational training and youth possibilities.

The ART.126 of the Treaty says that “The Community  contributes to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation among Member States by supporting and supplementing their actions, but fully respecting the responsibility of each Member State regards to the content of “teaching and the organization of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity”.

Therefore, it specifies that the European Union, with regards to the Political Education and training, has just a coordinating and subsidiary role. Each Member State is responsible for its own education and training system, but must co-operate within an European framework to achieve common goals.

The E.U. action is aimed to:

  • develop the European dimension of education through the learning and dissemination of the languages of the Member States;
  • encourage the mobility of students and teachers, promoting the academic award of diplomas and periods of studies;
  • promote cooperation among European education institutions;
  • expand the  information and experience exchange about common problems of the education systems of the Member States;
  • help the development of exchanges of young people and animators of socio-educational activities;
  • support the development of distance education.

The Article 127 is however projected to get a professional training able to improve the possibility of workers employment  in order to raise living standards, and for these purposes the article 123 of the Treaty establishes the European Social Fund with the aim of financing youth mobility (Erasmus Generation).

The decades following the Maastricht Treaty was a very prolific period that gave the input to start cooperation within the framework of the Copenhagen Process, it has set up a system oriented to lifelong learning and defined the policies and the Benchmark with the Lisbon Document 2010 and 2020 for the development of human capital in the knowledge society.

Now we’re going to analize school system in brief of each Member state , let’s start with the U.K.( United Kingdom):

U.K. education system :

In England, Wales and Scotland compulsory education lasts 11 years, from 5 to 16 years.

In Northern Ireland, compulsory education lasts 12 years, from 4 to 16 years.

The school system is as follows:

Primary School (5-11 years),

Secondary School  (11-14, 14-16).

Upper secondary education (16-18 years) is not compulsory

Pre-school education (Kindergarten) in ENGLAND:

It is called foundation stage and lasts 2 years (from 3 to 5 years old).

The pre-school education is carried out in schools for kids and in pre-school classes at primary schools.

In England, the foundation stage is a separate level in the education system and plays an important role in the development of children’s skills and in preparing them  to start compulsory schooling.

Schools for children and pre-school classes in primary schools generally accept children from 3 (but 2-year-old children can be admitted, too) depending on the admission policies adopted by the single local Authority and to the available places for each school .

Parents have the right to express their school preference .

Usually they are open 5 days a week from 9.00 to 15.00 and remain closed during the school holidays.

The distribution of children in groups is decided by the school Head teacher, according to kids of same age or organized by mixed age groups. The Head teacher also decides the timetable, teaching methods and materials to be used.

The objectives of foundation stage cover the following areas: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language; knowledge and understanding of the surrounding world; physical development; creative development.

Children are assessed all year round during the last year of the foundation stage, in order to have a clear view of the acquired skills before entering primary school.

Staff: the staff is assigned by groups and not by teaching subjects, although children can sometimes take lessons with specialized teachers, for example  music and physical education. Usually the staff employed has a teaching qualification, obtained after a specific course of studies lasting 3 years, or a qualification as a childcare assistant. They are employed on a fixed-term or as permanent staff, full-time or part-time, directly from the institute or from the local Authority.

Lascia un commento

Nome *
Email *
Sito web