The English Education systemEducation in England and Wales is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 16.
Pupils time at school is divided into 11 years which is in turn split into 4 key stages (or 5 if non-compulsory post 16 education is also included). A summary of the years and key stages is shown below:
|Age Range||Year||Key Stage||Also known as||Compulsory|
|5-6||1||Key Stage 1||Infant||Yes|
|7-8||3||Key Stage 2||Primary|
|11-12||7||Key Stage 3||Secondary|
|14-15||10||Key Stage 4|
|16-17||12||Key Stage 5||Sixth Form / College||No|
External exams and Key Stage Tests
In order to monitor a students progress thtroughout their school career they will sit a series of short tests as well as sitting external exams at the end of Key Stage 4 (or Key Stage 5 if the student chooses to extend their schooling).
Key Stage 2 and 3 Tests (SATs)
All eligible students will sit Standard Assessment Tasks, also known as National Tests or SATs at the end of each Key Stage. Schools throughout the country all use the same test (although for some tests there are several tiers of entry to cater for different abilities). Students will be awarded a level based on their test marks which indicates their ability when compared with the national average. Currently external tests (ie not set by the schools themselves) are sat in English, Maths, Science (and ICT at Key Stage 3).