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The English school system


Learning tree'The age of transfer to independent senior school is typically 13 but some schools will not accept registrations for those older than 10 which means the search has to begin when a child is only 8 years of age!'

Confused? Do you need to navigate schools and schooling?

Work out what to do when with our "Learning Tree", this beautifully illustrates both

the state school and independent school systems in England.

Use in conjunction with From Embryo to 18 - How To Survive The Education Highway which explains what to do, when.

Click on sections of the enlarged image below  - such as the 'Common Entrance Owl'- or 'State cloud' (or on any of the tabs underneath the illustration). These will take you directly to information and advice on that topic.

Click on the map to find out more



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Subscribers will find detailed exam results and performance information on individual school pages. Visit these 'free to view' schools. Explore results - read our independent reviews*

Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone is a state school for girls aged from 11 to 18, co-ed sixth form

Rokeby School, Kingston upon Thames is an independent school for boys aged from 4 to 13

The Queen's Church of England Primary School, Richmond is a state school for boys and girls aged from 4 to 11.

Swiss Cottage School Development & Research Centre, London is a state special school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 19

Subscribers* to The Good Schools guide can examine:

  • School performance data* for KS2, GCSE and A-level
  • Value-added data* .Does the school make a difference to all pupils or just some?
  • University information*. Details of which universities pupils go on to and what they study.
  • And, for English state schools, make sure you make the right move by examining catchment area data and seeing which schools pupils come from and which schools they move on to. 

*We indicate on a school's page where data is available. We do not have data for schools outside of England.


Subscribe to the Good Schools Guide. Only £9.99 for one month.



Further Reading

We have a whole series of articles and advice to help you every step of the way; whether tentatively embarking on choosing a school, or part way through the school choice process.


For those new to the process:

From Embryo To Eighteen - How To Survive The Education Highway

Choosing A School Thoughts For Parents

Mix and Match State and Private Education

Coming Into The British School System From Abroad

Sussing Out Independent Schools and Horses For Courses

Choosing A School For A Talented Child

Primary Schools In The UK

Starting School


For those visiting schools:

School Open Evenings

Questions To Ask Staff When Visiting A School

Questions To Ask When Visiting A School - Academic Matters

Questions To Ask When Visiting A School - Financial Factors

Questions To Ask  When Visiting A School - Beyond the Classroom

Visiting A School - Questions For Pupils


For those contemplating the admissions process:

State School Admissions - How To Secure A Place

Independent School Admissions - Insider Information On Getting In!

Independent School Admissions - It's Not Just Ability To Pay 

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