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United-Kingdom-Scotland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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Overview United Kingdom (Scotland)

Contents

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Historical Development

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Political and Economic Situation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation and Governance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Private Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Qualifications Framework

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Funding in Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Higher Education Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Adult Education and Training Funding

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teaching and Learning in General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Assessment in General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

United-Kingdom-Scotland:First Cycle Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Bachelor

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Second Cycle Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Distribution of Responsibilities

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Providers

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Main Types of Provision

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Teachers and Education Staff

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management and Other Education Staff

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff for Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Educational Support and Guidance

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility and Internationalisation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in School Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms in Higher Education

United-Kingdom-Scotland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

United-Kingdom-Scotland:European Perspective

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Legislation

United-Kingdom-Scotland:Glossary


Secondary education in Scotland (ISCED levels 2 and 3) lasts between four and six years and caters for pupils aged 12 to 16-18. This topic is divided into general lower secondary education, and general and vocational upper secondary education. ‘Lower’ and ‘upper’ correspond here to the Broad General Education (secondary 1-3) and Senior Phase (secondary 4-6) of Curriculum for Excellence respectively. In terms of ISCED categorisation, however, lower secondary (ISCED 2) refers to compulsory secondary provision (age 12–16) and upper secondary (ISCED 3) to post-compulsory secondary provision (age 16-18).

All publicly funded secondary schools are comprehensive. In general, they aim to provide an education that, in accordance with the Curriculum for Excellence philosophy:

  • enables all pupils to develop as fully as possible,
  • prepares them to live in society,
  • meets their personal, social and vocational wishes,
  • and matches the expectations of their parents, of employers and of tertiary education.

The Curriculum for Excellence arrangements provide for a 'Broad General Education' to age 15 (Secondary 3), with pupils moving on to the 'Senior Phase' and National Qualifications courses in Secondary 4 and beyond. It is likely, therefore, that in the future Secondary 4 will come to be regarded as the practical start of upper secondary education, even though pupils are obliged to remain at school to at least the end of that year (age 16) (see 2.1 Fundamental Principles and National Policies for an overview of Curriculum for Excellence).

16+ Learning Choices (Scottish Government, 2010) is an offer by local authorities and their partners to all young people that entitles them to continue to develop their skills for learning, life and work in whatever type of provision is best suited to their needs and aspirations (see Chapter 6.4 Organisation of General and Vocational Upper Secondary Education). From age 16, young people might stay at school in Secondary 5-6, go to further or higher education, take part in a national training programme, volunteer, get a job or engage in community learning and development (CLD). Many pupils remain at school for these two years. Some leave at age 16 to undertake training or study at a college, or employment. Others leave at age 17 to take up employment, or further or higher education. Topic 8: Adult Education and Training covers further education, training, and community learning and development.

There are no programmes categorised as post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED 4) in Scotland.

The current legislative framework applies equally to primary and secondary education and is for the most part concerned with powers given to local authorities and largely administrative matters. The main points of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 that are specific to secondary education relate to the school leaving age and certain rights which pupils have. All young people are required to remain in full-time education until they reach the age of 16. In practice, this means that those whose sixteenth birthday falls before 1 September may leave school at the end of the previous May. Otherwise they must return to school for the first term of their fifth year and may leave only at the following Christmas.

The legislation (section 1(5) (a) of the 1980 Act) entitles pupils to an education adapted to their age, ability and aptitude. They also have the right to receive personal, curricular and vocational guidance, including specific careers advice from the Careers Service, and to be supported as necessary by the psychological service, the health services and the social work department.

As in the primary sector, the only stipulation in the Education Acts about the curriculum is that schools must provide religious education, as well as religious observance, although parents may withdraw their children from either or both.

The Education (Scotland) Act 1981 allowed young people to attend schools outwith their local area, provided that there were places available. The Education (Scotland) Act 1996 affected both lower and upper secondary education in that it provided for a new examining body, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), to take over the functions of the Scottish Examination Board (SEB) and the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC). This led to changes in the external examination system. The Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000 established a framework of improvement for all school education in Scotland.

Class sizes in secondary schools are controlled by agreements of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT). The maximum class size in Secondary 1 and 2 is 33 pupils; in Secondary 3 to 6 it is 30. Classes in certain subjects defined as "practical" are restricted to 20 (e.g. science, home economics, art and design).

The Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 requires teachers in secondary schools to be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) as secondary teachers of a particular subject or subjects. Support for Learning teachers who are registered as primary teachers may, however, also be employed in secondary schools.

 

Legislative References

Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (Act of Parliament) : 1980, c.44.

Education (Scotland) Act 1981 (Act of Parliament) : 1981, c.58.

Education (Scotland) Act 1996 (Act of Parliament) : 1996, c.43.

Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000 (Act of the Scottish Parliament) : 2000, asp6.

Teaching Council (Scotland) Act 1965 (Act of Parliament) : 1965, c19