Types of Schools in England

Unlike Spain, which has just three types of school –público, concertado and privado England has a huge variety. It can become exhausting, as well as confusing, to try to understand their features, especially when you are from another country.

For sure, you will find plenty of information on the Internet, but what I have tried to do in this post is to gather together all that information in the simplest way. I’ve created a summary table, designed to help us, particularly teachers, to differentiate the different kinds of school in England.

In any case, all children in England between the ages of 5 and 16 are entitled to a free place at a state school. Most state schools have to follow the National Curriculum. The most common ones are: community schools, foundation schools, academies, grammar schools.

Types of school

As you can see, the table is firstly divided into three blocks: Academies, Maintained school and other types of school. The data has been taken from newschoolsnetwork.org

The first section provides a brief outline of academies:

While there are different types of academies in operation in England, they all have the same status in law as ‘academies’. Academies are publically funded, independent schools, held accountable through a legally binding ‘funding agreement’. These schools have more freedom and control over curriculum design, school hours and term dates, and staff pay and conditions.

Free schools, academy converters and traditional academies all have this status, yet there are a number of differences between them. This is focussed on: Who sets them up;  Why they are set up; Whether there is a predecessor school; and What the ‘provider’ has to demonstrate in order to be given permission to set one up.

The second section provides information about Maintained schools:

While the number of academies in England is expanding, the majority of state schools are maintained schools. This means they are overseen, or ‘maintained’, by the Local Authority. These schools must follow the national curriculum and national teacher pay and conditions.

There are four main types of maintained schools. Their differences are over: Who employs the staff; Who owns the land and buildings; and Who controls the admissions arrangements.

The third section provides information about other types of school:

While academies and maintained schools form the majority of schools in England, there are two other types of school that are different from the ones already discussed.

They are different from academies and maintained schools because of: How they are funded; and How they can select their pupils.

Ainoa Cano