New to the UK
Below is a summary of childcare and education in the UK. For more information as well as advice and guidance from a team of specialists please contact MyFamilyCare.
Childcare in the UK
There are a variety of childcare options in the UK including
- Au pairs
- Child minders
For more information regarding childcare and help choosing a childcare provider, MyFamilyCare is available to all imperial staff.
There is also a nursery based at the South Kensington Campus. For more information please go to Early Years Education.
Education in the UK
In the UK there are five stages of education
- Early years - 3 to 5 years old
- Primary - 5 to 11 years old
- Secondary - 11 to 16 years old
- Further education - 16 to 18 years old
- Higher education - 18 years old+
All three and four year olds in the UK are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks a year. More information about early years education in the UK.
Primary education is divided into Nursery (under 5s), Infants (Key Stage 1) which is ages 5 to 8 years old, and Juniors (Key Stage 2) which is up to 11 years old. Typically children attend a primary school between the ages of 5 and 11 before transferring to Secondary School. However, in some cases children attend a Middle School between the ages of 8 and 14 before transferring to Seconday School.
The Department of Education will be able to provide you with league tables which compare schools in an area against a variety of assessment criteria.
Ofsted is an independent education regulator, which is responsible for carrying out inspections of all childcare providers and schools in the UK. Investigation reports are available to download from their website.
Secondary education is between the ages of 11 and 16 years, or years 7 to 11. At the end of year 11, students will usually be expected to sit their GCSE exams. They will then have the choice to either leave school, apply to continue at the same school for years 12 and 13, or apply to transfer to a different school or college.
Further education is between the ages of 16 to 18 years old and is compulsory between 16 to 18 years old.
Traditionally further education is divided into academic subjects such as A-levels or Baccalaureates, or vocational subjects such as NVQs and BTECs.
Higher education is usually from the age of 18 and includes
- Undergraduate degrees or Bachelors
- Postgraduate degrees or Masters
- Postgraduate diplomas such as the postghraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
- Doctorates or PhDs
For students interested in attending a UK university to study an undergraduate course, they will usually apply via the UCAS system. For more information go to UCAS.