Three-tier education

Three-tier education

Three-tier education refers to those structures of schooling, which exist in some parts of England, where pupils are taught in three distinct school types. A similar experiment was also trialled in Scotland. (See separate article)

In three-tier authorities children begin their compulsory education in a First school. Sometimes also called a Lower school (or more simply, primary school), these schools cater for children aged up to an age between 8 and 10, and cover all of Key Stage 1 and the first years of Key Stage 2. Children then transfer to a Middle school, sometimes called an Intermediate school. These schools cater for children during a period of 3 to 4 years between the ages of 8 and 14, depending on the local authority. These years cover parts of both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Following this, children transfer to a High school, sometimes known as an Upper school for the remainder of their compulsory education, and sometimes on into sixth form.

Many local authorities trialled systems as this for a period from as early as 1963, but most have since reverted to align their schools to the National Curriculum. Authorities which still retain 3-tier education across their area are Bedfordshire, Northumberland, Harrow and the Isle of Wight. Leicestershire operate a three-tier system also, with children moving from primary school into secondary school after year six, and then to upper school after year nine.

The main routes through education are shown in the diagram below, with three-tier routes being shown in blue and mauve:

ee also

*List of Middle schools in England
*Grangemouth middle schools
*Education in England

External links

* [ Northumberland Education Action Group] - campaign to retain three-tier education in Northumberland
* [ Parents Against Change, Suffolk UK Action Group] - campaign to retain three-tier education in Suffolk

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