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School and Curriculum Guide

The UK Government provides some financial help for certain types of school activities. Parents can also get some concessions towards the costs associated with sending children to school. This section explains the regulations on school life and the curriculum. Key information covers the school leaving age, school term and holiday dates, and how to make a complaint.

WHAT IS SCHOOL CURRICULUM? In general, it refers to the academic content (lessons) taught in a school or as part of a specific program.

For example:

Dictionaries define curriculum as the courses offered by a school or a college. Yet, educational facilities rarely use it in such a broad and general sense.

In fact, most educators describe their school curriculums as the knowledge and skills they expect their students to learn.

Another example would be the individual curriculum, or curricula, set out by a particular group of teachers. They might use specific assignments, lessons, and learning standards to teach a particular course.

United Kingdom’s Scheme of Work

The United Kingdom is typical of many other countries. It has national curricula that help to form a basic syllabus for primary and secondary education.

A ‘scheme of work’ is a general guideline that comprises subjects of study in a school or college setting. Thus, it helps to define the content and the structure of an academic course.

Here’s exactly how it works:

A school curriculum maps out a clear pathway of how it will use its resources and class activities. It will contain some time for discussions, group work, practicals, and teacher-talk.

Assessment strategies are another key part of schools and curriculum in United Kingdom. Most of the modules will involve periods of homework, quizzes, tests, and ‘Q&A’.

There is one principle purpose. It is to ensure students meet the learning aims and objectives of the assignments and the courses during their life at school.

Schools and Curriculum Related Subjects

Note: The plural of curriculum is curricula (or curriculums) meaning a course or program of study. The definition differs to that of Curriculum vitae. A ‘CV’ is a brief account of someone’s education and qualifications.

Healthy Eating Standards in Schools

Food served in some schools and academies in England must meet certain standards to provide children with a healthy, and balanced diet.

The school food standards apply to all maintained schools, and academies founded before 2010 and those registered after June 2014.

As a result, schools must provide children with:

  • Bread (and other cereals)
  • Potatoes
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • High-quality meat, poultry, or oily fish

There must not be:

  • More than two (2) portions of deep-fried, battered, or breaded food per week.
  • Drinks with added sugar, crisps, chocolate, or sweets available to children in any school meals and vending machines.

Note: The DfE produce further guidance on school food in England and the standards for planning and providing food in schools. Check the benefits section to see if your child can get free school meals.

Complain about Teacher Misconduct

You can find guidelines on how to complain about a teacher in the complaints procedure published at the school. It is a legal requirement in England.

Note: Another section explains more about health and safety for school children and how it can extend outside normal schooling hours.

Complain about an Ofsted Report

There are several ways to complain about an Ofsted inspection report (if you think there was a problem). Find out how the inspection process works, and:

  • How to raise your concerns before making a complaint online
  • How to request an ‘internal review’ and what happens next
Search the Register of Regulated Qualifications

The Ofqual service allows you to check if an awarding body is recognised and accredited by the exams regulator for giving you an award.

Note: We also have a section explaining what different qualification levels mean and how they compare across different countries.

School Leaving Age

The area that you live determines the most accurate school leaving age in the United Kingdom. Full details in the guide explain:

  • The age you can leave school in England and Wales
  • How the exact school leaving age differs in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Where to get financial help with education costs
Find a Job in Teaching

You can search for a job in teaching in one of the publicly funded schools in England. The online facility allows you to search by location, subject, role, school types, or salary.

Note: You can register an application to become a school or college governor on ‘Inspiring Governance’ website. Governors make decisions on the running of local schools and colleges.

School and Curriculum Guide for United Kingdom