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Tests and Examinations

19/03/2008 Joanna

At the end of key stages 1-3 English, Maths and Science (science from KS2) are tested formally by National Tests called SATs (Standard Attainment Tests). All the other subjects are teacher-assessed.

Between the ages of 14-16 (key stage 4)  – students study for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in English, maths and science and a choice of other subjects. Assessment combines formal exams at age 16 and coursework.

From 16-18 students can take Advanced Subsidiary (AS levels) - academic style courses in a wide range of subjects often leading to university entrance or General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) which are more technical or practical vocational qualifications in subjects such as Leisure and Tourism or Business Studies.



The government is committed to promoting inclusion in all schools. Where parents want a mainstream setting for their child with special educational needs, the policy is to try and provide it. Equally, where specialist provision is sought, it is important and right that parents’ wishes are respected. The key objective is to safeguard the interests of all children and to ensure they achieve their full potential.

Numeracy and Literacy

The government has put in place two strategies designed to raise standards in all primary schools in England. Frameworks for teaching literacy and mathematics have been published to support these strategies.  Two hours per day have been dedicated to working on these areas and it is compulsory.

Workforce Strategy

The government has introduced a workforce strategy for employed teachers to ensure they have a good work life balance. This strategy includes a 38-hour limit per year for covering other staff and 10% of timetables teaching time to be set aside for planning, preparation and assessment of lessons (PPA time).


For more information about Teaching in the UK contact Teaching Personnel's dedicated International Team on





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