Chess Blog

Moving Schools To The UK

If you're planning a move to the UK  and you have children, understanding the school system before you move and explaining it to your kids will help all of you feel more comfortable. To help you all prepare for your move, we have put together a brief summary of the UK school system.

Types of Schools

Roughly 90% of all children in the UK attend a state-funded school. These public institutions adhere to the National Curriculum, which emphasises maths, English and science.

The remaining 10% of kids in Britain study at independent schools, which are privately funded. These schools are not required to adhere to the National Curriculum. Around half of the independent schools in the UK have chosen to participate in an accreditation program that requires them to have a rigorous academic curriculum.


Children begin Year 1 at the age of four or five and remain in Primary School until roughly the age of 11 - or the completion of Year 6. Secondary School includes Years 7 to 11 and typically includes teens aged 12 to 16. Following Year 11, students can opt to receive work-based training or attend a Sixth Form College for Years 12 and 13.


British school years typically begin in September and finish in the middle of July. The school year is divided into three terms with a weeklong half-term break and a 2-week holiday between them. The 6 to 8-week summer holiday occurs after the final or summer term of the academic year.


At the conclusion of Year 11, students take comprehensive examinations called GCSE Exams. Students are free to choose how many exams they take, what subject they are in and what level of difficulty the tests are given at; however, universities typically look for students who have taken at least five exams.

If you’d like to learn more about the schools in the UK, Chess Moving can help. We can provide you with information about various state-funded and independent schools throughout England and answer questions about the school system at large.


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