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State Secondary Schools

Every child in the State Sector moves onto a Secondary School at the age of 11.

Some areas still maintain Middle Schools for ages 8-12 but they are gradually being integrated into either Primary or Secondary. For an expatriate coming to the UK and arriving in good time it is a fairly straightforward procedure. The family will be able to register, for the coming September, for their child, with little difficulty. Coming at a later date has its drawbacks; once places have been allocated to all 11-year-old candidates, obtaining a place at one of the top State Secondary Schools can prove to be a challenge.

Consulting the Senior League Tables, which list all Secondary Schools, both Independent and State provides a sound indication to any parent about the benefits of Independent versus State Education.

The Tables are graded on GCSE results out of an A*- C pass rate and the A level mark gives points for the pass grades A-E. Parents need to be aware that some of the tables show the pass rate A* - C and A* - E. Employers will be looking for the highest grades and grades D and E are, by most employers not taken into consideration.

The Independent School , St Paul 's Girls' School, for example, demonstrates their impressive success in their percentage A*- B which in their case is a remarkable 100% and underlines their point.

If there is not a suitable, available school for a pupil within a reasonable distance, the LEA will normally pay for free buses for any child who has to travel over three miles to get to school. For an 11 year old, traveling at the beginning and end of each day is tiring and can be prohibitive for after school activities. It is another, seemingly small but important consideration to be made when making one's choice.