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In England children must continue in full-time education until they are 16 - though now a majority stay on after that The structure of Education is divided into three stages primary ages 5-11 in England and Wales 5-12 in Scotland and 4-11 in Northern Ireland secondary up to age 16 tertiary over 16 Education up to age 16 is compulsory Pupils who continue their education after age 16 in England and Wales can choose to stay in their school or attend a sixth form college The constituent countries of the UK have specific approaches to the school curriculum but there are common themes These aim to ensure that The progress of every pupil is carefully monitored There is continuity and progression in the development of skills and knowledge Governments have had a long history within education The first time that an English Parliament became seriously involved with state education in a political way was in the early 19th century Planned schooling was to play a major role in changing habits of poverty and providing the type of minimal instruction that an industrialising nation required From 1833 onwards the question was no longer whether there should be state intervention in mass schooling but what form the instruction should take and how extensive it should be From this successful passing to creating other significant legislation all involved a move towards more state provision Thompson and Priestley 1996 Goals of the state education system introduced in 1870 argued for industrial prosperity and the safe working of constitutional system that depended on mass schooling Gerwirtz 1995 states that economic social political factors have shaped development of education ever since The education Act of 1944 set the structure for the post-war British education system which made education compulsory and free for everyone between the ages of 5-15 it introduced the tripartite system and the 11 plus which determined to a large extent what sort of education
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