The United Kingdom was always ahead of many other countries in the field of education as education was in existence from the10th century in the UK. If we want to trace the history of education or teaching history in the UK, then we have to start with the independent schools which were started by the charitable foundations. Church was very important as it used to educate people and teach them to read and write through religious studies. Afterwards, there were many changes in the types of schools as thestate became aware of its responsibility to educate the citizens. The journey of the schools in the UK can be traced from charity schools to primary and secondary schools and public schools to Elementary schools. There were many changes which occurred in the education systemdue to many factors. For example, due to the Industrial revolution, the apprentice system was almost abolished as many industries were considered to be out of the scope of the Apprentice Act.
Changes in the education system of the United Kingdom
- Charity schools were opened by the foundations for the kids between the ages of 7 to 10 years. These schools were opened so that the children from lower classes could also get aneducation.
- Sunday schools were opened for those kids who were working for living in the week. So to ensure that they not deprived of educations, these schools used to work only on Sundays.
- 1830 was the year when the Government of the United Kingdom started working towards education. It allotted funds to the schools so that students from lower class could also get aneducation.
- Public schools which were the schools for the people of affluent class with different religious belief were also in operation.
- Grammar schools which were dedicated to only classical studies also started teaching science and literature. This was the time period where the education started separating from the religion. Secular methods and principles were entering the education system.
- Till then only the noblemen and professionals like physicians, lawyers and men from the merchant class were allowed to get aneducation in schools, but the ElementarySchoolsAct made the education compulsory for every child.
- Even women were allowed to attend the schools instead of learning at home.
- Teacher’s training colleges were also opened so that properly trained teacher could impart the education to their students.
We can see that the education system in the UK has evolved a lot over the years. From only imparting education to upper-class men to compulsory education to all is really a very commendable journey. Although the education in the UK is now based on scientific methods and on secular beliefs, the fact cannot be denied that the system of education was introduced and managed by the church for centuries together. Religious studies were used as a medium to teach reading and writing to the uneducated peasants in the UK when proper schools were not opened in the counties and small villages. The education system in the UK has a strong base due to these schools which operated centuries ago.