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Education in Scotland

Education in Scotland differs from the system used elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Basically, there are two systems: one covering England, Wales, or Northern Ireland and one covering Scotland. The two education systems have different emphases. Traditionally, the English, Welsh and Northern Irish system has emphasised depth of education whereas the Scottish system has emphasised breadth. Thus English, Welsh and Northern Irish students tend to sit a small number of more advanced examinations and Scottish students tend to sit a larger number of less advanced examinations.

In general, the cut-off point for ages is the end of August, so all children must be of a particular age on the 1st of September in order to begin class that month.

School years

Note that the age ranges specify the youngest age for a child entering that year and the oldest age for a child leaving that year. Also note that children may leave school at the end of any school year after they reach 16 years of age and that they may attend Scottish universities when they are 17. Therefore two sets of national examinations are held. The first set, the "Standard Grade" examinations, take place in the Fourth year of secondary school and show basic education level. The second set, the "Higher" examinations take place in the Fifth and Sixth years. A third level, "Advanced Higher", is sometimes taken by students intending to study at an English university and covers the gap between the Scottish "Higher" level and the English "Advanced" level courses.

See also