Education in England is overseen by the United Kingdom’s Department for Education. Local government authorities are responsible for implementing policy for public education and state-funded schools at a local level.
England also has a tradition of independent schools (some of which are called “public schools“) and home schooling alongside state schools; legally, parents may choose to educate their children by any suitable means. State-funded schools can be categorised as grammar schools, which are selective, or comprehensive schools, which are not. These can be further subdivided into free schools, other academies and state-run schools. More freedom is given to free schools, including most religious schools, and other academies in terms of curriculum, but all are subject to assessment and inspection by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, or Ofsted.
The state-funded education system is divided into stages based upon age: Early Years Foundation Stage (ages 3–5); primary education (ages 5 to 11), subdivided into Key Stage 1 (KS1) Infants (ages 5 to 7) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) Juniors (ages 7 to 11); secondary education (ages 11 to 16), subdivided into Key Stage 3 (KS3; ages 11 to 14) and Key Stage 4 (KS4; ages 14 to 16); Key Stage 5 is post-16 education (ages 16 to 18); and tertiary education (for ages 18+).