Differences between Education systems in the UK and Canada
The Education systems around the world vary greatly. The country you choose to educate your child in can have a huge impact on the style of teaching they receive and the content they learn. Different education systems can be geared towards different career prospects which are more in-demand in their country of origin and some qualifications are more valuable in certain parts of the world. In this article, I aim to outline the key difference between the UK and the Canadian education systems and I aim to highlight why choosing the Canadian education system is a great choice.
In the United Kingdom students are in compulsory education from ages 5-16, from 16-18 students have a choice of 3 options. Continue with education, start an apprenticeship, or part-time education whilst working. School is broken down into primary school for ages 5-11 and Secondary school for ages 11-16. Some schools will offer further study to 18, there is also the option to attend college for students who are 16+. At the end of secondary school usually, age 16 students will sit GCSE exams. These are qualifications recognized by employers and colleges and can be used to find a job or to find get accepted into further education for ages 16-18. Students who continue will study A-level’s or BTEC’s. A-Levels are considered greater academically however BTEC courses are still recognized by universities in most cases and employers.
Students in the UK typically attend 30 Hours of schooling a week for a total of 40 weeks a year. Class sizes are typically 30 students per teacher. Certain counties in the UK allow for grammar schooling at the secondary level, which are schools which require an entrance exam to be passed to gain admittance. This, however, has no impact on the class sizes or the hours of teaching.
The UK ranks highly for Education overall however this is largely for the countries impressive further education system at the university level. Teachers in primary and secondary schools feel they are overworked and cannot provide enough individual attention to students who need help. The reasons stated for this are too large class sizes, too great of a workload, which many teachers feel does not positively contribute to pupil progress, and a lack of funding in schools.
Canada has one of the highest ranked education systems in the world and ranks highly for teacher satisfaction and student satisfaction. School is compulsory from ages 6-16. With the option of staying in schooling till 18, however, it is highly discouraged for students to drop out of school before 18 and the majority of students finish school. They will study different curriculums based on which province they are studying in. I will focus on British Columbia for this article. At age 18 provided they meet certain requirements students will be awarded the B.C. Certificate of Graduation. This is recognised by employers and can be used to gain entrance to Universities. However, many students may wish to stand out or they may have more requirements to get into their university of choice. There are also students who wish to study internationally, in this case, many Canadian students will take the SAT or AP courses. These courses are recognized worldwide and allow for greater freedom when selecting a University.
Students in Canada attend between 27.5 and 30 hours of school a week for 36-40 weeks a year. Class sizes are typically 23 students per teacher. There are also options for private, and international schools who usually require high SSAT scores to gain entry.
Canada has many well-regarded Universities and its high school and elementary school systems are considered some of the best in the world. Teachers often stay in their role at a school for most of their career which provides consistency to students, which is shown to benefit their academic progress.
Overall both systems are viable options however the Canadian system produces happier students who are more eager to learn. The curriculum offered in Canada is more relevant to real-world applications and provides students with more opportunities to earn internationally recognized qualifications.