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Types of schools and education

Specific types of schools

Local primary, secondary, and University Technical Colleges (UTCs)

Primary schools

Primary schools are for children aged 4 to 11 years old. Primary schools that cover this whole age range and are called Combined schools.

Some primary schools only cover part of the 4 to 11 age range so pupils ‘move up’ as they get older. These schools are called:

  • Infant schools, for 4 to 7 years old
  • Junior schools, for 7 to 11 years old

Secondary schools

Secondary schools are for children aged 11 to 16 or 11 to 18 if they are a secondary sixth form or 6th forms. Sixth form means they cover the two years after GCSE, like colleges.

If a secondary school doesn’t have a sixth form, then students will have to move to a school with a sixth form or a college after their GCSEs.

Upper/all-ability school

If a secondary school is for children of all abilities it is called an ‘Upper/all-ability school’.

Grammar schools

Some secondary schools in Buckinghamshire are grammar schools. This means pupils must pass Secondary Transfer Tests to be considered for a place there.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs)

There are local University Technical Colleges that offer specialist subjects alongside GCSE English and Maths. Pupils can start at UTCs in Year 10 until Year 13.

UTCs are set up by universities and businesses to specialise in one or two technical subjects.

Sexes, religions and specialities

Both primary and secondary schools can be:

  • faith schools, choosing what they teach in religious studies
  • single sex schools, only allowing pupils of a particular sex to attend. These schools often have “Girls’” or “Boys’” in their name
  • mixed schools, allowing both sexes to attend (also known as coeducational or co-ed)
  • special schools, specialising in educating pupils with special educational needs (SEN)

Although less common, some schools have pupils living there. These are called prep schools for primary school ages and boarding schools for secondary school ages.