Education in Guelphia
The education system of Guelphia has been designed to ensure students are given a rounded education capable of helping them live in a highly sophisticated society. The education system in Guelphia follows a four-tier model of preparatory, primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education, with pupils beginning in the preparatory system at the age of four or five, and continuing through until the complete tertiary study in their twenties. The aim of the Guelphian system show is to strive for worlds best practice in education quality, effectiveness, and satisfaction.
Education is considered an essential service, and as a result children receive free tuition for long as they wish to study. By law, all children must attend school from the year they turn six until the year they turn sixteen. Additionally, all children are also expected to complete the Ordinary Certificate of Education (O-levels) before they can leave school and seek work or an apprenticeship. As a result, the number of students completing the compulsory portion of their studies has been at or around 90-95% since the 1980s.
Guelphia's education system is a partnership between government run state schools and privately owned and operated independent schools. The parents of a school age child have a free choice are moved into the tripartite selective system of state run vocational, technical, and grammar schools from the age of thirteen. The final outcome of the school system is to be awarded their O-levels or continue to completed the Advanced Certificate of Education (A-levels) at the end of sixth form, with pupils then able to go into either working life, or continue with tertiary education to seek the various qualifications that can be obtained in that system.
Prior to the 1880s, the administration of public education in Guelphia was the sole responsibility of the Anglican Church.
The Ministry of Education was established by the Clifton government in 1880 to construct and operate secular non-sectarian schools free from the influence and control of the Church. Under the control of the new ministry, public primary and secondary schools were established across Guelphia for the first time. The aim of the new system was make the education system secular, with at least four hours of secular education required per day, although denomination-specific religious education could be given by a clergyman. In addition education was made compulsory for the first time for children between the ages of six and fourteen years. The new school system was not free however, with annual fees set at 3d per child up to a maximum of 1/- for families with four or more children.
For the first time, Guelphia's schools were to be run by the Ministry and a number of locally elected public boards. Each board would consist of up to seven persons, whose authority included inspecting and reporting upon the schools under their supervision, the employment and termination of teachers, endeavouring to induce parents to send children regularly to school and reporting those who refused or failed to educate their children. As part of it's drive to secularise education, the Clifton government also ceased to provide all forms of aid to church-run denominational schools from 1 January 1882. This proved to be an extremely controversial decision, and funding for these schools was restored when the conservatives were returned to government.
Introduction of the tripartite system
Following on from reforms in the United Kingdom, in 1952 the newly elected McKittrick government passed a new Education Act creating present tripartite system. Under the new system, all existing secondary schools were converted in to vocational, technical, or grammar schools. Control of schools was passed from the central Ministry of Education to the 66 public boards that had been established in 1880, each of whom were now fully responsible for all public primary and secondary schools in their district.
- Main Article: Organisation of education in Guelphia
Guelphia's school system is organised into a number of stages from preparatory to tertiary, which forms the basis of determining the curriculum and qualification offered to students of a particular age. Each stage is further divided into a number of years known as forms which help to break down the curriculum into a series of more manageable chucks for teachers and pupils, and increase in difficulty as pupils get older. The form system also determines the when the various school qualifications are offered to pupils, which again get harder as pupils age.
The administration of schools and other such bodies is surprisingly similar across the whole education, regardless of the stage on which they sit, or whether they are government run or independent. Almost all have some kind of mechanism in place to ensure that parents and local citizens have a direct role in the administration of the school with directly elected public boards. The role of the teacher in the provision of education is paramount, and all have a legal role as guardians of their pupils (in loco parentis), ensuring that children are able to learn in peace without harassment from their peers or external sources.
- Main Article: Independent schools in Guelphia
While the majority of Guelphia students are educated by the state school system, around 15-20% are sent to one of a number of independent schools. These schools are quite often administered by religious denominations via a board of trustees, who appoint the headmaster and set various performance targets for the school to achieve each year. The exact nature of each school is highly varied, and no simple template can be applied to the way an independent school is operated or what services it provides to pupils. Some are boarding schools, while some only admit day students. Around half of all independent schools admit only one sex, with the remainder choosing to be co-educational.
Like public schools, independent schools must teach the National Curriculum to their pupils, although they are given some leeway in the creation of additional modules if they wish, which are still subject to approval from the Board of Studies. Like state schools, independent schools receive a large portion of their funding from the government, but many also rely on fees and endowments for their survival.
Certificates and awards
- Main Article: Educational qualifications in Guelphia
Guelphia's pupils are expected to obtain a number of qualifications before they enter general society. The passage to the next qualification is incumbent on passing the previous exams and receiving the relevant certificate. There are a total of five qualifications required before leaving school. Two certificates are obtained within the primary school system, with pupils going onto secondary schools and sitting for some or all of the final three certificates. The management of education qualifications across primary and secondary schooling rests with the Board of Studies, with the Tertiary Qualifications Board managing qualifications for the polytechnics and the university.
The delivery of the various qualifications for primary and secondary school is via the National Curriculum. This system has allowed for the creation of single national system of subjects, units, and lessons to be used by all schools, whether they be state or independent. All schools, however, retain the right to create units and lessons that are unique to their particular situation, thereby giving them a degree of flexibility to offer subjects that are in line with values of the school and community that supports it.