Educational Provision in Some Other English-Speaking Countries

Quick Reference

Regulation and administration

AustraliaThe Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) provides national leadership in developing and implementing policies. Each state and territory has its own Department of Education which collaborates with the DEEWR and is responsible for the regulation of educational provision http://www.dest.gov.au/

CanadaThere is no national or federal ministry of education, although there is federal involvement in some aspects of provision such as vocational training which can be subsidized by the federal Department of Labour. Each province and territory has its own ministry or department responsible for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary provision and policy http://www.cmec.ca/educmin.en.stm

New ZealandThe Ministry of Education is responsible for education policy, administration, and regulation across all sectors http://www.minedu.govt.nz/

North AmericaThere is no national or federal ministry of education. Control and funding comes from three levels: federal, state, and local. The state and national governments have a power-sharing arrangement, with the states exercising most of the control. At the primary and secondary school levels, curriculums, allocation of funding, teaching, and other policies are set through locally elected school boards with jurisdiction over school districts http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml

South AfricaA national framework for school policy is provided by the national Department of Education, which is responsible for national education and training as a whole, including higher education. Each of the nine provinces has its own Department of Education, which has direct administrative responsibility for schools http://www.education.gov.za

Compulsory provision and early years

AustraliaPre-school provision varies according to the state or territory, and is often in kindergartens attached to primary schools. Education is compulsory for ages 6–16 (15 in Tasmania), and is delivered through:

• primary school: Years 1–6/7 (ages 6–12/13) (depending on state)

• secondary school, high school: Years 7/8–12 (ages 12/ 13–18) (open and selective)

Sixty-six per cent of provision is in government-funded schools; the rest is in fee-paying independent schools. Both government and independent schools adhere to the same curriculum framework

Canada (outside Quebec)Pre-school provision (Grade K) is in kindergarten (or equivalent) and varies according to province. Education is compulsory for ages 6–16 (18 in Ontario, 15 in Alberta):

• elementary school: Grades 1–6/7/8 (ages 6–11/12/13) (depending on province)

• junior high school/middle school/intermediate school: Grades 7–9 (ages 12–15)

• high school: Grades 10–12+ (ages 15/16–21 and under)

Eight per cent of pupils attend private schools

New ZealandPre-school provision consists of kindergartens (ages 3–5), kohanga reo, and early childhood centres (ages 0–5). Education is compulsory for ages 6–16 (15 with parental permission), and is delivered through:

• primary school: Years 1–6 (ages 5–13)

• intermediate school: Years 7–8 (ages 11–13)

• secondary school: Years 9–13 (ages 13–18)

Some schools cater for pupils across two or all of these groups. Most pupils start school at 5 and remain until 18. Students with special educational needs can stay in school until 21. Eighty-six per cent of provision is in state schools; the rest is in integrated or private schools

North AmericaThere are no mandatory public pre-school or crèche programmes. Education is compulsory for ages 6–16 or 18, depending on the state. Compulsory provision is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle school, and high school. Grade levels in each vary from state to state:

• elementary school: Kindergarten Grade–5th/6th Grade (ages 5/6–11)

• middle school: 6th–8th Grade (ages 11–14)

• high school: 9th–12th Grade (ages 15–18)

Students may attend public, private, or home schools. Approximately 85 per cent of students attend the public schools

South AfricaGrade 0 (or Grade R) is reception year for 6-year-olds, provided in nurseries or primary schools. Education iscompulsory for ages 7–15 (or completion of Grade 9) and is delivered through:

• primary school: Grades 0–6 (ages 6–12)

• high school: Grades 7–12 (ages 12–18)

Ninety-five per cent of provision is in government-funded schools; the rest is in fee-paying independent schools. Government and independent schools adhere to the same curriculum framework

Post-compulsory education

AustraliaHigher education takes place in universities. Bachelor's degrees take three to four years. Associate degrees (roughly equivalent to the UK's foundation degree) take two years. Both are assessed through coursework. Technical and further education (TAFE) is provided in institutes of technical and further education (which may also offer higher education courses) and registered training organizations (RTOs). TAFE institutions and RTOs must comply with the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF)

CanadaHigher education takes place mainly in universities. Bachelor's degrees normally take three years, or four years with honours. Vocational education is provided in community colleges and technical colleges, some of which may also offer higher education courses leading to a degree

New ZealandHigher education takes place in universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, and wananga. A bachelor's degree normally takes three years, with an additional year for honours. Vocational education takes place in polytechnics and technical colleges

North AmericaPost-secondary education in the United States is known as college or university and commonly consists of four years of study leading to a bachelor's degree. Vocational education is provided by community colleges, which may also offer higher awards such as the associate's degree

South AfricaHigher education takes place in universities and at private institutions, registered with the Department of Education, offering specific degrees and diplomas. Further education and training (FET) is provided both in Grades 10–12 of secondary school and in further education and training institutions and colleges

Qualifications framework and key awards

AustraliaQualifications are classified in a national Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The major school-leaving qualification is the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE), which requires two years’ additional study following Year 10, and prepares students to enter higher education or technical and further education. There is testing of literacy and numeracy in primary and secondary schools, which varies from state to state. Although universities regulate much of their own provision, vocational education and training (VET) is regulated by AQF

CanadaThere is no federal framework for qualifications or testing because of the distributed nature of jurisdiction for education. The main school-leaving qualification is the High School Diploma, which is the minimum qualification required for entry to governmental jobs and to higher education

New ZealandThe New Zealand Qualifications Authority co-ordinates qualifications in the secondary and tertiary sectors through the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand's main national qualification for secondary school students and is part of the NQF. Entry to universities is open, requiring only the minimum NCEA. However, many universities operate a selective admissions procedure

North AmericaThere is no federal framework for qualifications. At the primary and secondary school levels, curriculums are set through the locally elected school boards. There is standardized testing under the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires that all American states must test students in public (i.e. state) schools to ensure that they are achieving the desired level of minimum education. The main school-leaving qualifications are the High School Diploma or the General Educational Development (GED) test certificate

South AfricaThere is a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which encompasses three bands of education and training: general education and training (including adult basic education), further education and training (FET), and higher education and training (HET).The main school-leaving qualifications are the Matriculation endorsement (matric), in which three subjects must be passed at the higher level for entry to higher education; and Standard Senior Certificate, necessary for progression to technical qualifications

From A Dictionary of Education in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Education.