A comparison between the US and UK education systems

The United States and the United Kingdom education systems are among the greatest in the world. The academic experiences provided at schools in the United States and the United Kingdom are among the greatest in the world, prioritising engaging highly trained instructors, providing learners with the opportunity for success when in school and once it ends, and delivering specialised guidance. 

While there are certain similarities between them, there are also major differences that ultimately characterise education on both sides of the Atlantic. This article aims to outline the comparison between US and UK education systems. So let’s get started without wasting any more time.

The Education System in the UK

It is compulsory in the United Kingdom that children between the age of five and fifteen are enrolled in a school. Parents can enrol their children in early childhood development programmes at institutions or get in-home supervision before that. Parents have a range of options once their youngsters join the educational system. Children are prepared to continue their studies at a higher education level after graduating from elementary and secondary school.

The Education System in the USA

The educational system in the United States is divided into four levels: elementary, middle school, secondary, and post-secondary. At a higher level, the United States offers a variety of diversity-based programmes from which university students can pick to advance their professions.


school classroom

National curriculum in the UK

Schools in the United Kingdom follow the National Curriculum, which starts with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) gives a comprehensive foundation of objectives and standards through which children learn as they go through developmental periods. 

The GCSE is the primary school-leaving certification in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

When children reach the upper stages of education, they choose topics to focus on with the General Certificate of Secondary Secondary Education (GCSE) or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

National curriculum in the USA

Up until the end of high school, which is Grade 12, or year 13 in the UK, students in the United States study general subjects. Most children attend part-time preschool, although state-provided schooling does not begin until kindergarten. 

People enrol for a college education at the conclusion of high school based on a variety of factors, including their marks in all four years of high school (GPA), scores from various examinations, professors’ opinions, individual abilities, and summer programs.

Calendar year



The calendars of the US and British education systems frequently diverge. Most US schools take a few federal holidays off here and there, but the major school vacations are in December, in the spring around March or April, and then a long summer break. 

Schools in the United Kingdom run for roughly 6 – 8 weeks before taking a week off, with a somewhat more extended break in December and spring and smaller summer holidays than their equivalents in the United States. The number of total school days is almost the same; the only difference is in how the vacations are divided year-round.


In London, there are no school buses. Every day, students depend on public transit or a trip from their families. 

The school bus system in the United States is relatively conventional. Every student in a public school has the option of riding the bus to and from class. Every day when school is in session, the enormous yellow buses transport students to and from their academic destinations. Most children work part-time jobs in order to save money for a vehicle so that they can drive themselves to schools or to their student housing in Dallas or Chicago.


school bus

Curriculum in universities

Students at UK institutions value depth above range; they do not take courses irrelevant to their degrees, and their only core subjects are in their subject of practice. Furthermore, students must determine what they want to pursue from the start and cannot switch majors halfway through college. 

Universities in the United States, on the other hand, provide greater freedom and variety. Students are usually not required to disclose their major until the conclusion of their second year, allowing for further experimentation. Students could still alter their major beyond that moment.

British students in student housing in Houston or New York are always fascinated by this choice.


We hope this article helps you in identifying the similarities and differences between the UK and US education systems. Both the United States and the United Kingdom provide excellent standards of education, famous institutions, and multifaceted academic staff, all of which add up to settings that are widely seen as only a plus to students preparing to enter the working population.


This article was submitted by Amberstudent

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