State school or independent school?

State schools fall into four main categories:

Community schools:

Owned by a local authority which employs staff, decides on admissions criteria and has strong links with the community, offering use of facilities and childcare.


Foundation and Trust schools:

Run by a governing body, which employs staff and sets admissions criteria. The school land and buildings will be owned by the governing body or a charitable foundation.

Voluntary aided:

Usually faith or religious schools, although anyone can apply for a place. The governing body employs staff and sets admission criteria.


Similar to voluntary aided, but run by the local authority, which employs staff ad sets admissions criteria.

Within these are a number of schools with special characteristics:

Community and foundation special schools:

Special schools for children with specific education needs, such as physical disabilities or earning difficulties.

Faith schools:

Mostly run in the same way as other state schools, but the religious education curriculum, admissions criteria and staffing policies may vary.

Maintained boarding schools:

Maintained boarding schools offer free tuition, but charge fees for board and lodging.


Independently managed, all-ability schools that are set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups with freedom from following the National Curriculum and freedom from local authority control.

Free schools:

Groups such as charities, universities and parents can set up all-ability, statefunded schools, free from local authority control. The first is expected to open in September 20100

Find out more at http://newschoolsnetwork.org/get-involved/register

Independent schools are funded by fees from parents

They may include:

Pre-prep schools:

For children aged 3-7

Steiner schools:

Provide an unhurried and creative learning environment focused on children having fun learning. Find out more at: http://www.steinerwaldorf.org.uk/


Montessori Schools:

Encourage independence and self-motivated learning from an early age. Find out more at http://www.montessori.org.uk/