Hong Kong Welcome



The UK School System

The education system is slightly different in different parts of the UK. This page currently gives information about the system in England. We will add information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland soon.

In England and Wales, the academic year is calculated as of the 1st of September.

  • 5 – 18 years – The legal requirement for children to receive full time education.
  • 4 – 11 years – Key Stages 1 and 2 can be called primary, junior, or infant school.
  • 11 – 16 years – Secondary school for Key Stage 3 and 4 culminating in GCSEs (similar to HKCEE or DSE).
  • 17 – 18 years – Sixth form for Key Stage 5 culminating in A levels, or college or an apprenticeship, which is similar to IVE in HK.

Southampton has over 20 schools that are recognised as Schools of Sanctuary. This is a school that helps its students, staff and wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community. It is a school that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all.

Southampton has two universities in it, the University of Southampton (a Russell Group university) and Solent University. Further Education colleges in the city include Southampton City College, Itchen College and Richard Taunton Sixth Form College.

There are various courses for English language development and practice. If this is something that you are interested in, here are some contacts.

English Language Courses

CLEAR Project

CLEAR offers English or ESOL courses at the following levels: Pre-entry level, Entry level 1, Entry level 2 and Entry level 3.

Our main courses run for 32 weeks with students working towards Trinity College London exams, and are taught by qualified experienced ESOL tutors. These courses start in September but it is sometimes possible to join at different times of the year if there are spaces.

CLEAR also offers a range of shorter courses such as:

  • ‘Starting ESOL’ English courses for beginners
  • Introduction to Working in the UK
  • Welcome Host (a Level 2 Customer Service skills course)
  • Digital Communication for ESOL learners

For further information, please email rowan@clearproject.org.uk, phone 023 8022 1111 or visit the CLEAR website: clearproject.org.uk/learn