Public-authority and private schools

Secondary education exists in various forms and is provided by various types of school. Many of them are based on a specific educational ethos or on religious or ideological principles.

The difference between public-authority and private schools

Public-authority schools are open to children from all backgrounds, regardless of their religion or beliefs. Although public-authority schools are ideologically neutral, the curriculum may offer lessons in religion or ethics. Private schools are founded on specific religious or ideological principles. They include Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim schools.

Schools with a specific educational ethos

Any school, whether public-authority or private, may teach according to a specific educational ethos.

Schools for elite athletes

There are also training and education facilities for young elite athletes involved in high-level sport. These schools provide the usual secondary education curriculum, but in an adapted form that allows pupils to focus on sport. In order to attend a special programme at one of these schools, official elite athlete status is required.

Special education

Special education caters for pupils with a physical disability, hearing or visual impairment or chronic condition.