comprehensive school

comprehensive school

Postby MariaT on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:00 pm

Hello, Prof!

Could you tell me what the word "comprehensive" means when we are speaking about school education? As far as I understand it means 'non-selective', 'a school for everybody', 'for students of all abilities'. Does this include primary school? Is it a general term for all kinds of state school: primary, secondary? or Is this type of schools only for 11-16 year olds?

Thank you in advance
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Re: comprehensive school

Postby prof on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:05 pm

Generally comprehensive schools are secondary schools, or what in the US are called 'middle schools'. This is because comprehensive schools are both non-selective (as you say they are open to students of all levels of wealth and ability) and offer a broad range of subjects - more than would be on offer at a 'junior' school.

However, there is no exact definition of what a comprehensive school is. The English,Irish and Australian versions (for example) are all slightly different.
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