UK Education system

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts: primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

The education system in the UK is also split into "key stages" which break down as follows:

  1. Key Stage 1 - 5 to 7 years old
  2. Key Stage 2 - 7 to 11 years old
  3. Key Stage 3 - 11 to 14 years old
  4. Key Stage 4 - 14 to 16 years old

Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move on to secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.

Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE they have the choice to go onto further education, or to finish school and go into the working world. At GCSE level students take English, Maths and Science, and can choose up to seven more subjects depending on their areas of strength.

At the age of 16 (Year 12/ Sixth Form) students have the option of studying A Level or the International Baccalaureate (IB). These higher levels of certification are required for university entry. 

The table below describes the most common patterns for schooling in the state sector in UK and the placement equivalent in the Thai Education System.

UK Age (as of 31st August) Thailand
School Curriculum Year
Preschool Foundation Stage Reception 3 Pre-KG
Reception 4 Kindergarten
Primary School Key Stage 1 Year 1 5 Kindergarten
Year 2 6 Prathom 1
Key Stage 2 Year 3 7 Prathom 2
Year 4 8 Prathom 3
Year 5 9 Prathom 4
Year 6 10 Prathom 5
Secondary School Key Stage 3 Year 7 11 Prathom 6
Year 8 12 Mattayom 1
Year 9 13 Mattayom 2
Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Year 10 14 Mattayom 3
Year 11 15 Mattayom 4
Sixth Form Lower Sixth Year 12 16 Mattayom 5
Upper Sixth Year 13 17 Mattayom 6