Questions about equal rights of BNO passports:

1. Can children of BNO passport holders enjoy free education in the UK?

If the children of BNO passport holders enroll in a UK state school, children aged 18 or under can enjoy free education. They can also have the opportunity to pay local tuition fees only when entering a university.

2. What are the main types of state schools in the UK?

State schools in the UK are mainly divided into 5 categories:

  1. Academy School: It is directly funded by the Department for Education. It is not under the jurisdiction of the local education authority, and thus has relatively high flexibility in management. Except for English, Mathematics and Science, which must be compiled according to the National Curriculum, schools can flexibly allocate weights and design content for other subjects.
  2. Community School: Receiving government funding. Personnel management, admissions and operations are under the jurisdiction of the local education authority.
  3. Faith School: For religious schools, the curriculum will be compiled according to the National Curriculum, but religious subjects will be added.
  4. Free School: The newly established teaching institution does not have a screening system for students, aiming to provide educational opportunities for children in need in the community without distinction of classes.
  5. Grammar School: The admission standards are strict and the competition is fierce. Students need to pass the 11+ entrance exam screening first. They are elite schools among state schools.

3. What are the admission requirements for state schools in the UK?

UK state schools are divided into Selective Schools and Comprehensive Schools. Selective schools (such as Grammar Schools) recruit students based on student abilities (such as academic performance, music awards, sports talents). The senior school, which admits students with academic results, requires students to apply for the UK 11+ entrance examination, and they can be admitted if they meet the standard. Comprehensive schools mainly admit students based on the catchment area. If there are too many applicants, they will admit students based on factors such as distance of residence, presence of brothers and sisters and religious beliefs.

Some partially selective schools, in addition to considering the student’s address, will reserve some of the places (about 10%-15%) to admit students according to their abilities; while some selective schools will not only admit students based on their grades and abilities, part of the places will also be reserved for students within the catchment area.

All in all, the ability of students and their place of residence are important factors for admission to state schools in the UK.

4. If I want to enter a Grammar School among UK state schools, when do I have to take the entrance exam? Can I take the exam in Hong Kong?

If you want to enter a Grammar School among UK state schools, you usually register for the 11+ entrance exam in the last semester of Year 5 in the UK, and take the entrance exam in the first semester of Year 6 in the UK. When the student enters Year 7 of the senior school, he / she is exactly 11 years old. The 11+ entrance examination for UK state schools cannot be taken in Hong Kong.

5. What is the main assessment content of the 11+ entrance examination?

The main assessment content of the 11+ entrance examination includes English, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning. The English for the 11+ entrance exam is very difficult. Students who want to take the exam must make sufficient preparations in advance.

6. Can I enroll in different favourite grammar schools after taking one 11+ entrance exam?

No, you can’t. The 11+ entrance examination is not a unified national examination. Different grammar schools use different entrance examination papers for assessment; some grammar schools will use the examination papers set by the local school council and share the same examination paper with nearby senior schools for joint examination enrollment. Therefore, if students apply for different grammar schools, they may need to take more than one entrance exam.

7. What are the main differences between state schools and independent schools in the UK?

The largest advantage of UK state schools is that students studying inside do not have to pay tuition fees, while the tuition fees of independent schools in the UK range from about £15,000-£35,000 pounds per year. State schools vary in quality. School resources, student support, extracurricular activities and teacher-student ratio are all inferior to independent schools. Most independent schools have a long history with considerable academic standards. The school facilities are very complete. Only 7% of the UK population attends independent schools, but the most elite class in society comes from independent schools, so entering an independent school can also establish a good interpersonal network. Of course, grammar schools among state schools are also very good with a high admission rate, but the entry threshold is very high. If students want to enroll in grammar schools, they must get outstanding results in the entrance examination. This is definitely not an easy task.