The United Kingdom has been the leading trading nation for more than 500 years. In the 19th century, British industry helped make the country the most powerful nation in the world. It is still one of the strongest economies on Earth.
The United Kingdom, also call the U.K., consists of a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe. It is unique country made up of four nations: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. England, Wales and Scotland also make up Great Britain.
Education in England is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education, the day- to –day administration and funding of state schools is the responsibility of local authorities. Education is now mandatory from ages five to sixteen (15 if born in late July or August). In 2011, the trends in International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS) rated 13-14 year old pupils in England and Wales 10th in the world for maths and 9th for science. The majority of the children are educated in state-sector schools, a small proportion of which select on the grounds of academic ability. Two of the top ten performing schools in terms of GCSE results in 2006 were state-run grammar schools. Over half of the students at the leading universities of Cambridge and Oxford had attended state schools. Despite a fall in actual numbers in the proportion of children in England attending private schools has risen to over 7%. In 2010, more than 45% OF PLACES AT TEH University of Oxford and 40% at the University of Cambridge were taken by students from private schools, evn though they educate just 7% of the population. The universities in England are among some of the top Universities in the world, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University College London and Imperial College London are all ranked in the global top 10 in the 2010 QS World University Rankings, the Cambridge ranked first.