1. Ancient people on the territory of the British Isles. The Celts
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How can one become a judge?
There is no judicial profession in Britain. All judges are appointed by the Lord Chancellor, after many years’ work in the courts as barristers (very rarely solicitors). Once appointed they cannot be dismissed (уволен) except by a joint address of the two Houses of Parliament – and very few have ever been removed from office. Some become circuit judges, above these there are about fifty High Court judges, who deal with more important or difficult cases around the country, and about thirty other judges, all of whom belong to one of the divisions of the High Court of Justice.
England has fewer professional judges than most countries, eight per million compared with thirty-four per million in the United States. Most of the high court judges are aged over fifty, and some over sixty on appointment. Some are continuing to work at seventy-five or more before retiring. They also get very high salaries. These things are considered necessary in order to ensure their independence from interference, by the state or any other party.
35. State education
The educational system of Great Britain has developed for over a hundred years. It is a complicated system with wide variations between one part of the country and another. Three partners are responsible for the education service: central government - the Department of Education and Science (DES), local education authorities (LEAs), and schools themselves. The administrative functions of education in each area are in the hands of a Chief Education Officer who is assisted by a deputy and other education officials.
In 1988 the National Curriculum was introduced, which means that there is now greater government control over what is taught in schools. The aim was to provide a more balanced education. The new curriculum places greater emphasis on the more practical aspects of education. The education reform of 1988 also gave all secondary as well as larger primary schools responsibility for managing the major part of their budgets, including costs of stuff. Schools received the right to withdraw from local education authority control if they wished.
The great majority of children (about 9 million) attend Britain's 30,500 state schools. No tuitions fees are payable in any of them. In most primary and secondary state schools boys and girls are taught together. State schools are almost all day schools, holding classes between Mondays and Fridays. The school year normally begins in early September and continues into the following July. The year is divided into three terms of about 13 weeks each.
Compulsory education begins at the age of 5 in England, Wales and Scot land, and 4 in Northern Ireland. All pupils must stay at school until the age of 16. About 9 per cent of pupils in state schools remain at school voluntarily until the age of 18. Education within the state school system comprises either two stages primary and secondary, or three - first schools, middle schools and upper schools.
NURSERY EDUCATION. Education for the under-fives, mainly from 3 to 5, is not compulsory and can be provided in nursery schools and nursery classes attached to primary schools. They give little formal education. The children spend most of their time in some sort of play activity.
PRIMARY EDUCATION. The primary school usually takes children from 5 to 11. Over half of the primary schools take the complete age group from 5 to 11. The remaining schools take the pupils aged 5 to 7 - infant schools, and 5 to 11 -junior schools. The first school is followed by the middle school which embraces children from 8 to 14. Next comes the upper school (the third stage) which keeps middle school leavers until the age of 18. This three-stage system (first, middle and upper) is becoming more and more popular in a growing number of areas. The usual age for transfer from primary to secondary school is 11.
SECONDARY EDUCATION. Secondary education is compulsory up to the age of 16, and pupils may stay on at school voluntarily until they are until 18. Secondary schools are much larger than primary schools and most children (over 80 per cent) go to comprehensive schools. Comprehensive schools admit children of all abilities and provide a wide range of secondary education for all or most of the children in a district.
In some areas children moving from state primary to secondary education are still selected for certain types of school according to their current level of academic attainment. These are grammar and secondary modern schools, to which children are allowed at the age of 11 on the basis of their abilities. Some local education authorities run technical schools (11-18). They provide it general academic education, but place particular emphasis on technical subjects. There are specials schools adapted for the physically and mentally handicapped children. The compulsory period of schooling here is from 5 to 16. Specials schools are normally maintained by state, but a large proportion of special boarding schools are private and fee-charging
The principal examinations taken by secondary school pupils at the age of 16 are those leading to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). The chief examinations at the age of 18 are leading to the General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A-level). It enables sixth-formers to widen their subject areas and move to higher education.
Admission to universities is carried out by examination or selection (interviews). Applications for places in nearly all the universities are sent initially to The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). In the application an applicant can list up to five universities or colleges in order of preference. Applications must be sent to the UCAS in the autumn term of the academic year preceding that in which the applicant hopes to be admitted. The UCAS sends a copy to each of the universities or colleges named. Each university selects its own students.
36. Private education
A further 600,000 go to 2,500 private schools, often referred to as the "independent sector" where the parents have to pay for their children. Most independent schools for younger children are also mixed, while the majority of private secondary schools are single-sex.
NURSERY EDUCATION. Education for the under-fives, mainly from 3 to 5, is not compulsory and can be provided in nursery schools and nursery classes attached to primary schools. They give little formal education. The children spend most of their time in some sort of play activity, as far as possible of an educational kind. In any case, there are not enough of them to take all children of that age group. A large proportion of children at this beginning stage is in the private sector where fees are payable.
About 5 per cent of Britain's children attend independent or private schools outside the free state sector. Some parents choose to pay for private education in spite of the existence of free state education. These schools charge between £ 300 a term for day nursery pupils and £ 3,500 a term for a senior boarding-school pupils.
All independent schools have to register with the Department of Education and Science and are subject to inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorate, which is absolutely independent. About 2,300 private schools provide primary and secondary education. Around 550 most privileged and expensive independent schools are commonly known as public schools.
The public school system is valued because it produces leaders, it is a separate system of education for the rich. The English gentleman in the conventional sense is mainly the product of his public school. Those who have been educated at one of the good public schools are set apart from those who have not. In such schools the traditional aim is to develop "gentlemen" who are disciplined, loyal and decent, who "play the game", bear pain and discomfort with a "stiff upper lip" and know how to use authority and how to get respect from those their rule. In public schools which follow the inherited pattern, older boys, known as prefects, rule over their younger fellows. Participation in sports is considered of great importance, though the emphasis on sports is not as great now as it used to be. Religion holds an important place in school life. But the teaching of the classics, though still important, is no longer the chief education concern.
The public school system has often been criticized for its lack democracy and for its tendency to consider intellect less important than good sportsmanship and the acceptance of the traditional code of behaviour. But many Englishmen and many people in the English-speaking world admire the type of citizen which these schools produce.
Though limited in number (about 500) the public schools are the largest and the most important of the independent (private) schools. They accept pupils at about 12 or 13 years of age usually on the basis of a strict selection. They are fee-paying and very expensive, their standards for entries are very high. Most of them are boys' boarding schools, although some are day schools and some are for girls. A few have even become coeducational. Most public schools were founded in Victorian times, but many of them are several hundred years old. The nine most ancient and aristocratic remain among the most important public schools: Eton (1440), Harrow (1571), Winchester (1382), Westminster (1560), St.Paul's (1509), Merchant Taylor's (1561), Rugby (1567), Charter house (1611) and Shrewsbury (1552).
One of these schools, Eton, is perhaps, better known by name outside its own country than any other school in the world. It was founded by King Henry VI in 1440, across the Thames from Windsor Castle. About twenty Prime Ministers of Great Britain have passed though Eton. More than half of all peers who have inherited their titles are old Etonians. Eton, with its 700 pupils, is like the other public-schools in many ways, but has its specials customs. Boys still dress every day for class in morning suits.
37. Mass Media: newspapers.
Britain’s first newspapers appeared over 300 years ago. Now, as then, newspapers receive no government subsidy, unlike in many other European countries today. In a democratic country like Great Britain the press, ideally, has three political functions: information, discussion and representation. It is supposed to give the voter reliable and complete information to base his judgement. It should let him know the arguments for and against any policy, and it should reflect and give voice to the desires of the people as a whole. Naturally, there is no censorship in Great Britain, but in 1953 the Press Council was set up.
Nearly all the newspapers have their head offices in London, but the famous newspaper street, Fleet Street, now houses only two of them, the Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph. The rest have moved to cheaper parts of London.
Ownership of the press, as can be seen, is in the hands of a few large press publishing groups. The most significant of these – both of which increased their hold during the 1980s – are News International, owned by the Australian-born press tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and the Mirror Group Newspapers, owned by the family of the late Robert Maxwell.
Each of the national papers can be characterized as belonging to one of two distinct categories. The ‘quality papers’, or ‘broadsheets’, cater for the better educated readers. The ‘popular papers’, or ‘tabloids’, sell to a much larger readership. They contain far less print then the broadsheets and far more pictures. They use larger headlines and write in a simpler style of English. While the broadsheets devote much space to politics and other ‘serious’ news, the tabloids concentrate on ‘human interest’ stories, which often means sex and scandal!
‘Quality papers’ include The Times, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, The Observer, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph. Very thoroughly they report national and international news. ‘Popular papers’ — the News of the World, The Sun, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express. These newspapers tend to make news sensational, they publish 'personal' articles which shock and excite. Instead of printing factual news reports, these papers write them up in an exciting way, easy to read, playing on people's emotions.
The Times (founded 1785) is called the paper of the Establishment. Politically it is independent, but it is generally inclined to be sympathetic to the Conservative party. The Guardian (until 1959 — Manchester Guardian) has become a truly national paper rather than one specially connected with Manchester. In quality, style and reporting it is nearly equal with The Times. The Daily Telegraph in theory is independent, but in practice it is very close to being an organ of Conservative Party. Being well produced and edited it is full of various information and belongs to the same class of journalism as The Times and The Guardian.
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