English and Canada Education Systems



In order to ensure that students progress systematically from one level of education to another, it is necessary for them to go through an education system that will prepare them for the challenges of the future. Students begin from basic to complex levels of learning as they are prepared for various professions or for some to acquire skills in different areas of knowledge such as reading and arithmetic. Education systems differ in every country in one or more aspects. This paper evaluates how Canada’s education system differs from the English system in terms of assessment, administration, and structure.


The process and structure of assessment in Canada’s education system differ from the English system. Assessment of students is an important process that seeks to ascertain whether an educational system has achieved its intended objectives. Assessment involves the collection, interpretation, and reporting of information in order to provide feedback to students in relation to how they progress in the process of attaining skills, knowledge, and attitudes that need to be learned (Pettifor & Saklofske 2012). Assessment as an aspect of education in Canada’s education system and the English education system differs in relation to structure and purpose.

Assessment in the English system of education is structured according to the various stages of the national curriculum. Public examinations are offered according to the four key stages of the curriculum in the English education system. The public examinations offered in England include GCSE, GCE Advanced Level, and GNVQ Advanced level (Intense Educational 2014). The public examination system in England is organized in such a way that these forms of exams are used as a form of assessment for the syllabus offered in different years of the education system. GCSE and GCE Advanced level are two syllabuses that take a duration of two years and begin in years 10 and 12 respectively while GNVQ Advanced level is offered at year 13 and is the same as two ‘A’ levels (Intense Educational 2014).

Canada’s system of education uses a different system of assessment and which is structured differently from the English system. Canada has used different forms of assessment applied in all schools over the years and these include SAIP and PCAP. These forms of assessment have been used together with provincial assessments. The system which is being currently used is PCAP. PCAP is used by CMEC to assess mathematics science and reading (Ercikan, Oliveri & Sandilands 2013). The assessment structure differs from the English system in terms of structure. Through CMEC, Canada’s territories and provinces worked together leading to the development of SAIP used to assess how 16 and 13-year-old students performed (CMEC 2014). It is evident that Canada’s assessment system is structured in such a way that it is offered for a specific category of students. The English system, on the other hand, assesses students in various key stages.

Canada’s system of assessing students serves a different purpose from the English form of educational assessment. PCAP is intended to complement territorial and provincial assessments and not to measure the individual achievement of students (CMEC 2014). The English assessment system on the other hand is used to indicate how students perform at different levels of the education system. This is in consideration of the fact that GCE and GCSE are offered at different levels of the educational system.



Administration and management

Education systems need to be managed within specific frameworks so as to ensure they are effective and efficient. Some systems of education are managed using a centralized form of framework while other systems are managed in a decentralized manner and at times, there is a mixture. Canada’s system of education differs from the English education system in terms of management of the curriculum and education system structure. The Canadian system is more decentralized compared to the English system as far as how the curriculum is handled by the education stakeholders.

In England, the government plays a much bigger role in the management of the national curriculum compared to how Canada does it. The English education system is guided by the same curriculum based on the requirement of the government. In England, it is the national government that is involved in the setting of the curriculum which is adhered to by all the state schools and most private schools (Intense Educational 2014). It is in the area of curriculum management that Canada’s system differs from the English system of education.

Canada’s system of education is managed differently compared to the English system. Management of the Canadian system of education’s curriculum is more decentralized as the provinces have taken a much bigger role in the management of education. Education in Canada is the responsibility of provinces considering that it is a federate state (Roberts et al 2005). Provinces in Canada have a structured form of educational management. Each territory and province in Canada has one or two ministries or departments which deal with educational issues (CMEC 2014). This can be attributed to the nature of Canadian society in terms of its perception of education. According to CMEC (2014), the widely accessible diversified, and comprehensive nature of Canada’s education system is a reflection of society’s belief in the benefits of education. The management of every aspect of education falls under the jurisdiction of provinces and territories and not the national or central government. The manner in which education is managed in Canada has seen a lot of diversity in how provincial management of education. Canada’s territorial and provincial education systems exhibit differences in terms of assessment, curriculum, and policies of accountability (CMEC 2014).

The manner in which education funding is managed in Canada differs from that of the English system although this is to a small degree. While private schools are not funded by the government in England, the same category of schools is funded by some provinces subject to meeting certain requirements. The relationship between Private schools in Canada and the dependence of finances on parents’ satisfaction is direct (Bayefsky & Waldman 2007). Partial funding is provided by some jurisdictions for private schools subject to meeting a number of criteria (CMEC 2014). On the other hand, the national government in England does not finance private schools. Private schools depend on the finances generated from the fees paid by parents (Intense Educational 2014). It is therefore evident that the management of school funding in Canada differs from the English system.

The structure of the education system

The structure of an education system determines how students progress from one level to another. The manner in which the Canadian system of education has been structured differs from that of the English system of education. This relates to the structuring of the private and public school systems.

The education system in England is based on four key stages during which students are assessed through public examination as it has been noted in the first section of the paper. From year one to year 17, the English system of education is structured into four sections from the time students join the school to the time they complete secondary level of education and join tertiary institutions. These include a first school, middle school, and secondary school (Intense Educational 2014). There are differences between how the private school system in England has been structured and the structuring of the public schools. England’s schools in the private sector have a system that is characterized by slight differences from the public school structure system. The structure of private schools in England is constituted of kindergarten, preparatory, senior school, and secondary or upper school (Intense Educational 2014). Canada’s education system differs from the English system based on how schools follow the format prescribed in the school system.

Apart from Quebec, Canada’s schools in the territories and provinces, both in the private and public sector, follow a general structure that is meant for Canadian schools. The education structure system is constituted of early education, elementary, junior high, senior high, and finally tertiary education (McCulloch & Crook 2013). Different from the English system, Canada’s education system structure is not arranged into the 4 key stages as it has been observed in the English system because of the lack of a national system of examination. It is from the arrangement of the English education system into key stages that lack in the Canadian System thus presenting the Canadian system as significantly different from the English system.

In conclusion, it is evident from the paper’s findings that Canada’s education system differs from the English system in terms of assessment of students, management of the education system, and structure. While the English system uses a national system of assessment using different public exams, the Canadian system uses a single system that only complements the provincial assessments. Looking at management, the Canadian education system is managed mainly at the provincial level while the English system is managed by the national government. Finally, the structure between the two systems differs in terms of how private and public schools operate.



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Intense Educational., 2014, The Education system in England, Available from: <http://www.intense.co.uk/cgi/go.cgi?system,england> [22 March 2014]

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