The term public school is generally used now in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and sometimes Scotland. It refers to any school, that is a member of the Headmaster' and Headmistresses' Conference. Though the schools prefer to be called "dependent schools", they are traditionally called "public schools" as well. These schools are public, because they are open mainly to all students. However, at the time of their foundation older schools were run by the established Church and were only open to boys of the same denomination. In nowadays practice many public schools are highly academically selective and pupils usually need to pass the Common Entrance Examination before being admitted at all.
In England, Wales and Scotland, the terms state school and county school are used for schools provided at public expense. The term private school means the same as in the other English-speaking countries, or a privately-owned primary Preparatory ("Prep") School. In the Republic of Ireland, a public school is a non fee-paying school which is funded by the State, while a private school is a fee-paying school which is not funded by the State.
Children in Great Britain start their school at the age of 5 and finish at the age of 16 (sometimes 18). At the age of 5 (in Northern Ireland at the age of 4) children study at the primary level, where they learn several subjects. Later, when they are 7 years old, children go to the elementary level and study there till they are 11. After that, school pupils move to the secondary level.
to refer to smb/smth — относиться к кому-либо, чему-либо
a headmaster or a headmistress — директор или директриса школы
to be run by smb — руководимый, контролируемый, управляемый кем-либо
selective — избирательный, разборчивый
to be admitted — быть зачисленным, зачисленный
at public expense — за государственный (бюджетный) счет
a privately-owned Preparatory School — частная подготовительная школа
а non fee-paying school — бесплатная школа
to be funded by the State — финансируемый государством
to finish (school) — закончить, выпуститься из школы (в англ. языке употребляются разные глаголы для фраз «выпуститься из школы» и «выпуститься из университета, института» — to finish school, but to graduate from the university or the institute)