In England Wales and Northern Ireland the term "public school" refers to fee-charging independent secondary schools. The earliest known reference to a "public school" dates from 1364, when the Bishop of Winchester wrote concerning "the public school" at Kingston in his diocese. The term public then distinguished between education in a school generally provided by a church and open to public applicants. The schools where admission was restricted to children from a particular aristocratic class (such as City of London Freemen's School, Westminster, Rugby School, Haileyburv College, Winchester, Kings, Eton, Roedean School and Harrow). Nowadays, many public schools are highly academically selective and pupils usually need to pass the Common Entrance Examination before being admitted at all. Only the best scholars must be able to afford the considerable fees for tuition and (for boarders) room and board.
In Scotland, the term "public school" may have two meanings. Largely due to the earlier introduction of state-administered universal education in Scotland and opposed to the rest of the United Kingdom, the term became associated with state schools. Children in Scottish state schools typically start primary school, or attend a junior school, aged between four and a half and five and a half.
Private schools in England, Wales and Scotland are generally called "independent schools", because of the freedom to operate outside the government regulation. They are favoured by a minority of parents because of their reputation for high academic standards. Many independent schools are single-sex.
In the Republic of Ireland, a private school receives no state support. It is not subject to state control in relation to curriculum, school day, school year, etc. Irish private schools must still work towards the Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate, for example. Many private schools in Ireland also double as boarding schools. Teachers in private schools are not paid for by the State and there are no requirements about their qualifications, unlike in public schools. However, most private schools do provide the basic national curriculum as set out for public schools.
The average fee is around €5,000 annually for most schools. If some of private and public schools provide boarding, then the fees may rise up to €25,000 per year.
fee-charging — платный, требующий оплаты
the Common Entrance Examination — общий вступительный экзамен
to afford smth — позволить себе что-либо; быть в состоянии что либо сделать
tuition and board — обучение и проживание; пансион
state administered universal education — всеобщее образование контролируемое государством
to operate outside the government regulation — действовать за рамками государственного контроля или управления
a single-sex school — школа раздельного обучения
the basic national curriculum — основная национальная программа обучения,
requirements — требования
to provide smth — обеспечивать что-то, снабжать чем-то