Secondary education is the education that all* young people must take between the ages of 11-16 (school year 7 to 11). 

In some areas, there are middle schools which you attend from 9-13 (Year 5-8) and secondary schools which you attend from 13-16 (Year 9-11). In most schools, students study a National Curriculum to GCSE level (Level 2).

To find out more about the different types of secondary education that are available click on the sections below.

A full list of secondary schools can also be found on the Durham County Council website.

*Some parents may educate their children at home with the agreement of the council.

Where support to the school is provided by the council for systems such as ICT, special needs, teacher training, etc. These are sometimes called community schools or foundation schools.

Are funded by central government and are run by a governing body on business principles. These may be big academy chains of groups of schools who can share staff and resources. Academies do not have to follow the National Curriculum.

Schools which select students on academic ability run by a council, governing body or trust.

Also known as Public Schools or, where you live and study at the school, Boarding Schools. Students pay fees to attend Independent Schools which usually offer a heavily academic curriculum.

A new type of school that work collaboratively with one or two employers to provide an education for young people which has a sector focus such as care or ICT. Students can transfer in at the start of Year 10.

Find out more on our Studio Schools web page.

A new type of school which combines high-quality academic teaching with specific technical education related to a sector such as engineering. They are sponsored jointly by a university and industry. Students can transfer in at Year 10.

To find out more about UTCs in County Durham visit our University Technical Colleges web page.

Specialise in the education of young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities who have a Statement of Special Education Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan.

A very limited number of Further Education colleges are able to teach a 14-16 curriculum to small groups of young people on a needs basis. 

Some young people do better when they are in a smaller and less intensive teaching environment which can offer practical experiences alongside the teaching of a limited number of subjects including English and maths.

Find out more about other types of secondary school, such as faith schools, boarding schools and private schools, on the gov.uk website.

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