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Difference Between School and Academy

School vs Academy

The word school is so common that we all think of a school as soon as formal education is discussed. A school is not just a building or a congregation of kids and teachers; it is much more than that. It is a symbol of the knowledge base that is provided to a child in his formative years that he uses all his life. There are some countries where there are schools as well as academies that are also involved in providing formal education. People remain confused between schools and academies, and cannot decide if they should send their kids to an academy or not, for formal education. This article attempts to highlight the differences between a school and an academy to enable parents to choose either of the two institutions that suits the requirements of their kids in a more meaningful manner.

The system of formal education is mostly compulsory in all parts of the world and follows a set pattern that involves passing through elementary (or primary), middle, and secondary schools. In most countries, there is a board made by the government that conducts examinations at 10 and 10+2 levels, and grants certifications to successful students. Though formal education does not end with school as kids choose to pursue higher studies; thus, enroll in colleges and universities, to complete undergraduate and postgraduate level of courses, it is the system of school that forms the backbone of education in any country.

Though it is common to see academies in all parts of the world, it is in England that they are strikingly similar to schools and provide formal education in much the same way. If anything, academies come under the direct control of the central government as against schools that are under the jurisdiction of local governments. An academy is rather independent in curriculum, also receives support both financial as well as material from various sponsors. It is seen that most academies start admitting students from secondary level, though there are exceptions to this rule with academies also admitting kids at nursery level.

The history of academies in England is not very old, and they were established in the year 2000 by the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The number of academies has been increasing gradually since then, and today there are around 650 academies in the country.

As far as the rest of the world is concerned, we see academies that are bodies of engineers, scientists and other professionals, though some schools choose to name themselves as academies. So there are academies of art and culture, sports, science and space, and so on.

What is the difference between School and Academy?

· School represents a system of formal education that is compulsory and is followed in all parts of the world, while academies are bodies of like minded professionals in many parts of the world.

· However, in England, academies that were founded by British PM Tony Blair in 2000 have been performing same functions as those of schools, and today there are more than 600 academies.

· Academies in England are funded by central government, also have other sponsors, while schools are funded by local governments.


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