Secondary Education is free, full-time and compulsory between the ages of 12+ and 15+ years. The 11+ selective system came to an end in 1972, with the two single-sex grammar schools, and the four single-sex secondary modern schools merging into the two existing single-sex comprehensive schools. The Collister Working Party (1974) recommended that no commitment to co-education be entered into, at secondary level, until such time as the community was prepared to accept it. This is still the case to date.
As is the case at Primary level, the secondary curriculum is defined by National Curriculum legislation. In the first two years (Years 8 and 9), both secondary schools offer a broad compulsory curriculum which includes English, Mathematics, Science, French or European Studies, Spanish, History, Geography, Art, Music, Religious Education, Physical Education, Design and Technology and Information and Communication Technology. In Years 10 and 11, pupils opt for a number of subjects from a range of subjects, always keeping to National Curriculum requirements, in order to enable them to study this reduced number in greater detail for public examination purposes. In addition, all pupils take the core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science), Religious Education and Physical Education.