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Official Country Name: Guernsey
Region: Europe
Population: 64,080
Language(s): English, French, Norman-French
Literacy Rate: NA

The state of Guernsey comprises not only the English Channel island of that name but also two smaller islands, Sark and Alderney. Like its larger and more populous neighbor, Jersey, Guernsey has drawn benefits from its location between Great Britain and France. Originally a part of Normandy, the Channel Islands became attached to Britain at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 and were separated from Normandy in 1204. Guernsey reported a 1998 population of 51,458 people.

Guernsey's education system closely resembles that of the United Kingdom, although a few differences exist. A student's educational career is divided between a primary school, of which there are 10 on the islands, and a secondary school. Education is conducted in English, which is almost universally spoken, although French receives significant emphasis as well. The curriculum includes English, mathematics, science, French, history, geography, art, and music.

Six government-administered secondary schools serve Guernsey's students, although academic accomplishment determines in which of these schools an individual student will be placed. Guernsey, unlike the United Kingdom, still utilizes the 11-plus system through which students performing at a particular level upon completion of middle school are awarded scholarships to the Grammar School or to one of two colleges—Elizabeth College for boys and the Ladies' College for girls. In 2001, the 11-plus system was under review following continued criticism from parents and others.

Students who do not score well enough to earn a scholarship may, after payment of tuition, attend the appropriate college or the Catholic Blanchelande Girls' College. These colleges, although not a part of the government-run education system, do receive their funding from the government.

No institution of higher education exists on the islands aside from the vocationally oriented College of Further Education, which means university-bound students must attend school elsewhere.

—Mark Browning

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