How children progress
From the ages of 6-7 to 11-12, a child will be at primary school; progressing to lower middle school. At 14, there are a number of options: senior middle school, leading on to university at 17-18; vocational or technical college; or straight into employment.
The Chinese education system
The education of all children is overseen by the Ministry of Education, who, in the municipalities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Tianjin, are reported to directly by the Municipal Education Commissions; they, in turn, oversee the District Education Bureaus. Elsewhere, the Municipal Education Commissions report to the Provincial Education Departments.
The structure of Chinese schools
Chinese schools are overseen by a principal, under whom there will be a vice principal; these, in their turn, oversee heads of department and a head of foreign affairs. In each school, the Party Secretary plays a key role, senior to the vice principals, but not subordinate to the principal.