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The word ‘school’ comes from the Latin schola, and a similar derivation has been adopted in nearly all European languages. The word means the actual building, but also refers to the institution as a whole – the building, the people inside it, and the whole organisation. This can be seen in sentences where the school seems to be a thinking being: ‘the school is developing a policy’ or ‘the school encourages innovative teaching’. This type of construction, of course, conceals who is actually taking responsibility for these things. ‘The school’ may not be the perfectly homogenous entity that is implied.

As a verb, ‘to school’ means to train or discipline, for example in the schooling of horses.

Grammar schools set up in Elizabethan times were for ...

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