Student visas come within Tier 4 of the points-based system of entry to the UK which was implemented in 2008 (Tiers 1, 2 and 5 relate to working and conducting business in the UK – Tier 3 was designed for low-skilled workers but never activated).
An adult student is known as a Tier 4 (General) Student. This covers any person coming to the UK for post 16 age education.
A child student is known as a Tier 4 (Child) Student. This covers children coming to the UK for education who are aged between 4 and 17. Children aged between 4 and 15 in this category can only be educated at an independent fee-paying school.