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Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

Old Oct 23rd 2016, 12:40 am
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Hi all,

I noticed how knowledgeable you guys are and was looking for a lot of help from you lovely people.

I am planning on relocating to Barbados with my 2 kids (6 & 7) now I've seen a lot of info on private schools, but I would like to send mine to a public government school, just because I want them to make life long friends and get to know the local kids and also they go to the local school here in the UK and are both doing very well. I know over here we have the whole Ofsted thing to go off and also know that Ofsted isn't the be all and end all but I have no clue how to find a good/recommended Primary school out there.

I know I want to live maybe in the Christ Church area as I need somewhere with good transport links as I will be relying on public transport in the beginning, so any schools in that area would be perfect. Or if you could recommend any other areas that have good transport links, preferably on the south coast I'm open to suggestion.

Also I plan on doing hair and make up out there but I can't really find any info about that industry out there as I'm not sure if going freelance would be a better option than renting a chair in a salon out there. I will have citizenship so working will not be a problem.

Also with regards to citizenship, from what I understand because I will get mine through descent (My mums from there) I don't think I can pass that down to my own kids. I've read that my kids would need a student visa, is this correct? If so does this mean they would need to continually reapply for a new student visa, then what happens as they get older?

Sorry if I sound a bit all over the place, I'm just trying get as much information as I can to see if I can make the move within the 2 year time frame I've given myself or if I would actually need more time.

Any help or info would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

Welcome to the Forum SunsetDream...

where to start.

Citizenship. according to the information we have, citizenship by decent can only be passed down 1 generation. This forum is awaiting information from one of the members who says it's not clear and is researching the matter further, but we haven't heard the news on that as well.

As far as the student visa, I would recommend that you check that with the Immigration department. Student visa's are usually attached to the work permit for a foreign national working in Barbados, however.. your case isn't like that, so unless someone else on the forum can speak to that, it's best to get the info from either Immigration in Barbados or the Barbados Council in England, before heading this way.

The hair and makeup industry in Barbados is big, flourishing and crowded and getting more so everyday (at least the makeup side of things). if you are certified, have any special things you do, then you may do well. I might suggest that you check in with some salons and start from there. Bajans, white, black and brown, love to get dolled up and maintain those looks, but many are loyal to the people they have been going to for years.

Schools. please don't equate private schools with foreign students, as the majority of private schools simply cater to everyone and in the older, more established primary schools, the mix weighs more heavily on the side of the students being bajan, than from anywhere else. and "community and Local " schools don't necessarily exist on the island .. yes.. there are schools in your area, but not all the neighborhood children go to that school.. we do still have an 11plus exam. they attend primary school for 7 years and then on to secondary but a test is done to see which secondary school they go to, as there are only 22 government secondary schools on the island. and it's possible they wouldn't go to one in your area (as in very close to where you live).

Also, you will need to work with the Ministry of Education regarding school placement as far as government schools are concerned.

I hope this has helped.. I do agree the southcoast, Christ Church is probably a good are for transport, but don't be afraid to look around for other locations.
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

[QUOTE=Sunniebgi;12083501]Welcome to the Forum SunsetDream...

Thanks for your response. So I will definitely get onto the ministry of Education regarding schools. I did notice the 11 plus and have seen some books over here that prepare the kids for it as I was looking at a particular grammar school over here (if we don't make it to Barbados) for my daughter so I would've prepared her just in case.

I am planning a visit this year just to visit schools and get an idea of what they're like as well as my accommodation options for my budget. I've seen lovely places within my budget online but sometimes pics online and how the place actually looks are polar opposites.

Would you recommend getting a small place short term and seeing if I like the area before going for a long term rental? Or just come out and visit and jump straight into a long term rental? Ideally I would like a 3 bed 2 bath but me and my 2 could happily live somewhere much smaller short term.

Also going back to schools should I also be looking at secondary schools from now as my daughter will be in year 5 when we come out but because of her birthday she will be closer to 12 when she goes secondary school.Also I noticed you said there's only 22 secondary schools on the island so what happens if the schools are full are there alternatives?
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

regarding a place to live.. I would recommend possibly finding maybe a short term rental in a smaller house, just to get an idea , however .. short term rentals may end up costing you more in the long run. and of course the areas that you may be looking in, you will find a range of rental prices.. some people are looking to get into the higher end rental market and some are not. you really do have to shop around.. and especially if you are looking at transportation requirements etc.. that will be a factor.

Schools. students start primary school when they are 4 years old during 5 in the first year.. and the school year dates start 1 September.. (my youngest was 4 when he started primary school that september and turned 5 that next March.. ).. it means the year they do the 11plus, they would be 10 turning 11 years during the year of the 11 plus and turn 12 during the first year of secondary school.

and I'll try to make this as painless as possible. re the allocation of schools

there are 3 zones .. zone 1, 2 and 3 (haha).. each is based on an area in the island and the starting point for each zone is basically Bridgetown.. you kind of have to look at a map to understand.. Zone 1 runs up the west cost.. 2 through the middle of the island to the upper east coast and 3 along the south coast and over to the lower east coast.

the schools are put into a zone based on where they are along that map. there are basically 4 top schools in Barbados .. 1 of each of those schools is located in each of the zones.. with zone 2 having 2 of them

when the child does the 11plus the parent is given a list of government schools for your zone and you rank them in the order that you wish your child to attend.. this is done usually based on their marks , how well, or not well, they have done in school etc.. and you can actually pick 2 schools outside of your zone but only as part of the first 2 choices.. (confused yet?? )

based on the grade your child receives on the 11plus they are assigned to a school based on what you put on the sheet and what type of marks (high to low) the school has been allocated for that year. each school takes in about 150 students for 1st form (there are usually between 3500 and 4000 students on average that sit the 11plus)..

Not all students will go to a government secondary school and a Barbadian child can choose a bursary (private, paid secondary school for which the government will give an incredibly small amount towards each year until they are 16.) . the 22 secondary schools I mention are government. there are currently 5 maybe 6 (I hope that number is correct) private secondary schools but the students still have to sit the 11plus at primary, even if they want to go there. there is 1 additional IB based school which doesn't follow the Barbados curriculum of education and there for also doesn't follow the 11plus.

a lot to take in.. schools are an important topic of conversation in Barbados.. where a child goes is also important, honestly, because there are good schools and not so good schools and just because they are a top ranked school doesn't mean it will be the best fit for your child.

my 2 daughters went to The Ursuline Convent School (we aren't catholic.. just to say) for secondary.. it was a good choice for them.. my son is currently in his 4th form year at a government secondary school.. right were he needs to be..

even you haven't understood any of what I have said.. I'll try to find the info online.. but it's also best to have a conversation with the ministry.. but as a parent.. I've lived it.. 3 times.. with 3 completely different children where education is concerned.. and I know there are others on here who have as well.
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Old Oct 24th 2016, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

Yes that actually makes perfect sense with the allocation of the secondary schools, it sounds similar to catchment areas over here to me.

I totally get your point on schools which may be listed as high ranking that may not be suited to my kids. Currently they go to a school which to be fair doesn't have the highest Ofsted score but they are both doing really well. So it may make sense to just see a lot of schools (as I will have time) and just see the vibe I get while there. Ideally I would love for them to go to the same school but my daughter is very advanced so may do better in a school that is really strict and challenges her.

Also do you know if St George is a nice area or is it just out in the country?

Thanks so much for your input so far it really has helped
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Old Oct 25th 2016, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

I live in the middle of St. George and while it's lovely, if you are in need of transportation, the frequency of bus service isn't the greatest. it obviously gets done, but for many people it usually means leaving home early, getting the bus to Bridgetown to connect to another but to their final stop.

for primary school, I wouldn't necessarily consider 2 different schools. they are going to be taught basically the same things, working towards the 11plus..
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Old Oct 27th 2016, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

Originally Posted by Sunniebgi View Post
I live in the middle of St. George and while it's lovely, if you are in need of transportation, the frequency of bus service isn't the greatest. it obviously gets done, but for many people it usually means leaving home early, getting the bus to Bridgetown to connect to another but to their final stop.

for primary school, I wouldn't necessarily consider 2 different schools. they are going to be taught basically the same things, working towards the 11plus..
Thanks I shall definitely be living in Christchurch now, because with infrequent buses and my two (especially my son who moves like a snail), we would miss that 1 bus and be an hour late for everything.

I messaged the ministry of Education and all now I'm waiting for a response after they initially responded saying they didn't know the answer to my very simple question:
What forms do I need to fill in and what info do you need from me in order for my kids to start school?

Surely thats a pretty standard question for them. So I foresee a lot of chasing.

But thanks so much for your help I feel a lot less overwhelmed now
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Old Oct 28th 2016, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

hahahahah.. i'm soo sorry.. I should have warned you. ok.. I have someone who works at the ministry.. she mostly (if she is still there) deals with testing for secondary students.. however.. I might be able to ask a question for you.

It maybe more of a situation of actually going to, contacting the actual government school you want to children in and they would take it from there.. however.. likely no e-mails, possibly.. but phone numbers... will see what I can find out
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Old Nov 2nd 2016, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Possible relocation with kids, 10 million questions...

HI SunsetDream.. I sent you private message.. wasn't sure if you have seen it..
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