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Hello and Advice re A Levels

Hello and Advice re A Levels

Old Oct 7th 2012, 3:07 am
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Default Hello and Advice re A Levels

Hi everyone

I'm new to the forum so hello.

We are considering a move back to the UK and have a daughter who will be 16 at the time of moving back.

I know this isn't the best time so have been going through our options. We are all happy to be moving back especially my daughter and also know we will more than likely have to pay for education.

So the options are

1. Stay in Australia until daughter has completed year 12 and got a WACE score.

2. Daughter completes year 10, we move to UK in Jan/Feb while she does a course of some sort for a semester then starts 6th form college to do A Levels in September.

3. Daughter does 2 terms of year 10 in Australia, leaves in July then repeats year 10 starting in September to take GCSEs in UK then goes on to A Levels.

Option 2 is our preferred option atm but I am wondering how year 10 cert translates to GCSE grades.

Option 1 would probably be best but because of personal reasons we would prefer not to stay in Australia for another 3 years.

Option 3 seems a bit 'messy' but was just a thought.

We are very flexible and I'll take all advice on board.

TIA
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

I don't have any advice to offer really, except to say my daughter will also be 16 when we move and from the research I've done, I am alright with it. I think she will do just fine. Is there a reason why you're concerned about this? I keep hearing people say anything above 15 but still school aged is a bad time to move a child, but I disagree, I really think it has all to do with who the child is, how their family is and how they handle change. It will vary drastically from individual to individual- so take what is said about moving a teen with a grain of salt and then apply it to your particular circumstances.
How old is your daughter now? How long has she been away from UK schools?
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by Beccarose View Post
I don't have any advice to offer really, except to say my daughter will also be 16 when we move and from the research I've done, I am alright with it. I think she will do just fine. Is there a reason why you're concerned about this? I keep hearing people say anything above 15 but still school aged is a bad time to move a child, but I disagree, I really think it has all to do with who the child is, how their family is and how they handle change. It will vary drastically from individual to individual- so take what is said about moving a teen with a grain of salt and then apply it to your particular circumstances.
How old is your daughter now? How long has she been away from UK schools?

Hi
I'm not really concerned about moving a 16 year old back to the UK tbh. She's very keen to go and because she won't be going back to 'school' as such but hopefully 6th form college I think there won't be any issues.

I was educated in 2 different countries up to the age of 15 because of my mother's job and her travelling extensively and it did me no harm at all - in fact I loved it.

We moved here 6 years ago when my daughter was 9 but we have been back to the UK 4 times including a 2 month reccie to see if we could live there again. DD went to a school in the UK for a few weeks and really enjoyed it just as she enjoys school here.

I totally agree with you that you have to look at individual circumstances - it isn't one size fits all.

5 of my friends' kids have moved back to the UK to attend college and uni in the last year (God knows what the fees are as international students for uni LOL) and all are very happy. 3 are not British but wanted to try a different education system, one is dual Aus/British and one is British.

As I said before we need to look at how Year 10 cert can translate to GCSE before we do anything.

Good Luck with your move
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

She should be fine and if you go back for A levels then she takes a gap year you won't be up for international fees either. If you wait until he end of Aus year 12 you run the risk of the conversion not getting her into the course she wants at uni and very definitely the international fees with the added prospect of a foundation year. I wouldn't be waiting if you definitely want to move.
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 7:37 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by bellarina View Post
Hi everyone

I'm new to the forum so hello.

We are considering a move back to the UK and have a daughter who will be 16 at the time of moving back.

I know this isn't the best time so have been going through our options. We are all happy to be moving back especially my daughter and also know we will more than likely have to pay for education.

So the options are

1. Stay in Australia until daughter has completed year 12 and got a WACE score.

2. Daughter completes year 10, we move to UK in Jan/Feb while she does a course of some sort for a semester then starts 6th form college to do A Levels in September.

3. Daughter does 2 terms of year 10 in Australia, leaves in July then repeats year 10 starting in September to take GCSEs in UK then goes on to A Levels.

Option 2 is our preferred option atm but I am wondering how year 10 cert translates to GCSE grades.

Option 1 would probably be best but because of personal reasons we would prefer not to stay in Australia for another 3 years.

Option 3 seems a bit 'messy' but was just a thought.

We are very flexible and I'll take all advice on board.

TIA
Hi,

Our son did complete year 13 in New Zealand but then went home in the March. He looked for work whilst waiting to go to sixth form college. He couldn't find a job so signed on.
He then started sixth form college in the September and has not paid at all.
My youngest son of 13 returned this year in July. He should have gone into year 9 but we asked if he could go back into year 8 and he seems very happy.
Just a couple of ideas for you
Carole
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Maybe I am entirely clueless here but do you have to pay for 6th form? I know it has not been mandatory (to go to 6th form) up until now, but does it still cost? Any idea what the costs are?

I was under the impression that mixed state schools that go to the age of 18 would not cost- is that wrong?

As I said before we need to look at how Year 10 cert can translate to GCSE before we do anything.
How do you go about this?
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by Beccarose View Post
Maybe I am entirely clueless here but do you have to pay for 6th form? I know it has not been mandatory (to go to 6th form) up until now, but does it still cost? Any idea what the costs are?

I was under the impression that mixed state schools that go to the age of 18 would not cost- is that wrong?



How do you go about this?
I think if you go to school it is free, but for 6th form college they can charge as an international student.

This is who we used to get our sons qualifications assessed.



http://www.ecctis.co.uk/naric/default.aspx
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by Spacecake799 View Post
Hi,

Our son did complete year 13 in New Zealand but then went home in the March. He looked for work whilst waiting to go to sixth form college. He couldn't find a job so signed on.
He then started sixth form college in the September and has not paid at all.
My youngest son of 13 returned this year in July. He should have gone into year 9 but we asked if he could go back into year 8 and he seems very happy.
Just a couple of ideas for you
Carole

Hello

Thanks for this. Glad it is working out for your sons.

Also thanks for the link for the comparable qualifications. I was going to google it and let beccarose know but you beat me to it.

I did actually google 2 6 th form colleges totally at random and got Bales College who charge International Fees and Uxbridge College who "might charge". I also read the UK Government Education Wedsite which I found a bit vague. I'll be better off contacting the colleges directly.
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
She should be fine and if you go back for A levels then she takes a gap year you won't be up for international fees either. If you wait until he end of Aus year 12 you run the risk of the conversion not getting her into the course she wants at uni and very definitely the international fees with the added prospect of a foundation year. I wouldn't be waiting if you definitely want to move.

Thanks for replying. Good point about A levels and gap year
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Old Oct 8th 2012, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

What does your daughter want to do at A level? Quite a few courses are only offered at A level (at my daughters' school it's things like psychology, government and politics, philosophy etc). If your daughter was to choose one or more of these subjects she would be at the same level as everyone else starting 6th form.
Things like English aren't too different and, if she's lucky like one of our's was at GCSE, she will re study a book she's already done in Australia!
In our experience year 10 isn't the same level as GCSE, but that doesn't really matter except for the sciences or Maths. Even then, if she's good at these subjects and prepared to work to adapt she'll be fine.
Our middle daughter had to move schools within the UK at the end of year 10 and had to adapt to the expectations of different exam boards for every subject. She worked hard and had great support from her school and managed to get very good results this summer. It's not too different from what your daughter will be doing.
I'm pretty sure full time education is free for all up to age 19, but you should check with the education dept.

Good luck. I know it's a difficult decision having done it a couple of times, but my lot seem to have done ok despite the disruption!
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Old Oct 8th 2012, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by bellarina View Post
I'm not really concerned about moving a 16 year old back to the UK tbh. She's very keen to go and because she won't be going back to 'school' as such but hopefully 6th form college I think there won't be any issues.
I'd agree. I think 16 is a fantastic age to move if the child is eager, as yours seems to be. MY child was 16 when we moved to the UK & was SO pleased to enter our state sixth form college, where the students are treated almost as adults & expected to handle their studies & live in a more grown-up way, with far fewer rules & oversight than most American high schools.

However, the relative "freedom" of the UK sixth form could take some adjusting to. Is your daughter self-disciplined & independently motivated when it comes to schoolwork? My child was able to focus on the academic work fairly successfully, but some classmates were not, and found themselves in big trouble come exam time. But otherwise I'd say go for it.

The village college sixth form my child attended was free, though I think there was an exam & interview prior to acceptance. And Quoll's point about the gap year is just exactly what we did, which worked out well.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 4:32 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

It's tricky at this age isn't it? My advice would be to go now and not get 'stuck' like me - oldest just started uni and youngest doing the last two years of school prior to uni. The International fees charges suck, but unless my kids will be happy at an Oz uni without me, we need to stay here at least two years, and potentially for another 5 years. I'd be on the plane tomorrow otherwise
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

I hope you don't mind me butting in with my experience.

My child moved here (Europe) aged 15 and had, frankly, a semi-miserable time, education wise. He has just returned, aged 20, to live in the UK and study there, never having really settled into the education (both international school and state education) here.

You have to base your move on what suits the whole family. There is more to a family than one child. Three of our children settled right in here, and the eldest (thinks he) didn't. I do feel, as all mothers do, a degree of guilt that he (acted like) he hated it here. He didn't - in fact, last week he even decided that he'd consider moving here to do his Bachelors degree as the 9000 per year in the UK (not counting food/accom) just isn't worth it !!!! Not least because of his *cough* views about English girls compared to continental girls.....


More importantly: if your English child has no formal school leaving qualifications from 'anywhere', then the relevant education in England will be free of charge. I know this because my son isn't paying for his course (pre-degree year). You should also be able to claim family allowance up until the age of 19 if in fulltime UK education (unless that's changed recently?). Your child will be able to take all GCSEs at college.

I really think that one thing the expat experience has taught all of us who've left the UK for some time is that time doesn't matter when it comes to education. So what if they only get their GCSEs at 17 or 18, or their A levels at 20 or 21? In the other 99% of the world, this isn't a big deal at all (hell, most Dutchies stay 'student' until they're around 25-27). It seems to me that the UK is the only place that moves kids up to the next year come hell or high water - in that way, the rest of the world doesn't 'shame' them for repeating a year, or moving a year ahead if exceptionally smart.


*Edit* my son has had some inconsistencies when moving home (which might not affect your child too much if you're all returning). One is the difficulty in opening a bank account there. Your child's first mission will be to get their NI number - this will be vital, especially if they hope to get a little part time job. They will already be in-the-system if your child was born here - they just need to go to a jobcentre with their old addresses.
The other is renting: it seems some 'halls of residence' type accommodation in the UK doesn't like to offer any goodwill now: you either have parents with an owned/mortgaged property (that they'd claim against if the student defaulted on rent) or you pay the full accommodation fees upfront as any non-EU student would have to. Hopefully this won't even be an issue as you'll be with her, and resident for more than 12 months by that time.

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; Oct 9th 2012 at 7:40 pm. Reason: Though of extra point
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Old Oct 10th 2012, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by CEM View Post
What does your daughter want to do at A level? Quite a few courses are only offered at A level (at my daughters' school it's things like psychology, government and politics, philosophy etc). If your daughter was to choose one or more of these subjects she would be at the same level as everyone else starting 6th form.
Things like English aren't too different and, if she's lucky like one of our's was at GCSE, she will re study a book she's already done in Australia!
In our experience year 10 isn't the same level as GCSE, but that doesn't really matter except for the sciences or Maths. Even then, if she's good at these subjects and prepared to work to adapt she'll be fine.
Our middle daughter had to move schools within the UK at the end of year 10 and had to adapt to the expectations of different exam boards for every subject. She worked hard and had great support from her school and managed to get very good results this summer. It's not too different from what your daughter will be doing.
I'm pretty sure full time education is free for all up to age 19, but you should check with the education dept.

Good luck. I know it's a difficult decision having done it a couple of times, but my lot seem to have done ok despite the disruption!

Hi everyone

Thanks for your replies and insight

My daughter wants to do English, History and some sort of media discipline if they do those for A level. I need to look up the subjects available. If she can't do anything within media she's looking at German.

I believe History comes under Humanities in the UK now - a bit like S & E in Australia. Is that right? Can you do separate subjects that come under an umbrella subject?

To answer WeBlue yes my daughter is very focused on working hard. She is in 2 Academic Extension Classes at school (English and S & E) and was offered the German Academic Extension but we felt that 3 would be too much. I thought 2 would be hard work but she thrives on it and is more than happy. She was told she could stop at any time if she struggled but that hasn't happened so I don't have any issues about her having to knuckle down with A levels.

I'm still confused about the GCSEs. Do you need 5 at A-C grades to go on to A levels or not? Maybe I'm not reading the Govt website corrrectly.

Thanks again
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Old Oct 10th 2012, 11:06 am
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Default Re: Hello and Advice re A Levels

Originally Posted by Chortlepuss View Post
It's tricky at this age isn't it? My advice would be to go now and not get 'stuck' like me - oldest just started uni and youngest doing the last two years of school prior to uni. The International fees charges suck, but unless my kids will be happy at an Oz uni without me, we need to stay here at least two years, and potentially for another 5 years. I'd be on the plane tomorrow otherwise
Sorry to hear that. It's not good to be in a place you don't like. We have a good life here now but it hasn't been without a struggle especially when we first arrived 6 years ago. Crummy rental, no jobs, homesick.....I hope you can find a way to just do the 2 years
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