UK Schools

Old Jan 22nd 2020, 3:24 am
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Default UK Schools

We are looking to return to the UK in Dec 2020 after many years in Australia and I really need help understanding the UK school system.



Have 2 kids – dob’s Jun 2009 & Jul 2012 (current ages 10 & 7).



I understand the basics – the need to apply to your local authority, must live in the area, will depend what schools have places available – but after contacting some schools and a local authority – I’m struggling to get confirmation on specific questions. Hopefully somebody can help or has recent experiences they can share.

  1. Do we need to move back to the UK before applying for places and do we need a permanent address in the catchment area (or will living with friends / parents temporarily suffice)?




2. With the Australian system kids seem to start school slightly later.

For example – my kids are about to start Years 5 & 2 respectively (school year starts Jan). In the UK – I believe that this Sep 2020 (ages will be 11 & 8) they would need to start Years 7 & 4 based on their DOB’s and effectively miss a school year? Is that correct? Particularly concerning for my daughter as it would mean starting high school a year earlier than she would have in Australia.

The local authority mentioned ‘teaching down’ ie. letting them start in the prior school years so effectively continuing their Aus years but said it was at the discretion of the school. Has anyone applied and been successful getting this?



Thanks in advance for your help. Really appreciated.

DH
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Old Jan 22nd 2020, 3:47 am
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Default Re: UK Schools

Where in the UK are you relocating to?
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Old Jan 22nd 2020, 3:55 am
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England !
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Old Jan 22nd 2020, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: UK Schools

Originally Posted by dheatonsyd View Post
Do we need to move back to the UK before applying for places and do we need a permanent address in the catchment area (or will living with friends / parents temporarily suffice)
It doesn't need to be a permanent address usually, but each council has different rules, so do check with wherever you're hoping to move to.

Originally Posted by dheatonsyd View Post
Particularly concerning for my daughter as it would mean starting high school a year earlier than she would have in Australia.
I'm not sure that's a disadvantage tbh. She may be better off starting with everybody else in Year 7, so they're all new together, no friendship groups to try and break in to (or only 3 months worth anyway), and she doesn't have to stress about tests straight away. Whereas if she joins Year 6, then she's trying to make friends with people who've known each other since the age of 4, plus is chucked in at the deep end with SATS etc and I'm not sure that's worth it just for 6 months or so of primary schooling. And she'd be noticeably older than most of the rest of them, at that age a year's age difference is a big thing.

Of course, it depends on where you're going to as well, is it an oversubscribed area? If so, you may not get her in to your first choice of secondary anyway, so that's another thing to factor in.

Best of luck with it.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Jan 22nd 2020 at 5:24 pm.
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Old Jan 23rd 2020, 3:29 am
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Default Re: UK Schools

Thanks christmasoompa.
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Old Jan 23rd 2020, 11:11 am
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Default Re: UK Schools

Originally Posted by dheatonsyd View Post
We are looking to return to the UK in Dec 2020 after many years in Australia and I really need help understanding the UK school system.



Have 2 kids – dob’s Jun 2009 & Jul 2012 (current ages 10 & 7).



I understand the basics – the need to apply to your local authority, must live in the area, will depend what schools have places available – but after contacting some schools and a local authority – I’m struggling to get confirmation on specific questions. Hopefully somebody can help or has recent experiences they can share.
  1. Do we need to move back to the UK before applying for places and do we need a permanent address in the catchment area (or will living with friends / parents temporarily suffice)?




2. With the Australian system kids seem to start school slightly later.

For example – my kids are about to start Years 5 & 2 respectively (school year starts Jan). In the UK – I believe that this Sep 2020 (ages will be 11 & 8) they would need to start Years 7 & 4 based on their DOB’s and effectively miss a school year? Is that correct? Particularly concerning for my daughter as it would mean starting high school a year earlier than she would have in Australia.

The local authority mentioned ‘teaching down’ ie. letting them start in the prior school years so effectively continuing their Aus years but said it was at the discretion of the school. Has anyone applied and been successful getting this?



Thanks in advance for your help. Really appreciated.

DH
Hi, We did both ways to Australia and then back to England. Whilst in Australia we moved a number of times and had to change schools at different times of the year...our two son's say it never bothered them and really enjoyed their educational years... I obviously worries about it more than they did.
It really depends on your children, schools ..or is it a new school, old school etc. I think I would start year 6 at a junior school so by the time a move to high school they will be use to the educational system and may know people at their chosen high school. Good luck with everything...for me this was more worrying than anything...our boys are now 28 and 25 and are really happy here.
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Old Jan 25th 2020, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: UK Schools

Kids adapt really easily, It's us parents who worry the most in that regard. British schools are REALLY good at helping kids catch up, and they do prefer not to hold kids back, but of course they do make exceptions if really warranted. Being from Australia 9/10 times the kids at their new school will just be amazed at where they have come from and want to know if they had pet Kangaroos etc. More than likely they will make friends pretty quickly. Of course that would also depend on the school etc,but just like Australia if you're not happy with said school you could change. When my boys started school in Australia it was drummed into me that boys should be held back, I now regret that decision as my 12 year old was way ahead of most of his peers, and got bored with the school work, and my 11 year old is similar, except he is academically sound, but still a bit emotionally immature. We are off to the UK next month, and I won't be holding them back or suggesting it as they definitely don't need it. All they will need to do is catch up British History no doubt, although being British I have taught them over the years, so they won't be completely clueless. Then whatever else the school deems needing be caught up on.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:37 am
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Default Re: UK Schools

Thanks everyone - appreciate you taking the time to reply
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: UK Schools

The positive thing about the UK education process, I would imagine, for those moving into it, is the fact that GCSE's are unique - they do not lean on your results and prior education to any extent other than having prepared you for that the level of courses you take. If they do end-up a little behind, they can easily be caught up and be prepared for GCSE years. Take History as an example that was used - you could feasibly miss any mention of History until you reach 14, learn what you need for the GCSE and pass it (extreme example, but the GCSE curriculum is self contained, it only tests you on the two years you study it for GCSE). My daughter took GCSE's in subjects she had never studied before - the prior years is all about preparing you for the level of education, not the subject itself, other than maybe a language or Math, both of which you can do plenty about to catch-up.

The downside is trying to join mid GCSE years and after that if you have come from a very different structure in learning.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: UK Schools

Originally Posted by robtuck View Post
The positive thing about the UK education process, I would imagine, for those moving into it, is the fact that GCSE's are unique - they do not lean on your results and prior education to any extent other than having prepared you for that the level of courses you take. If they do end-up a little behind, they can easily be caught up and be prepared for GCSE years. Take History as an example that was used - you could feasibly miss any mention of History until you reach 14, learn what you need for the GCSE and pass it (extreme example, but the GCSE curriculum is self contained, it only tests you on the two years you study it for GCSE). My daughter took GCSE's in subjects she had never studied before - the prior years is all about preparing you for the level of education, not the subject itself, other than maybe a language or Math, both of which you can do plenty about to catch-up.

The downside is trying to join mid GCSE years and after that if you have come from a very different structure in learning.
Great information, thank you
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