What would a school do with a pupil that arrived from abroad at the start of year 11? For GCSEs I mean

(38 Posts)
cornishblue Tue 08-Jan-13 21:39:12

I'm contemplating moving back home this year but DD would be in year 10 now so the timing isn't great for her. Ideal for younger DC though.

How would a state school handle GCSEs for her?

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 08:45:34


I can't imagine that they'd be able to cram GCSE courses into one year, but she'd hate to be put in the year below.

Spalva Wed 09-Jan-13 09:15:58

Everyone is over on the other thread about this very subject: Moving from US to UK

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 10:55:56

thank you!

IDontKnowWhereMyMedalsAre Wed 09-Jan-13 12:36:29

I dont know if state schools are compelled to take a student but when I worked in relocations in the middle east, no British school would take a student into year 11. Even if it is the same course the chances of having learnt the same modules in the same order are very slight. I never had a student match a like for like by more than 4 out of 10 subjects, ie subject, exam board, school selected modules, order modules studied in. Good luck I really dont know what to offer, except in the case of this students the parents refused the offer to move out here (to the middle east) for fear of affecting her whole career.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 12:39:15

This would be a TERRIBLE move for her. Disaster! This is my area of work and I strongly recommend you not to do this.

beachyhead Wed 09-Jan-13 12:44:14

A friend just came back from Australia and her daughter went into year 10 rather than year 11. Probably not what you want to hear!

crazymum53 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:03:10

Depends which country you are returning from and what curriculum your dd has been following. If your dd has been studying an international curriculum such as iGCSEs some schools may be able to offer this in the UK.
Regarding the previous posters comments re Australia (also applies to NZ), they start the academic year in January whereas in the UK the school year starts in September. That may result on children born between September and December moving into a different school year on returning to the UK in all school year groups.

wildirishrose Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:18

If you HAVE to move back, I would get her to repeat year 10.

Amerryscot Wed 09-Jan-13 17:10:33

We would have them move into Y10. We are fairly happy to take students in the middle of Y10 though, if they are moving mid-year.

We would always do what was right for the child, educationally, rather than sticking to strict age cut-offs.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 20:55:53

Not all schools will support a year behind placement as they would not have the funds to do so.

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 20:58:50


We don't have to move this year, and if the only option is Y10, probably won't. It's frustrating because I think she would do much better in the UK system, and if we leave it another year she'll be leaving in the middle of a 2-year course here

I'm not really in a position to move before then, which is a shame if there's a chance she'd be taken in Y10 now.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:02:42

It is a terrible idea and sounds like the move will hugely disrupt your DDs education at a crucial time. Sorry that it is it what you want to hear but from experience children who change countries and schools At this time do badly, very badly academically.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:04:12

It is not what I want to hear

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:10:24

The family circumstances are complicated. She isn't doing very well academically here anyway and is heading for at best for mediocre, at worst for failure, barring a miracle.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:14:08

Sorry, I meant that I am sorry that it is not what you want to hear.

There are obviously more things going on, but even so it is a huge upheaval at a critical time emotionally and educationally in her development. How will she weather the move aside from school, leaving behind friends etc?

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:15:40

You could contact the schools she will potentially go to and ask then if they would permit a repeat year. On the sw that would be a NO

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:17:33

I really don't know.

I haven't decided what is best for us all yet but she is the one that worries me the most. Younger DC are quite keen on the idea.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:21:22

What does she want?

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:28:22

Mostly she says she wants to stay. She doesn't like change and is irrationally scared of British teenagers! Which is crazy because she's very outgoing and confident, hardly a wallflower.

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:32:30

Are you very unhappy where you are? Sounds like staying is best for her

Mawgatron Wed 09-Jan-13 21:34:59

I can only speak from an English teacher's perspective on this subject, but if a student arrived and did not repeat year ten they would have massive issues. Our gcse is 40% coursework ( 4 pieces completed in yr 10 and one piece in yr 11) 40% exam (prepared in yr 11) and 20% speaking and listening. Most exam boards have a similar structure so this will be the case in the majority of schools. All coursework must be completed in school, under supervised conditions. And that is just English! There is not enough time to cover everything in one year, and they are pretty much guaranteed to do less well than if they had been there for two years.
I am pretty sure your child would be in the same boat in other subjects too, so if they can't start in year ten then I would not advise it.

Have you thought about colleges? They also offer gces and might be a more flexible option?

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:37:33

Hmm. Maybe. More thinking and research to do I think.

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:39:36

Mawgatron - Yes I read on the other thread that colleges take younger students, I didn't know that. Are these sixth form colleges?

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 21:44:47

You also need to consider funding and costs.

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 21:54:03

Funding? What for? Sorry if I'm being dim!

nilbyname Wed 09-Jan-13 22:03:20

How old will she be when you return post 16 you will have to pay costs, college fees, travel, equipment and stuff like that.

You do need to do more research try you gov for more information,

cornishblue Wed 09-Jan-13 22:05:28

Eek. She's 15 now. I'll research it. Thank you.

incogneetow Wed 09-Jan-13 22:13:15

I don't think repeating a year is necessarily the worst option either.
We are moving in summer.
ds1 is going into yr12 - so he's straight forward.

ds2 is going into yr10, which I thought was straight forward. BUT the new county start GCSEs in yr9; and all top sets do many of the GCSEs (Maths, English, Dual Science, etc.) at the end of yr10.
Fortunately we think he'll get into a good school, so even in middle sets he should do very well.
BUT, he is a bright, potentially very high-achieving student; who would probably feel more at home in top sets.
If the school offer us an option for him to start yr9 (again) and do their normal pathway, I certainly wouldn't dismiss that out of hand.

Amerryscot Wed 09-Jan-13 22:30:00

I would suggest that those who move to the UK through choice are doing for economic reasons. That means that the salary on offer is better than where you are coming from.

Can you really not afford to independently educate your children? If you can't, then perhaps you would be better staying where you are for a few years.

You need to offset your child's lifetime future against your short-term gain.

You don't have to pay fees for state 16-18 education.

nilbyname Thu 10-Jan-13 09:14:03

breath that depends on the Locality and council. Also there are other costs-travel, equipment etc. Also it is a different model of education, more independent study, more onus on the individual. If your DD is not doing great in her current setting would she cope with that?

You need to offset your child's lifetime future against your short-term gain. Is spot on!

Also I would not assume that although the poster might be an "economic" migrant that they will be better off overall.

I meet many families who are here as eco migrants and they-

Have not researched the education system and how it works and put their children at a huge disadvantage
Have not understood how the welfare and housing system works and have to privately rent at huge cost
Have not been in the UK for long and are unable to secure a mortgage
Have not been in the UK for long and are unable to secure a perm job
Have professional qualifications that are not recognised here
Have no family to help them out with child care etc
Have sank everything into the move and have no financial safety net.

That is a very familiar profile.

op I am sorry to be so doom and gloom and there are certainly lots of success stories, but I have yet to meet a child who arrived in Y10/11 who secured 5 A-C grades at GCSE. Not one. And I have worked with many many schools and children.

cornishblue Thu 10-Jan-13 20:32:22

No I'm not an economic migrant, I'm an emotional migrant! Simply thinking about coming home to be closer to family.

But I accept that we will probably have to put it off for a year at least and I'm of course prepared to do that if the educational options available to the children aren't going to be an improvement on what they have here.

JenaiMorris Mon 14-Jan-13 12:36:54

This might be nil's line of work but she is being far too negative. I can only assume that she only sees the hard cases - plenty of people manage to return to the UK without disaster striking hmm

Year 11 would be a difficult time to come back, there's no escaping that. However your dd could go into Y10 - you say she's not keen but it's worth considering. I have a friend who has returned from the continent with her son, who started in Y7 (rather than the Y8 he "should" have done) with no problem whatsoever. I have another friend whose child is repeating Y12 (different county, too).

Other than the bus fares, PE kit, scientific calculators and whatnot that all of us parents with secondary age children have to shell out for, they're not having to pay fees or anything like that. State education is generally free from 3-18 after all. Both are British citizens - I don't know if that has any bearing.

OP, if you have a firm idea about where you'd be returning too, perhaps you could approach a couple of schools and see what they say - their email addresses should be on their websites.

thegreylady Mon 14-Jan-13 17:28:32

Is it possible she could start a distance learning course for the GCSE course/board she would be following? If she could cover the yr10 work now she could probably go into yr 11-I suggest you look at 11-18 schools rather than 11-16.

marcopront Wed 16-Jan-13 16:32:42

Where are you now? What system is she in at the moment?
Could you find an international school in the UK?
I agree with others that moving in year 11 is very difficult. I teach in an international school and although we do take students in year 11, it is rarely successful.
Also there are issues with university fees if you have not been in the UK for the previous three years and I think this can apply to post compulsory education so did apply to 16 -18 year olds. I am not sure if that is still the case.

sproingle Thu 17-Jan-13 22:18:14

Could you consider an independent school for year 11? You could probably find one allowing a reduced number of GCSEs/IGCSEs in a year especially if they also offer 1 year "pre A level" courses for international students. A school I taught in did/does? that and there must be others.
You could always move her to a state 6th form college afterwards.

LittleFrieda Thu 17-Jan-13 22:18:57

I don't think it matters if she doesn't do a full set of GCSEs. Could you home ed her and get her to take Maths, English and a couple of science GCSEs. It would be much better to do excellently at four or five subjects, than to perform badly across too many.

Is she very academic/bright? Might she want to go to Oxford or something of that ilk. If yes, I'd have a word with the admissions people and see what they suggest as a good course of action.

I know somone who went to Oxford with only A levels (British, but living abroad with no access to formal school until age 16).

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