Moving from US to UK - Y11! Problems!!

(26 Posts)
llsharman Sat 09-Feb-13 22:44:57

Hello,

We are planning to move to the UK from the US in July 2014, but we have run into a snag.

Our daughter will turn 16 on September 3rd - 2014, and will likely be too young for 6th form, and may not qualify. She will be too old for Y10, and wouldn't want an extra 2 years of school before university anyway.

We have been told moving her into Y11 would be problematic with GCSE courses being two years in secondary school (Y10 & Y11)

We are looking into Bristol/Cheltenham/Gloucester area, if that makes a difference, and are hoping for a state school.

Thanks

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 23:04:23

If she is not 16 until September 2014 then yes she would be too young for six form and would (if she had started school in UK) be in year 11 then and be one of oldest In the class. I left school in the July age 16.7 months as I was one of oldest.

I'm not sure how gcse s would work, someone with more experience in that should come along soon.

However I believe in UK schools now although I might be wrong that children now have to stay until they are 18 anyway in either school/education of work based education so she might be stuck in school until she's 18 anyway.

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 23:06:15

Sorry for terrible grammar in my post, it's late.

bigbluebus Sun 10-Feb-13 14:47:55

I am not sure it's the age that necessarily matters in the 6th form - more the qualifications needed to get in - usually 5 GCSE's.
Will your DD have qualifications that are equivalent when she leaves USA?
A friend's DD skipped a GCSE year for various reasons and went into 6th form 2 months before her 16th birthday - but she had some GCSE's already and studied some more alongside her AS levels.

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 15:32:53

You can start 6th form locally at age 15 but need some GCSEs or recognised qualifications. Are you same poster who came on ages ago with same queries?

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 10-Feb-13 15:39:59

It's probably easier than it used to be to catch up work missed in year 10, as all exams are at the end of the course. Could you get a tutor to catch her up on work missed? Or maybe find out the exam boards used by the school you want her to go to, and either teach her some of the course content yourself, or get a tutor/s over in the US?

Copthallresident Sun 10-Feb-13 16:39:46

Yes there was another thread on this. The general advice was that state secondaries will not take students into Year 11 half way through the GCSE course though some sixth forms will take younger pupils, especially as there is a matter of days in it. An alternative is that some private schools offer one year GCSE courses precisely because this is a gap in state provision, if you were able to afford one years fees. However you will need to check with individual schools on their policy, requirements for sixth form entry etc.

titchy Sun 10-Feb-13 17:16:19

A view - they're not linear till 2015, and even then still some controlled assessments.

AViewfromtheFridge Sun 10-Feb-13 17:37:33

They're pretty much linear from next year - the current Year 10. Even though they do controlled assessments throughout the course, they aren't submitted until the end of the course, so in theory she could catch up, possibly by doing fewer subjects or by getting a tutor.

OP, is her current school quite academic? Do you think she would be able to cope with the demands of A Levels? You say she wouldn't want an extra 2 years of school, but if she goes straight to 6th form she'll actually miss a year, won't she?

llsharman Mon 11-Feb-13 02:20:20

Thank you for all your responses.

@lljkk - I am not the same poster as before. I am new here.

Here's one of my biggest concerns. She is an exceptional student. If she keeps on the path she is on, she is sure to be accepted to a good university here in The States, or perhaps in the UK. I fear that if I start her in 6th form, and she is a bit behind, that I will be jeopardizing her chances of receiving good scores and getting into a good university. If she takes a 1-year course and takes 5 GCSEs, then she is only meeting the minimum requirements for acceptance into a quality 6th form college.

In the US, she will have finished 10th grade, so would only have 2 years of school left. Neither she nor I are worried about one extra year of school (taking Y11 or GCSE course before 6th form), but don't want to put her in Y10. She will be much older than the other students and it'd be unfair to add 2 extra years of school before University.

Thanks

NatashaBee Mon 11-Feb-13 02:25:08

The only real option I see is putting her into y10. You're probably correct that she wouldn't get a place in a good quality school with 5 GCSEs. Some schools in the UK do offer Baccalaureate, which I know some districts in the US also offer - would that be another option?

sashh Mon 11-Feb-13 02:38:00

When is she due to graduate high school? US HS diploma is about equivalent to GCSEs so she might be better in Y10.

If she is taking AP classes then she should be OK to go into VI form.

In the UK you can go to college (no uni) at age 14. Colleges do some limited GCSEs but more vocational courses so she could do a BTEC Level 2 along side a couple of GCSEs (most colleges do English, maths and science).

She can then

a) go to VI form
b) stay at college for a BTEC National or A Levels.

A BTEC National will get her to uni but not to the best uni or for something highly academic like medicine.

Where are you moving to? There is a US high school in London if you are within commuting distance.

She might also want to think about uni (or college in the US) if she goes into Y10 and takes GCSEs in Y11 she can go to uni in the states aged 18.

If she is wanting to go to uni in the UK she needs to be 'ordinarily resident' for three years to be eligible for funding.

Depending on finances you have a couple of options such as 1 year GCSE in a private school, or possibly a tutor for a year.

She could also be home schooled and take GCSEs by distance learning.

ICS is well known but I have no personal knowledge

www.icslearn.co.uk/qualifications/gcses.aspx

As legally your dd will have to be in full time education you might get some help with distance learning costs.

One final thing. What is her current high school able to do to help?

Could she study for 1 or 2 GCSEs? I think the nearest place to take the exams would be Mexico.

Can she get her diploma before you leave?

Could she not stay in the USA for 1 more year to finish school there?

Copthallresident Mon 11-Feb-13 14:59:51

Ilsharman As you know UK qualifications are of limited relevance in the US university admissions process, I know plenty of expat chidren now at very good, ivy league or liberal arts colleges, in spite of poor UK A level grades that would not have seen them into a top UK uni, and with a lot less excuse than your daughter. They did however put together strong applications with high SATS and subject scores. UK universities would most certainly take a move into Year 11 as contextual evidence of disadvantage in terms of GCSE scores, in as much as GCSE scores influence admissions. There again what will really swing it are AS / predicted A2/ IB scores. Personally unless I could find a good sixth form college to take her at 16 I would put her into a private school for a year where she can do GCSEs in a year www.hothousemedia.com/ltm/ltmbackissues/jan12web/jan12sec1.htm. There is no reason why a bright pupil could not get the 8 or more good GCSEs in a year with the right support. Colleges are rarely rigged up to support very academic pupils.

titchy Mon 11-Feb-13 15:11:02

Agree with Copthall.

You want everything - state school, no repeat of year 10, 10 x A* GCSE grades (that's what exceptional pupils here get) AND you want to move next year!

Something has to give! Change anyone of the above and the rest are doable.

Magdalena45 Mon 11-Feb-13 15:42:37

I agree you're more likely to get what you want privately, maybe a good 6th form college?

PhyllisDoris Mon 11-Feb-13 15:50:52

Depending on the subjects she wants to study, I'd look at getting her into a 6th form. Many subjects are studied ab initio at 6th form anyway, with no need of any prior knowledge.
If she's bright, you may also find that the knowledge she has from her schooling is more than enough to cope with an A level course - but you'd need to discuss with individual schools and subject teachers.
You have the option of starting 6th form, and using a private tutor to help her catch up with anything she's missed.

GoingBackToSchool Tue 12-Feb-13 10:51:18

Lots of A-Level subjects would need knowledge from GCSEs, so if you can get specifications for the subjects she wants to take that might give you a good idea of whether she has enough/the right knowledge to allow her to go into 6th form. Otherwise, year 10 is probably the best bet, but she would have to be in education for the next 4 years which. Year 11 would be harsh to put her in imo. There would be a lot of catching up to do!
I work in Cheltenham and I think that most of the 6th forms would be good at talking through options with you if you wanted to.

Copthallresident Tue 12-Feb-13 11:18:47

I would also add that if there is a hint of entitlement / negativity here that moving ex pat teenagers is rarely ideal, wherever you are moving. However I do know lots of expat teens who have had to rise to the challenge and it is usually a positive experience in the end. The university's love them because the experience opens their minds and they have already proved resilience and the ability to cope with adversity. If your daughter is exceptional, it will make her even more exceptional, not less.

ninjahamster Tue 12-Feb-13 13:00:40

I don't see why she cannot join college and effectively do three years there. If her USA qualifications are sufficient to start some A levels, she could maybe start a couple whilst doing a couple of GCSEs a year to get them under her belt.

lemonmajestic Tue 12-Feb-13 15:57:26

It could also depend on the subjects that your dd would like to study in sixth form as some subjects would transfer across better than others.
For Science it would definitely be possible for most students to take double science in one year and for exceptional students triple may be possible (but it would be a lot of exams for one sitting). For this to happen though a student would need to have studied Chemistry, Biology and physics in their own country. (Sometimes there are problems if a student has only studied on or 2 Sciences).
Maths GCSE in one year is also possible as well as English language and a MFL. Most schools in the UK offer French and/or German but a few offer Spanish (which is commonly studied in the US).
English Literature may also be possible in a year but it could be a problem if your dd has not studied Shakespeare as new specifications are being brought in which may require this.
That would make 5 subjects with double Science or 6 with triple!
Subjects such as History and Geography wouldn't transfer well between different countries.

lemonmajestic Tue 12-Feb-13 18:38:28

Sorry miscounted. That is 6 GCSEs with double Science and 7 with triple.

llsharman Tue 12-Feb-13 19:46:18

This is all great information -

@ninjahamster - you mentioned 3 years in a 6th form college. It this possible in a state school? She would, in theory, start days before 16th birthday, therefore being eligible for public funding for all three years. Or is this option only available in a private 6th form.

My next step is emailing a few 6th form colleges armed with all of your excellent advice.

ninjahamster Tue 12-Feb-13 22:50:43

Yes I think so - well certainly I have worked with teens who have gone to college pre 16 for various reasons and stayed for 3 years or more.

asktheaudience Tue 12-Feb-13 23:03:45

I know a family whose daughter was the same age when they moved to the UK. They successfully applied for a place in a state sixth form to do the IB, a year ahead of her UK cohort. She did very well.
So it is possible (with some negotiation), particularly if your DD is very bright.

tethersend Tue 12-Feb-13 23:25:04

You will not be able to put her in Y10 in a state school.

Schools cannot refuse to give a place to a Y11 student if they have one (and it has been requested), no matter how far through the year it is- whether they will enter the student for GCSEs is another matter.

It may be possible to get a place at a school and remain 'on roll' whilst attending another provision such as a college; this is usually to study vocational courses, but could in theory be for more academic courses.

When she turns 16 is somewhat irrelevant- schools, colleges and LEAs will use her school year to make decisions WRT funding.

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