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Could somebody please explain the school system for me?

(15 Posts)
IrishImport Thu 15-Sep-11 19:55:51

We're considering moving over to the UK and I have no idea where to start!

The kids are 13, 11 and 6, so what type of schools and what years would they be in? I'm really sorry, I haven't a notion!

Also, would you know of any good schools in the West Sussex area? DP will be working in the Chichester area if we do move, but can commute within reason. I'd rather move close to good schools than to his job if you know what I mean.



FlubbaBubba Thu 15-Sep-11 20:26:53

No idea about W. Sussex schools, but basically kids start to go to school in the academic year they turn 5 (so my DD was 4 in May, and so has just started). They start in 'Reception', then it goes to Year 1, Year 2 etc

Some schools separate into Infants' School (Recption, Yr1 & Yr2); Junior School (Yrs 3, 4, 5, 6), then Secondary School (Yrs 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11)

Depending on when your kids' birthdays are, they would be in Yr 2, Yr 7 and Yr 9 (so older two in the same school).

Hassled Thu 15-Sep-11 20:32:33

What Flubba said.

The Year/birthday cut off is August 31st. So you actually start Reception (or at least you can) the September after you've turned 4, Yr1 after you've turned 5, Yr2 at 6 and so on. Yr 2 would either be a Primary School (Reception through to Yr 6) or an Infants School (Reception to Yr2).

It does vary a bit from county to county but usually you start High School at 11, Year 7.

IrishImport Thu 15-Sep-11 20:58:42

Thanks a million! It's all very confusing. Here they just go to primary at 4 or 5 for the following 8yrs, then on to secondary for another 5yrs.

I'm only starting to research the possibilities and my head hurts already lol

FlubbaBubba Thu 15-Sep-11 21:06:59

That's pretty much the same here then Irish smile

IrishImport Thu 15-Sep-11 21:10:19

Thanking you!

99% of schools here are public catholic schools and if you're in the catchment area, you're in.. how does it work over there?

Hassled Thu 15-Sep-11 21:18:11

In theory we can all pick what school we want within the local area. In reality, if the school is over-subscribed, then the children living nearest get places first, so yes, catchment areas. But if the school has an intake of say, 40 a year, and there are 45 children living near the school who want to go, they'll just make the catchment smaller that year. Being close isn't a guarantee.

IrishImport Thu 15-Sep-11 21:18:45

I meant the bit about being pubic and enrollment by catchment area part, not the catholic part.. we are not religious.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Sep-11 21:26:33

If your kids aren't starting at the beginning (reception/yr7) then it will probably depend largely on where has places available.

prh47bridge Thu 15-Sep-11 23:24:36

It isn't as simple as those who live closest getting priority. That is often the tie breaker but there are other admission criteria. However, none of that is really relevant as you will be applying for places outside the normal admissions round. As GrimmaTheNome says, that means where they end up will depend on which schools have places available.

IrishImport Fri 16-Sep-11 09:53:49

That's true actually, I foresee some massive phone bills and many, many short hops to the UK in our future lol

Thanks again!

mummytime Fri 16-Sep-11 10:07:06

Okay are you Catholic? The school with the best reputation in Chichester is C of E and has being C of E high on its admission criteria,it isalso very over subscribed. However if you are Catholic you could try for the Catholic school in Bognor. Otherwise anywhere on the A27 is quite commutable.
It is a lovely area, but schools are a bit tricky.

IrishImport Fri 16-Sep-11 10:14:02

I suppose we are catholic, very much NPRC though.

We'll be staying in Bognor this weekend for the revival, I haven't been there yet, so will definitely check it out.

Thanks mummytime!

prh47bridge Fri 16-Sep-11 10:25:24

The County Council should be able to tell you which schools have places at the moment. Of course, that is no guarantee they will still have places by the time you move but at least it is a start.

IrishImport Fri 16-Sep-11 10:28:34

Oh fantastic! The county councils over here could barely tell you where the schools are lol

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