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Family considering move back to UK - how important is it for children to start Yr 7 and Yr 3 in UK school

(11 Posts)
ALYFei Wed 21-Jan-15 17:48:55

We have been based abroad for the last 6+ years and are now considering moving back to UK. My DD will be Year 7 next year and my DS will be Year 3. As these two levels have fresh intakes, it seems ideal that they start properly in their new school, along with new students and all.

However, my DH is now being pressurised to stay on for another year. And we are in such a dilemma, as I would think that starting in a new school, and in a 'new' country (even though they were born in UK .. we left when they were 4 and 2) would be rather scary.

So, I'd appreciate any thoughts of children starting in new schools and in fresh intakes, as opposed to returning a year later and for them to start at year 8 and year 4. Many thanks!

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 21-Jan-15 18:23:23

I think the worst times to move would be:

Spring or summer term of Y6.
Anytime during GCSE courses (Y9/Y10 to end of Y11).
Anytime during A-level courses (beginning of Y12 to end of Y13).

Other times should be OK.

citymum3 Wed 21-Jan-15 18:23:36

Not at secondary level yet. But at DCs inner city state primary there is a lot of movement and a year 4 starter would be totally fine. Maybe in a less flexible population it would be more of an issue?

LIZS Wed 21-Jan-15 18:27:26

Probably wouldn't make much difference as you are already too late to apply with the main applicants for year 7 so would be limited for choice of school. However if this is important to you you could register them now for private schools as a back up plan and just keep them informed of your plans. They may not hold places open but would notify you as and when a place comes up.

PopularNamesInclude Wed 21-Jan-15 18:31:45

I think starting in Y7 would be better than Y8. But honestly not that much difference. Y3 or Y4- no difference at all.

itsveryyou Wed 21-Jan-15 18:36:31

We are moving back to UK this summer, after three years overseas, DSs will be going into year 7 and year 5. We've tried to time it so that eldest DS can start high school at beginning of term in yr 7 with his old friends, who he keeps in touch with. Youngest DS will, fingers crossed, go back into his old class. Only prob we had was not being able to apply for schools from overseas, despite being told initially that we could. We own our house and will be returning to it, could prove return dates etc, but suddenly the high school we wanted to apply to, changed it's mind about us applying. This school is always oversubscribed and I understand that we're overseas, however I don't think we're any less likely to take up a school place than any other family in the catchment who are offered a place. They said we could appeal when back home, but that process is so uncertain and DS could end up out of school for weeks while the appeal was being held, and that's not something we're grilling to risk. Hope your plans all come together!

Pico2 Wed 21-Jan-15 18:42:41

Most primary schools run from Yr R to Yr 6, so there isn't a new intake at Yr 3. There are some split infants/juniors, but often they are related, so there is still continuity. Independent schools can be different with pre-prep/prep transition.

Quite a lot depends on where you intend to move as some areas have very few places available.

Leeds2 Wed 21-Jan-15 19:03:24

I wouldn't worry about the younger child. He will be just as "new" whether in Y3 or Y4. I would though prefer my child to start in Y7, with the rest of the cohort.

Also depends if you are looking at state or private. My impression is that there is a lot more movement of children to and from private school, hence new children being more common, than in the state system. I have no stats to back that up, just based on things friends have said.

papalazaru Wed 21-Jan-15 23:21:18

In 2013 we moved back to the UK after 9 years abroad. My DS started Year 7 at an independent school as, like many other have said, we were unable to apply to a state school until we were actually resident. Anyhoo - that's another story.

In my experience starting Year 7 was a good time to move. He was able to join a school along with the majority of his year group who were also joining the school. It really helped him to settle in.

My DD joined her school for Year 5 and that has also worked out well.

ALYFei Thu 22-Jan-15 00:47:53

Thank you all for your comments.

Just to add that we have already made applications to an independent school - partly because we are planning to 'resettle' into a different city, hence no property, too much red tape that goes along with applying for state school, and we knew we wouldn't be back in UK in time to qualify for the state school entrance procedures, just like itsveryyou's situation. It would have been a little easier if we were moving back to our original city, where we have a place near DD's old school, which DS could go straight into. But we've decided to move to a smaller city to be closer to family.

My DS did his assessment in Nov last year and has already got a place in this new school. DD just sat her exams and had a Skype interview this week, and we are awaiting to hear if her application is successful.

All this coincides with DH's meeting with his company and them wanting him to give a firm answer if we will stay or go. It would be nice if we stayed for another year, but if this whole year 7 fresh-intake-first-entry-into-secondary-year is an issue.

So, the overall feeling that it is more preferable for DD to start at Year 7 instead of Year 8. And that it makes no difference whether DS starts at Year 3 or 4.

Thank you.

mummytime Thu 22-Jan-15 11:35:00

I don't think its that important to start in year 7. There are two other factors even with independent schools to take into account:
1) will there still be a place for your DD if you stay another year.
2) it will be slightly harder to break into friendship groups etc.
But it shouldn't be a big issue, if there are still school places for your children.

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