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How does the english schoolsystem work ?

(8 Posts)
Denmark Thu 03-Mar-05 19:35:14

This might sound a bit stupid but I don't know how the English school system works. I am Danish my partner is French we have been living here 1.5 year and we have a 1 year old daughter. At the moment I am enjoying being a mummy but when, how does she start in school. I know that they start no later than the year they turn five, but how does it work. Do you recieve a letter saying which schools you can choose between, do you pay, do the school teach another foreign langauge, when should we apply for a school, hope you can help me.

coppertop Thu 03-Mar-05 19:42:01

Generally children start Reception in the September following their 4th birthday. The cut-off is August 31st so if your child is 4 on 1st September they will start school in the following September. To make it more complicated some schools also have a January intake.

There are usually adverts in newspapers etc telling you that if your child was born between a certain date then you need to start applying for schools now. In our area you contact the school directly but in others you have to write your preferences on a form.

roisin Thu 03-Mar-05 19:42:09

OK lots of questions, I'll do my best:

Foreign language - very few state primary schools teach any MFL. Reliable(ish) teaching starts at age 11 at secondary schools. There are exceptions to this, but good MFL teaching in primary is still very rare in the UK.

janeybops Thu 03-Mar-05 19:43:58

They send you no info you have to contact the schools you are interested in. They all have catchment areas and if you live in the catchment for the school you have more chance of being offered a place. Some areas have state run Nurserys which they can start the academic year they turn 4. Reception is the year they turn 5.

Register your child now with schools nearby or those you are interested in and they will send you an appication form at the relevant time.

coppertop Thu 03-Mar-05 19:44:12

State schools are free although you may need to buy a uniform. Some primary schools may teach a foreign language but not all of them do.

We contacted the school ds1 goes to back in December 2003. He was 4 the following summer and started at the school in September 2004.

janeybops Thu 03-Mar-05 19:45:44

Do you pay??

Not if you go to a state school. Yes if you go to a public (private) school.

purpleturtle Thu 03-Mar-05 19:46:49

I think that it all depends on whereabouts you are. You could contact your Local Education Authority (look in phone book).

In Sheffield, children start just before they're 5. Our dd will start next Jan, and turn 5 in the April. We were sent an application form last November to apply for schools. You can choose to apply to any school, but you are not guaranteed a place there unless you live in its catchment area. There are usually set criteria for allocating places (e.g. proximity to school, whether you have siblings there, any special needs etc.) Some schools, such as church schools,, have specific requirements.

You don't pay for your child's education in a state school. If you want to choose a private school (I don't know anything about them) you might have to put your name down early. You do have to pay for private schools, and it's usually a lot.

I don't think it's common for primary schools to teach foreign languages, but I think that they are planning to implement it.

Hope this helps a bit. But I think there a lot of local variations!

purpleturtle Thu 03-Mar-05 19:47:35

took so long writing mine, you lot had answered it all already!

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