The right tim to go home?

(11 Posts)
mumoverseas Tue 08-Mar-11 08:36:21

Have been in the Middle East now for over 5 years (planned on 2 years!)
DC1 and 2 in the UK, 1 off to Uni in September and 2 doing GCSEs.
DC3 at British school here which she loves and due to start in reception in UK in September this year (assuming she gets a place, if not, she is registerd with a private school) DC4 aged 2.

I'm having HUGE doubts as to whether to stay or go. Pros and cons.

If we go now hopefully she will get into the local school and start in reception and be in the same boat as everyone else. She can get settled back in and DC4 can go to a private nursery and hopefully start at the nursery attached to the school next year.
However, she loves it here, has lots of friends and although only 4 we have talked to her and she wants to stay.

If we go home, DH hasn't got a job to go to yet and any job he would get would be probably half what he is earning now. We would also have to find the fees for DC3's school which at the moment we get a contribution to.

If we stay for one more year to get DC3 through GCSEs and save a bit of money we almost certainly wouldn't get DC3 into the local state school next year. We may then have to think about private school which we are reluctant to do having practically sold our souls to get DC1 and 2 through the private system.

Part of me thinks it is better to get DC 3 back and settled in with her peers in September but a bit worried about the lack of jobs.

Sorry for rambling, hope it makes sense. WWYD?

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mumoverseas Tue 08-Mar-11 08:36:56

and of course I'm so confused I can't spell 'time' blush

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Buda Tue 08-Mar-11 08:48:15

Well for starters I have to say I would discount what your 4 year old says. They will always want to stay with what they know.

The bigger issue is your DH's job. I assume he can't move back with the company he is with?

Are there many jobs around in his field? Has he put any feelers out yet?

Snuppeline Tue 08-Mar-11 09:07:06

I'd also say that the bigger picture is your financial circumstances and I for one would not leave paid employment for unemployment. Make sure he gets another job first. If he has an offer on the table then you can realistically consider coming back. IMO it would be more disruptive to the child doing GCSE's to have to quit midway through than any of the other children having to wait to go to school here etc. Once good GCSE's have been accomplished you can always move this child to a good sixth form college. Besides parents in the UK move too so state schools in particular areas take in pupils midway through years all the time. My SIL's son's class has for instance lost three pupils over the last year because fathers businesses have relocated. Not sure where you would settle here but for the record that's in West London.

I'd say it also depends entierly on what sort of salary your dh can get in the UK. Things are dearer here now. You don't say whether you have assets in the UK like property but if you don't then also consider that house prices have by and large remained high. There's also a lot less on the market which may be a problem for a large family, though if your cash buyers you may have less problems. If your not then having been away from the UK for 5 years might cause issues with regards to obtaining a mortgage.

My advise would be to let the child doing GCSE's complete and your dh find employment in the UK. If you both think that is feasible for the family then I would consider sending the child due for reception to live with grandparents or other family. Or put them down on waiting lists at favoured schools.

mumoverseas Tue 08-Mar-11 10:16:07

No possibility at this time of a transfer within the company, they've just made hundreds redundant.

DH works in the financial sector and is very specialised so not that many jobs around.

He has been looking for jobs and a little interest but the problem he has is he has to give 3 months notice and most people don't want to wait that long.

Sorry didn't make it clear about DC2 and GCSEs. No question DC will stay at current school and finish there and we will just find the money to pay for the final year if we do go home this summer, I won't let her education be disrupted.

No other family in the UK so not an option to send DC3 home. Already have a home in the UK so thankfully that is not an issue and if we do one more year we can pay the rest of the mortgage off. It is very tempting to stay just one more year but I fear that 'one more year' will end up as two or three.
DH came out here for 2 years. 12 years ago! I came out for 2 years. 5 1/2 years ago!

Thanks for your comments ladies

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chloeb2002 Wed 09-Mar-11 00:44:14

i guess id just think the uk is in such a mess post GFC that id stay well away for a while yet! But thats just me!!

nooka Wed 09-Mar-11 06:20:34

I'd stay put too. I don't think that the UK is a very happy place right now with all the cuts. Of course the Middle East could be quite interesting over the next few months (depending where you are) too. However I'd certainly not give up a well paid job for uncertainty.

Is your child taking GCSEs at boarding school in the UK? Are they happy or do they want you to be back in the UK perhaps?

I don't think that it particularly matters with your younger two, friendships at that age tend to be quite fluid and unless they find change difficult they should manage a new school whether they begin in reception or later (especially if they are currently at a British school).

You haven't sad whether you are happy where you are? If so, and your finances are good then I'd stay. Would it matter if you stayed a few more years?

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Bonsoir Wed 09-Mar-11 08:12:04

OP - I think it is madness to even contemplate changing a child's school during the two-year GCSE programme, or the two year A-level programme, unless circumstances absolutely dictate that you must. For me, a child in the final 5/4/3 years of education (depending on the system) would be my very first priority.

Don't talk to your small DCs about this: they are too little to have an opinion. If they are happy and their schooling is adequate, that's enough to be going on with. Supplement their education yourself if you think there are major gaps between the system they are in and the one they will eventually end up in.

mumoverseas Wed 09-Mar-11 12:03:42

Bonsoir read my posts. I have not said I am going to change my child's school during GCSEs. I have said that DC will stay at current school and finish GCSEs there.

With regards to DC3, currently in F1, to be honest, I think the education here in the British school is far better than would be back home at local state school. There are 18 in her class with 1 teacher and 2 TAs which we certainly wouldn't get back at home. I've just heard people say before that it is better to move back when they are younger rather than when they are more settled.

nooka yes, DC1 and 2 at UK boarding schools doing A levels and GCSE and both very happy there. DC2 has said she would like me home next summer to help her get ready for her prom but doesn't seem bothered about me being there for her exams! hmm Obviously I go home as often as possible and they come out here for holidays.

I'm mostly happy here although sick of the politics (not of the country but DH's company which controls pretty much everything we do and hate not having a private life). DH VERY unhappy at work and wants to go home much more than I do but is sensible enough to not hand his notice in until he has found a job although this is proving difficult due to the amount of notice he is required to give.

The main concern is that its been implied that if we don't get DC3 into reception this September we won't get her a place in the following years as school so oversubscribed.

Thanks again for your comments.

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nooka Fri 11-Mar-11 05:30:51

I wouldn't worry so much about the over subscription issue, as that's just about reception entry. If you are going to an area with relatively high churn places will come up as families move. You might need to have your dd at home for a bit until a place comes up, but you can homeschool until then (I thought that missing a few months of school was a disaster until we moved to the States and the children ended up missing about six weeks of school with very little adverse effect) as you have another child at home.

If your dh is very unhappy that's another matter entirely. Is the three months non-negotiable? In my previous role all senior managers had three months notice periods, but that was usually negotiated down to about six weeks. In practice a company that wants your dh's skill set should be willing to wait for him. I'd imagine that getting to interviews might be difficult though.

mumoverseas Fri 11-Mar-11 09:17:26

Hi nooka, thanks for your comments, very reassuring regarding the school place. I do wonder if there is a lot of scaremongering going on.

3 months notice not normally negotiable, only a few weeks ago one of DH's colleagues lost out on a really good job offer as the company wouldn't release him early and the new company simply were not willing to wait that long for him. Not an option to go in breach of contract on notice as he would lose a large sum of severance pay.

DH is back to the UK on business next week and has a few 'casual' meetings lined up so fingers crossed.

Thanks again for your time

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