Does it matter if you don't finish GCSEs?

(20 Posts)
Bunnielish Thu 08-Oct-15 15:03:09

We're off to the Netherlands as a family in December and we've sort of come full circle with regards to our Year 11, 15 year old daughter. Our younger girls are aged 11, 10 and 7.

I would rather we all move together, start learning Dutch asap and generally support each other getting to grips in our new environment from Day 1.

My eldest is a lovely, pretty easy going teen, who isn't totally against moving (to be honest, I'm getting more tears from my 11 year old who has just started at a great secondary), and is actually looking forward to the challenge of doing an IB instead of 'A' levels at an international school over there. However, as is to be expected, some of her peers have encouraged her to explore the possibility of staying here for 6 months in order to finish her exams/go to 'May' ball (depending on their priorities, haha).

I wasn't keen at first, thinking where would she stay (no local family) and who in their right mind would want another teen to worry about. Then DH and I discussed it and agreed that maybe, if it were possible, perhaps taking the exams rather than twiddling her thumbs (ok, learning Dutch and doing a few months of the middle year diploma program ;-) ) until her IB started next Aug/Sept would be a good idea.

A couple of friends parents seem open to the idea, but after doing some research I don't think it's possible because of her age - she won't be 16 until May. We had a look at the legal implications and I don't think you're allowed to look after another child under 16 for more than 28 days, and obviously I don't want to do it under the radar and potentially get all those involved into trouble.

Unfortunately we don't have the money to keep 2 households going, so I can't stay here with her, and anyway I'll need to be in The Netherlands with the others, so DH can go to work. :-)

So my question is, does anyone have a child that moved to Europe from the UK during secondary education and completed their IB, went to uni etc without any problems? If there were issues, what were they?


OP’s posts: |
Stompylongnose Thu 08-Oct-15 15:10:10

I think if you're committed to stay in the Netherlands until she goes to university then it's fine not to complete GCSEs. The problem is if your husband is only on a 1 or 2 year contract or if he's made redundant and you have to return to the UK before she goes to university.

Branleuse Thu 08-Oct-15 15:10:34

can she finish her GCSEs via online school? like briteschool or something

ConstanceMarkYaBitch Thu 08-Oct-15 15:13:03

What makes people aren't allowed to look after a child for more than 28 days? Informal arrangements of this type are common and there are no laws against it.

Re quals, generally a higher one negates the need for lower ones, so for example if you had no GCSEs but were allowedto do a levels, that would be fine. I have a masters degree but no a levels for instance.

BoboChic Thu 08-Oct-15 15:15:43

Although in an ideal world your DD should probably do her GCSEs and then start her IB programme it won't be a disaster if she doesn't: a family move abroad is a perfect example of unavoidable change of circumstances.

InternationalEspionage Thu 08-Oct-15 15:23:29

I'd suggest speaking to one of the British schools there to complete if she's done lots of work already. As stompy says, also an online school, also completely independently if you enrolled her to take papers at an exam centre. I think homeschooling in NL is officially illegal but this is waived for expats with a good story so she could move with you and sit them in UK if that makes sense.

Is she thinking of NL or UK university? If UK then I suggest you call a couple of admission offices to ask if they have preferences.

I lived in NL. Loved it.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 08-Oct-15 15:26:29

Looked after a child for more than 28 days refers to private foster care arrangements. There is nothing's legally stopping a friend looking after your child.


overthemill Thu 08-Oct-15 15:27:06

My nephew stayed with a friend's family for last year of GCSEs as his step dad ( in army) got unexpectedly posted at that point and nephew wanted to stay at his great school. It was no issue, parents gave family something towards his costs and had him for holidays and some we ends when practical. He then moved for a levels. If she is in yr 11 at the moment I think I'd keep her there if possible or online school for rest of year

cestlavielife Thu 08-Oct-15 15:38:24

seems a shame not to get the GCSE qualifications if she has done the work...ask British school s there about sitting as a private candidate teh exams and do home school/online tutoring. she could switch to IGCSE which she can take the exam abroad, or continue with uk ones and ask her current school if she can come back for the three weeks to sit them there as a private candidate (you might get charged)

I would at least get her to sit the basics in GCSE - English, Maths, Science.

will employer be paying private school fees? if so then just sign her up to the British school there to complete the gcse courses.

or have her stay and complete the gcse year 11 in uk staying with friends.

you could get over the 28 days in a row by having her come to NL for long weekend every four weeks. and in holidays.

or choose someone who wont object to background checks being done on them.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 08-Oct-15 15:40:01

I think you'd be mad to take her out of school this close to her GCSEs. There's no guarantee any school you could find in NL would be able to help her complete the syllabus, as schools follow different ones.

Absolutely no issue with her staying with friends for a few months - no law against that. It's what I would do. It's pretty cheap to get to NL by public transport - she could come home every weekend if she wanted to.

titchy Thu 08-Oct-15 15:40:02

Can she actually start IB without ANY qualifications? Is the Dutch school willing to take a chance on her?

It could work, but you are putting all your eggs in one basket and committing to a Dutch education from the next three years at least - you won't be able to return home.

Personally I would send dh over till the oldest has completed GCSEs.

BoboChic Thu 08-Oct-15 15:40:58

You don't need any qualifications at all to start IB.

AnyoneButAndre Thu 08-Oct-15 15:49:41

But you'd presumably be making your university applications with zero paper qualifications under your belt? Or does the IB have "half-way" AS-type qualifications?

BoboChic Thu 08-Oct-15 15:52:28

Lots of people apply to university with only predicted grades. It's fine!

NewLife4Me Thu 08-Oct-15 15:57:35

There is nothing to stop somebody looking after your dd. it would be advisable to make them her legal guardian though as if she needed medical attention or anything official you wouldn't be there as the adult.
As far as quals go, it isn't a big deal but do make sure you are aware of what you will need to do if she does move with you.

SquadGoals Thu 08-Oct-15 16:18:41

Not from the UK but DBIL moved at 16 from the middle of the equivalent of GCSEs to Switzerland.

It was the making of him. He's gone on to the best university in his home country to study Philosophy and French - a language that he only picked up at 16 in Switzerland. He's travelled the world and learnt Spanish. He's also made friends around the world.

If she's keen to move, go for it. Dutch is fairly easy to pick up and a lot of her peers will speak good English.

overthemill Thu 08-Oct-15 16:21:18

IB has equivalence to A levels

Bunnielish Thu 08-Oct-15 16:25:44

Thanks for all the replies.

Yes we're over there for the long haul. My DH is actually Dutch, he just hasn't lived there since he was a child. The younger 3 will all be going to local schools when up to speed with language and my eldest may want to go to uni there (after she's added up the tuition fees, lol), we'll have to see.

I've had another look at the .gov page and I am wrong. Although it WOULD be classed as a private foster arrangement if the parents (who are not related to my 15 year old) looked after her for 28 days or more in a row, yes we COULD get around it by flying her home every 4 weeks. I obviously need glasses, sorry!

Half terms are usually 6/7 weeks, but not sure if it would be against the rules if she went to stay at another family (say split back and forth between 2 friends) after the 4 weeks limit, up until the school holiday, but it's not a big deal as she could come visit us as some of you have pointed out.

Of course we'll miss her terribly (in case I was sounding very matter of fact) - I was bawling my eyes out in the car on the way home from a 4-day trip to check out living there last week. If we do leave her here, I hope it gets easier (fingers crossed)!

OP’s posts: |
LizzieMacQueen Fri 09-Oct-15 13:36:23

If I was in your shoes I would delay the family move. She is very young to be left in someone else's care. As the Netherlands is not that far why not have your DH start his new job, rent a place there, and commute back to the UK until May.

ShanghaiDiva Sat 10-Oct-15 14:13:56

Dh's family moved to Germany when his sister was about to start year 11. At the international school they did not offer all the courses she had started so she went back to the UK at age 15 and stayed with a friend for 10 months. This was years ago, so am not sure of the legal implications, but she completed her exams and was good preparation for moving back to UK for university while parents were still overseas.

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