Moving back to the UK after 15 years...

(18 Posts)
jessia Wed 05-May-10 09:23:07

...or maybe 17 - have lost count.

Basically that, really - I left the UK straight after school at 18, was away for 2 years, went back to do my degree, and subsequently left again and have not been back since (except for visits to family).
Now it is looking like DH is about to be offered a job there, and we may be upping sticks and moving back.
Where do we start?? He and the kids (who will be 5 and nearly 7) do not have British citizenship (though speak English), I am British but have no idea how one lives an adult life in the UK IYSWIM. Like can I just walk into a GP's surgery and register, for instance? What about tax? I am self-employed in our home country and will basically be continuing to do what I do here, same clients etc.
What things have changed?
We will be in the Grimsby area - anyone know it? From what I've gleaned on the net it doesn't look like the best place in the world to be but that's what we have so will have to make the best of it.
I have a friend not too far away who has offered to help me look for a school as I will have to start doing that more or less straight away and it would be hard at a distance.
Any advice gratefully received. Oh, and where else can I put this so people will see it grin. I put it in Chat but it got swallowed up almost immediately...

OP’s posts: |
Hassled Wed 05-May-10 09:27:41

I don't think you'll be able to register with a GP until you all have a National Insurance number, so that should be a priority - but then yes, just stroll into your nearest one.

You'd need to ring HM Customs and Revenue and tell them that you're self-employed - their website is surprisingly helpful.

Schools - good that you have a friend to help out with that; you'll need to ring the Schools Admissions bit of the Children's Services bit of the local council.

I know nothing about Grimsby but I think the surrounding countryside is meant to be lovely.

Good luck!

admylin Wed 05-May-10 09:29:04

I wrote this on your other thread, incase you can't find it again...

Be prepared for a shock!

I had a very short trial return to UK but chose to leave again recently. Everything has changed and there were so many things I didn't have a clue about.

One positive thing is that help is so easy to get and mostly just a phone call away. I hate phoning places for information where we live because people are so unfriendly and impatient on the phone but in UK it was a pleasure!

jessia Wed 05-May-10 09:31:55

Ooh thank you - a response! SO sorry to be thick, but how does one go about getting a NI number? I did have one when I was a teenager in the UK but I have no clue if it's still valid (or even where or what it is) and as far as I remember it just turned up in the post one day when I turned 16. Hmm so do kids also have NI numbers? And would DH get one straight away by virtue of being employed?

Thanks for the tip about HMCR, wouldn't have thought of that.

OP’s posts: |
jessia Wed 05-May-10 09:38:06

Hey admylin do you live where I live? grin I hate ringing up to find things out too! Often get shouted at.

We are not planning to settle for ever in the UK - we love where we are and it is my DH's home country (and the kids' home country too), but DH has been unemployed for over 4 months now and of the 100s of applications he's sent off, by complete chance it seems that the only firm interested in employing him is in Grimsby hmm (he's there now at interview so fingers x-ed!!!) So we thought we'd take the plunge - it would do the kids' and DH's English a lot of good, we'd be near Grandma for a while, and my best friend.
UK primary education (when at its best) looks better than the primary education here, so I'd love them to have that opportunity for a bit too. And I can do what I do wherever I am.

OP’s posts: |
admylin Wed 05-May-10 09:43:44

Lol, no but we live very near!!

admylin Wed 05-May-10 09:47:10

If I remember rightly my old NI number was OK and I don't remember the dc being given one but we registered at the local GP place and they accepted the dc too (maybe with my NI number) but you could make sure you have a few copies of their birth certificates just incase.

School was sorted out very quickly, just went round and signed a few forms on the Friday and they started on Monday (primary) when I also bought the school sweatshirt - they gave me a few days to get the black shoes/trousers sorted out.


jessia Wed 05-May-10 09:48:56

Ooh, so you do! Was round your way a year ago on a trip with said best friend - had a great time!
How long were you back in the UK and how old were your kids (they are older than mine) and how did they find it? Did they settle? Were they bilingual? Could they already read and write in English? I am teaching DD1 to read in English and she's doing well but she's still at the building-up-words stage (here they don't start learning to read till 7)

OP’s posts: |
admylin Wed 05-May-10 09:56:09

No they had been in local school abroad but as they are bilingual it didn't seem to bother them. Ds went into year 6 and dd into year 4 and they managed to keep up and were ahead of the others in maths for example.

They settled quickly but they are very adaptable at that age and we've moved around so much since they were born that it didn't seem to bother them (although now they are refusing to move again and want to stay in their secondary school here)

LinzerTorte Wed 05-May-10 11:20:39

We were in a similar situation a few years ago when DH went for a job interview in the UK; he didn't actually get offered the job in the end but by that point we'd decided against moving back anyway for a variety of reasons. However, I did look into things like GPs, NI numbers at the time, so as far as I can remember:

It should be fairly straightforward to register at your local GP with a NI number (the one you had when you were 16 will still be valid, or otherwise I think there are forms to fill in if you've lost it). Children don't have NI numbers until they turn 16, and should get one automatically then if you're receiving child benefit for them. As for your DP, I think he can apply for a NI number at your local job centre - he'll probably need ID, proof of address and proof that he's employed.

Finding an NHS dentist who's taking on new patients might be a little tricky, depending on the area you're moving to.

No help on the Grimsby area I'm afraid (we were looking at Kent but came to the conclusion we couldn't afford to live anywhere nice there!).

BTW just had a quick nosey look at your profile to see where you are, and am wondering whether you have my MIL! We have the same job too. grin (If you have any questions about being a freelance translator in the UK, I have one or two friends I could put you in touch with).

DebInAustria Wed 05-May-10 19:59:04


We are also hoping to move back to the UK afer 5 years away, just got to wait for the house to sell!ds1 is 10 and ds2 is 8 and I'm also worried about how they will cope with school as apart from Reception for ds1 they haven't been educated in English at all.

DebInAustria Wed 05-May-10 19:59:41

Forgot to say dh's family are from Lincolnshire and Grimsby has the best fish and chips!

jessia Wed 05-May-10 20:40:36

Thanks Linzer and Deb.
Linzer I don't think I have your MIL (at least for your sake I hope not - my MIL is a complete dragon, one of the nastiest pieces of female work I have ever had to deal with). But that is a lovely offer and if it comes to it I may even take you up on it. Though I think I'll be sticking with my existing clients as I have more work than I can handle anyway. What kind of stuff do you do, out of interest? (Hijacks own thread grin)

Deb good luck for your move and hope the kids settle in well. I have been teaching DD1 to read since Sept and she does very well considering we only usually have time after all-day KG when she is tired anyway. But I have no idea how to go about teaching writing so am sticking head firmly in sand about that confused.

DH is in Grimsby at interview as we speak and went out for F&C last night but must have picked a duff place because he texted me to complain!!

OP’s posts: |
LinzerTorte Wed 05-May-10 21:08:37

Sorry to hear that your MIL is so awful - I can't really complain about mine as she does mean well and her heart is definitely in the right place. The fact that she constantly tries to stuff the DC with sweets and makes us feel like we're depriving them when I say no does drive me round the bend at times, however!

Re teaching your DD1 to write - I would say that she'll learn a lot about spelling etc just from reading, so if you're doing that with her already that's great. My DD1's writing, or rather spelling, in English is atrocious as we've been concentrating on the German with her, which she has struggled a bit with anyway tbh. DD2 on the other hand has always loved reading (in English and German) and although I've shown her how to write letters (we used Jolly Phonics) she has more or less taught herself to write.

Wrt my freelance translator friends in the UK, I just meant that I could ask them if you happen to have any questions about setting up in the UK, tax, VAT etc; just let me know! I translate from German to English; I used to do mainly technical/IT stuff but have somehow found myself doing mainly statistics and fashion now (strange combination, I know!). How about you?

Sorry, have completely hijacked your thread now, but feel free to e-mail me on traungold @ hotmail dot com grin Hope your DH's interview goes well btw.

jkklpu Wed 05-May-10 21:11:52

Most info is available on or via this portal

jessia Thu 06-May-10 11:59:07

jkklpu thank you so much for that link - I'm sure it will prove invaluable if we end up coming back! smile

Linzer I'm into Judaica, history, art, art history, heritage, things like that. Do lots of academic papers, quite a few books, articles for periodicals, etc. (Polish-English).

As for the reading, I'm making it up as I go along (used to be a TEFL teacher so that helps a bit, though it's a completely different ball game teaching a wee almost-bilingual 6-yr-old to teaching older kids/adults who can already read and write, albeit in a different language). My friend recently gave me some Jolly Phonics stuff and I was relieved to see that I've been introducing things in a relatively logical order.

DH's interview went well, he thinks (came back this morning), but they've still got a couple more candidates, so we won't find out till next week - angry Feel like we're in limbo a bit atm - would like to know where we're going to be in a couple of months' time!

OP’s posts: |
jkklpu Thu 06-May-10 22:20:55

Jessia - No problem. All the very best with the interview outcome and the move itself.

admylin Wed 12-May-10 09:40:12

jessia, did your dh find out about the job? Hope he got it!

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