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Registering late for primary school

(17 Posts)
ThreeSugars Tue 30-Aug-11 10:50:12

I'm stepping out of long-time lurker mode to introduce myself and ask some questions.

My DH and I are hoping to move to the UK in the summer of 2012 with our 3 DDs. They'll be age 8, 2 and 1 when we plan to arrive in the UK.
We haven't finalized where we're going to settle (depends on where DH will have the best job prospects – but we are sure that we prefer to be in a village.) So I'm starting to think of schools and such for DD1.

She'll be 8 in Sept 2012 so will go into 3rd grade -- Right?

So, most schools start in the first week of Sept? But how about registration for school? I've heard that registration for Sept 2012 is as early as Jan 2012?
I’m assuming that if we only arrive in early July and take a month or so to get settled and find a house she’ll still be able to get into a school in Sept but maybe not one close to our house?

I'm also hoping to get DD1&2 into daycare mornings only for about 4 days a week. But I'm thinking that getting them in somewhere should be less complicated/have less time constraints involved?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can give me some information.

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 10:58:03

Does your dd turn 8 in September 2012 or will she already be 8 by then (September is the cut off date for which year they go into)

If she is 8 before September then she will be going into Year 4, if her 8th birthday is in September then it will be Year 3.

It is only children starting school for the first time who have to apply by January-March (exact date depends onteh area) however Year 3 is the first year of juniors so if your dd is due to go into Year 3 then some schools do separate admissions for juniors.

For anyone moving into the area whether from abroad or within the UK and are applying out of normal admissions time it is best to call the LA and ask for a list of schools with vacancies in that year group then call them up and visit them. It may be that your most local school is full but you might drop lucky, perhaps someone else has moved out of the area.

An0therName Tue 30-Aug-11 11:28:35

go on the relevant local authority website and see the procedure it will be called in year addmissions. you probably won't be able to apply until you have proof of address -at least when I did it you did -you could apply 6 school weeks before you need the place. she could go for the last few weeks of term in July - my DS1 has just done that and it works well - its a more relaxed time and you get to meet people to play with in the holidays. how old are your younger ones - if they are 2 or older they could go to pre-school which running morning session - and its funded for 15 hours a week if they are 3. Pre-schools often have long waiting lists - so once you have an idea of where you are going to moved I would get them on the list

ThreeSugars Tue 30-Aug-11 12:28:57

@ elphabadefiesgravity -- DD1 turns 8 in Feb 2012 -- so that would mean she would need to go into year 4? Wow. She is only starting year 2 that would mean she would jump a year? Here they are only allowed to start school once they are 6 -- so she started when she was 6 and a half. I'm hoping you're counting reception as year one? Because the thought of sending her into year 4 is a bit scary. I think she will have a hard enough time adjusting -- especially having school in a new language. (She understands English but at the moment it's her second language...)
You said it is best to call the LA -- um, what's the LA? blush

@ AnOtherName -- I would like to move earlier than July 2012 but DH is currently heading a big project that will probably only be done then -- and he's ridiculously responsible about seeing things through smile
DD2 will be 2 and a half and DD3 will be a year old in August 2012 -- so DD2 could go into a pre-primary but DD1 will need some kind of private daycare.
Did you immigrate as well or move within the UK?

Besides DH getting a job we are most concerned about how our oldest will adjust...confused it's worrying but we believe that in the long run the move will be for the best... this parenting thing is hard wink

Ladymuck Tue 30-Aug-11 12:36:42

If she turns 8 in February, the she will be entering Year 4 in September 2012, which is the 5th year of primary education (reception is the school year in which the child turns 5, so is different from year 1). She will be an in year admission to pretty much any school, so once you have a rough idea as to where you might move, then contact the local education authority (typically at the county level, so if you were moving to say Kent then google Kent education authority).

elphabadefiesgravity Tue 30-Aug-11 12:42:51

Reception - Age 4 (first year of full time school) still part of foundation stage so not such a huge change from nursery
Year 1 - Age 5
Year 2 - Age 6

Year 3 - Age 7 first year of juniors
Year 4 - age 8
Year 5 - age 9
Year 6 - age 10 (last year of primary school before high school)

ThreeSugars Tue 30-Aug-11 12:59:45

Year 4.
But just yesterday she was a tiny baby.
Thanks for the info.

An0therName Tue 30-Aug-11 13:11:40

LA is local authority
We just moved in the UK
my 5 year old misses his friends but otherwise is ok
private daycare can also have waiting lists or childminders -eg home based day care v good in the uk - see mumsnet childminder section for more info
depends on the area -may be lots of children with english as a second language may be worth factoring in where you move to -eg I live in a village just outside Cambridge but there are loads of people from different countries
oh and schools and other childcare all registered with ofsted so that is a good place to start - although don't get too hung up on the ratings - an outstanding school or nurseries may not be the right one for your child

prh47bridge Tue 30-Aug-11 21:31:14

The first thing to say is that the deadline is for applications for entry to Reception. It is not a hard deadline in that you still get a place if you miss it but you go to the back of the queue after all the on time applicants so you are unlikely to get a place at the school of your choice.

If you are not moving to the UK until next summer you will have to wait until then to apply. You apply to the local authority saying which schools you would like your daughter to attend. If there is a place available at any of these schools it will be offered to you. If no place is available you will be allocated a place at the nearest school which does have a place available.

Yes, your daughter will go into Y4. That doesn't necessarily mean she will jump a year as such. I don't know how the curriculum here compares with that where you are so it is impossible to say whether she will have missed anything. It would be worth discussing this and the fact that English is her second language with her teachers when she starts school in the UK.

mummytime Wed 31-Aug-11 07:29:00

I just wanted to add that schools in the UK (even in my nice leafy suburb) tend to be used to children joining from other educational systems, and even often with little to no knowledge of English. The kids catch up! It is amazing to a dud at languages like me.
In your situation I would be encouraging her to read in English (just story books, and you can share the reading). Talk to her about differences in the UK, eg. school uniform (often in primary), the school day, school holidays, and religion in schools.

ThreeSugars Wed 31-Aug-11 09:05:52

Thanks everyone for the info.
Although I talk to my DDs in English I've waited to teach DD1 to read and write until she had her Hebrew reading and writing skills firmly established (her 1st grade teacher said that at the end of 1st grade she was already reading at a 3rd grade level smile ) so I'm now getting ready to start with English.
I'm a qualified English teacher who has taught native speakers and L2 speakers so I have plenty of material at home, but I'm also interested in finding out what's in the UK curriculum with regards to other subjects.
Unfortunately DD1 is a perfectionist -- so I know she will be under a certain amount of self-imposed stress while she's adjusting sad I've chatted to her a little about moving and she is excited about a lot of the newness of it -- but I know that when reality sets in the new shine will wear off a bit.
The school uniforms in the UK are quite different to what we have here and I think the weather is going to be a big adjustment too. Religion in school is also going to be different for her. Here they study the Bible but more from a historical perspective. My DH is Jewish but sees this as his ethnicity and is quite the atheist (if something can't be proven in a lab or shown on a spreadsheet he tends not believe in it at all :P ), I'm more agnostic/pagan, my mom is a devote Christian and DH's dad has started losing his atheist views and spending some time reading/getting interested in more traditional Jewish ideas. When we explain different views/people to the kids we use the idea of “some people believe that…” – so DD1 is quite aware and accepting of different ideas/differences but she’s never been in a situation where the theology of one religion has been presented as fact… It’s going to be interesting.
I just hope that they'll fit in quickly and one day will realize that any stress they have to go through will be worth it in the long run for them.

An0therName Wed 31-Aug-11 09:13:22

re the religion thing depends on the school - lots of primary school are C of E - but not all - and all will - or should - teach about other religions as well as Christanity- in my DSs school they did a whole project on Sikishim (sorry wrong spelling). There are some Jewish state primary schools but not in villages I don't think Friend of mine DCs when to one in Birmingham - about 1/3 of the pupils were Muslim

RunningAllDay Wed 31-Aug-11 12:59:00

Hi - am also a longtime lurker and new joiner.

We were in a similar situation to you last year; we moved back to Britain with children aged 4 and 6. We deliberately moved into a village with an excellent local school, but with other good schools around in case of oversubscription. We registered DD2 in the Reception intake (so by the January of the year in which she was due to start Reception) and she got a place on the back of our address. For DD1, her year (and every other year) was oversubscribed. I was very much in contact with the LEA who explained the admission process to me in detail, and I was able to choose my second choice of school (which was not the next nearest). It took a year before a place came up at the local primary - and we were only first on the list (out of at least 6) as we had bought very very close to the school (and because her sister was in the school already and so pushed us up the admission priority list). It was very difficult to move her (AGAIN) but it was the right decision for us.

With all this in mind, my recommendation to you would be to investigate very very closely the school situation before you move - where you live (i.e. exactly which house) is absolutely crucial to which school your daughter will be admitted to, and if it's full in that year-group, its full, and may stay that way. And if you are able, pick an area with a number of good schools (use the Ofsted website and visit if you can)so you have something of a choice. Quite honestly, if schooling is important to you, plan your admission strategy and decide where to live on the basis of it. This assumes no financial constraints - which is a big assumption. Also, a back-up of private schools (which may have more spaces) nearby is a good plan, although again assumes unlimited funds!

Good luck with the move!

mummytime Wed 31-Aug-11 14:13:01

I would think the Theology o religion isn't usually really taught until secondary (which is where my daughter argues with her RE teacher when the teacher says "Christian's believe", as she often does have it wrong, and we are pretty much C of E Christians).
You will be in a slightly better position than running..was, as your daughter will be going into year 4, so you have lightly more chance of getting her into a school on appeal (there is very little chance in reception or years 1 or 2 dues to rules on maximum infant class sizes).
But don't stress too much, just try to be flexible.

Leighgal Wed 31-Aug-11 23:39:13

Oooohhh! This is a great post for me too! We are moving back to the UK after 13 yrs in the US. We'll be back early July 2012 with a 6 yr old and 4 yr old. DH will have a job in the High Wycombe area - he can work from home some days - I feel like we're in a chicken & egg situation with houses & schools! I'm addicted to Rightmove at the moment but really want a lovely English primary school experience after the ahem 'interesting' time we are having in the California school system. I was going to call the LA sometime in Sept. for advice...I believe DS would be going into yr. 2 - he will be 7 in Oct 2012 and DD will be 4 in July 2012, so nursery for her hopefully...?

Can't wait to move back and be around family, but there is SOOOOO much to sort out both here & back there..! Thanks for help everyone and good luck with moves to those in the same boat!

mummytime Thu 01-Sep-11 05:49:21

If she is 4 in July 2012 then she would be going into RECEPTION in October. This is the first school year, so if you can move a bit earlier then I would. Also in that area you can live in either Bucks or Berks, and could be thinking of either Grammars or Comps for secondary.
If you can come over at least for a sussing out visit, preferrably during termtime, and visit as many schools as possible, to just suss out the situation.
Good luck!

prh47bridge Thu 01-Sep-11 10:36:39

It will be September rather than October for starting in Reception. But mummytime is right that your younger child will start in Reception if she is 4 on 1st September 2012.

That being so, if you are able to move back to the UK by the end of this year you should do so, even if it is just you and your children at that stage with your DH joining you later. The closing date for applications for Reception is mid-January 2012. If you miss that date, which you will if you aren't living in the UK by then, you will go to the back of the queue for places. That means your younger child is likely to end up at an unpopular school which could be some way from your home address. It also increases the likelihood that your two children may end up at different schools.

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