Moving from America mid year(5 Posts)
We are moving from America to London mid year. My daughter is in 1st grade. Is it possible for her to get admitted to a public school mid year, probably in December? If so, can you please explain to me how.
First let me explain that the terminology we use over here is different. A public school in the UK is an independent, fee paying school - what you in the USA would call a private school. You are looking for admission into a state school.
Having got that out of the way, the answer is yes you can get admitted mid year but you probably won't be able to sort out a place until you have moved to London. You get a place by applying to the local authority. You will be able to say which schools you prefer and put them in order of preference but there is no guarantee you will get a place at one of them. If one of your preferred schools has a place they will admit your daughter. If they are all full the local authority will offer a place elsewhere - usually the nearest school with places available. To help you choose most local authorities will tell you which schools currently have places but that can change before you apply as others move into and out of the area.
The rules vary a little from local authority but most will want a solicitors letter confirming you have exchanged contracts (which means you have committed to buying a house) or a copy of a signed tenancy agreement (which confirms that you have rented a property) before they will accept your application. Some won't accept your application until you've actually moved in.
Do you know where you will be living? If you do but you are unsure which local authority covers your area let me know where you will be living and I will tell you which LA is involved and give you a link to their website. If you don't want to post the information publicly feel free to PM me - click on the "Message poster" link at the top of this message.
Thank you for clarifying - it is really helpful. We are looking for a state school. My husband's job will be in Maidenhead, atleast 3 months and may extend longer. We may look to rent a place there to start out. What do you think about that area and how could I get in touch with LA?
Also, I have a preschooler, he is turning 3. What options do I have for him? At what age are the kids accepted in state school? In America they have to 5 to be admitted to kinder garden.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it.
Are you looking to live in Maidenhead? Normally LA (the local authorities, equivalant of education boards) are looking for a house rental of 6 months or more, and actually its hard to find a house rental shorter than that.
Children usually start school the September after their 4th birthday in England. For your younger child there will be a lot of Pre-schools/playgroups or nursery schools or nursery classes attached to schools.
For Maidenhead itself a good starting point would be Windsor and Maidenhead council, one thing to take note of is that Windsor schools and Maidenhead schools are different, eg. Maidenhead has primary schools up to 11 then secondary schools, Windsor has Primary, Middle and Secondary schools. If you live in a nearby town their school system is likely to be more like Maidenhead's.
Also, you will need to know which year group your children will fit into as it is worked differently here to the States AFAIK.
Here, for your DD to go into Year 1 (kind of 1st Grade except that we have a year before that call Reception that is school but curriculum more like your kindy) she must turn 6 between Sept 1st 2011 and August 31st 2012.
good luck with the move!
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