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Relocating to Glasgow - help with schools

(13 Posts)
ElasticaBungees Thu 30-Jan-14 20:40:14

I am currently living in the US with DH and our three DC (7, 7 and 4). DT started school here so I have no idea about the UK/Scottish systems. We will be moving around April so the DT would start mid year. We are looking at East Renfrewshire to live.

So I need some information about the admissions process, especially for the twins but also for DD as she will start school in August. Are they guaranteed a place in the catchment school or do you have to apply as per England? Would they definitely place the twins together (not a guarantee in England!). DD1 has dyslexia and dyscalculia, what is the SEN provision in schools, do you think she would need reassessing? If they started in one school and then we moved out of the catchment, would they have to move? I am having major panics about none of them getting a school place, or having to move school in August! Also, is it likely that DD2 would get a pre school place for the remainder of the school year (not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things). In general terms, whats is the school system like? Are there lots of assessments as per US and England?

So many questions, I'm sorry but I have no one else to ask!! I need a wine We are really excited, I have heard it is a great place to live. TIA

motherstongue Fri 31-Jan-14 20:45:11

The Scottish system is that your children attend the school in their catchment area. The local authority must provide a place at your catchment school so all 3 kids will go to the same school. So the place to start is really based on where you will rent or buy a home, that will determine your catchment. It is worth baring in mind that Scotland has a fully comprehensive school system for secondary school so depending on where you stay will again determine which secondary school the DCs will attend and the Secondary schools cater for all abilities. There can be vast differences in the calibre of secondary schools so I would make it a consideration now rather than find you are in a catchment for a more undesirable school.

With regards SEN I have no experience so sorry can't help there. I would suggest you post on the Glasgow Local as you may get more traffic from people who know the different schools in East Renfrew and their reputations.

Scottish schools follow "the curriculum for excellence" which you can google. There is no assessment at primary, well none that the parents are privy to so no pressure on the DC in the same way as the English system.

With regards the wee one, the summer term will finish at the end of June so you may prefer to just keep her out of nursery until she starts in August but if you do want to start her at nursery you will find most of the schools have a nursery attached which feed directly into the primary school.

Hope that helps and good luck with your move

AmandaTanen Fri 31-Jan-14 20:51:53

Scottish local authorities do not have to place at the catchment school if it is oversubscribed, you can be placed in a school that has places and the LA has to provide transport, if it's over 2 miles away for primary and 3 miles for secondary.

However, the scottish system of catchments does mean that you should get a space in your local school. The more popular schools sometimes have what they call reserved places which are kept for families moving into catchment during the school year.

I don't know the area you are looking to move to at all. Most authorities have an area on their website called find my nearest, so if you know the post code you can find out the catchment school and contact details.

Good luck with the move.

AmandaTanen Fri 31-Jan-14 20:52:16

Scottish local authorities do not have to place at the catchment school if it is oversubscribed, you can be placed in a school that has places and the LA has to provide transport, if it's over 2 miles away for primary and 3 miles for secondary.

However, the scottish system of catchments does mean that you should get a space in your local school. The more popular schools sometimes have what they call reserved places which are kept for families moving into catchment during the school year.

I don't know the area you are looking to move to at all. Most authorities have an area on their website called find my nearest, so if you know the post code you can find out the catchment school and contact details.

Good luck with the move.

AmandaTanen Fri 31-Jan-14 20:53:20

Scottish local authorities do not have to place at the catchment school if it is oversubscribed, you can be placed in a school that has places and the LA has to provide transport, if it's over 2 miles away for primary and 3 miles for secondary.

However, the scottish system of catchments does mean that you should get a space in your local school. The more popular schools sometimes have what they call reserved places which are kept for families moving into catchment during the school year.

I don't know the area you are looking to move to at all. Most authorities have an area on their website called find my nearest, so if you know the post code you can find out the catchment school and contact details.

Good luck with the move.

duskymoon Fri 31-Jan-14 21:28:02

You must call East Ren council and get them to talk you through the process not rely on something so important as this on word of mouth. Saying that I believe that, even though the deadline for Primary 1 is Jan 14, as long as you apply before the out of catchment places are given out (early March I believe but don't hold me to that) you should be pretty much guaranteed a place at your catchment school. Moving in April will therefore mean you have potentially missed the P1 allocation and all the places could have been allocated. East Ren, however, may have a policy for holding back a place or so for in catchment movers so really you must give them a call. As for your in year placements they will probably be going into Primary 3 and you are looking for 2 places in the same class. You may struggle with this one. 2006 was a bumper year for babies and schools are bursting with this age group. Again, the local authority can advise but it will come down to luck that the school you want has the space. Sorry to so pessimistic but that may be the reality.

Once they are in school they don't have to move if you do.

Nursery school places are not catchmented so your DC3 can go anywhere that has a place, though it would be preferrable to be at the school they are going to.

The school system is much more relaxed than England is my impression (though everything is better in Scoltand as you will soon discover grin)

duskymoon Fri 31-Jan-14 21:31:32

Just to clarify - they must provide a place if you live in catchment before the Primary 1 deadline. They had no obligation to provide places for your primary 3 in year placements - there needs to be a space at the catchment school. They do have to find you a school somewhere though.

Trooperslane Fri 31-Jan-14 21:38:51

No advice to add but Glasgow is an amazing place too love. grin

ElasticaBungees Fri 31-Jan-14 21:42:59

Thanks everyone! This is so hard to work out......until we have a firm job offer we cannot go and find a house, until we find a house we cannot apply for places etc etc. I will call the Council on Monday.

But it sounds like they have to give us places if not in the local school then somewhere? If that's the case would they place them together? I can't begin to imagine the fall out with the twins moving them from here and them them having to go to different schools! Never mind the logistics. Would we have more luck with that if they didn't start until the new school year?

Twighlightsparkle Fri 31-Jan-14 21:46:10

Definkty th call east Renfrewshire council, they will tell you definite arrangements.

You can apply for any primary school you wish, doesn't have to be catchment.

insearchoftheFlumFlumTree Fri 31-Jan-14 22:42:13

Definitely speak to East Ren council. When we were in this position with a different Scottish Local Authority, they were reasonably flexible about which primary school DC would be sent to in the event of there not being a space in our catchment primary (i.e. with reason they would have let me choose from the other schools in the "cluster" which had spaces). The LA would only provide transport to the other school until a place became available in our catchment primary. At this point we could have opted to do an "out of catchment" request to keep DC at the other primary (but provided our own transport) or moved to the catchment primary.

The thing that I found difficult was that the council refused to have any concrete discussions with us before we were actually living in catchment (there were a lot of general / in theory discussions along the lines of what I have set out above). But they were really quite arsey about refusing to confirm space at the catchment school / that there would be a place for DC when we wanted him to start while we weren't living in catchment (even though we owned a house in catchment, we just weren't living in it). Basically they said that at the point we applied for an (in year) school place, we needed to be able to send DC as soon as a place was confirmed (potentially the next day), we couldn't look to 'reserve' a place even a fortnight in advance.

KateAdiesEarrings Sat 01-Feb-14 20:45:12

East Ren schools have a great reputation so demand for places (and housing in the relevant catchment area) is quite fierce. However if you move into the catchment then it's likely you'll be given spaces. Since the schools are so in demand, then if you live in the wrong street it's likely you won't get a place in the best school iyswim. There was a furore when they changed the catchment boundary and homes that had been in the catchment suddenly found themselves outwith it!

Saying that, I don't know of any family that has had to send siblings to different schools so it's likely they will try to give you places together.

SEN provision differs from school to school and there is an issue with many schools being reluctant to send dcs for dyslexia testing until they older (eg age 10/11). But on the plus side, there are very active Dyslexia Associations in Scotland and they'll be able to offer advice and support too. It might be worth contacting them for advice about which schools have the best support. Dyslexia Scotland or Dyslexia ScotWest

ElasticaBungees Tue 04-Feb-14 16:04:41

I spoke to the council and they said once we have an address we speak to the catchment school and they will definitely give them places! I cannot believe it is that simple but that's the word from the horses mouth (although there was a significant language barrier in both directions!). We will get the job offer this week so can plan to come and find a house soon. Thanks for your help!

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