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A 10 year old foreign child in the process of moving countries. What to do regarding school?

(10 Posts)
Luandac7 Wed 14-Dec-16 11:51:14

Hi, my name is Luanda, I'm Brazilian and I just moved to England. I have a 10 years old daughter and she's now with me in London, under a tourist visa, we're in the process of getting her a Spouse Dependent visa, therefore, she can't go to school right now. She speaks Portuguese and Japanese (we used to live in Japan) and very basic English, not enough to follow a same age class. Furthermore, she's been the whole 2016 year out of school in Japan because of visa problems, so she's very behind. I'm pretty lost here and I really don't know where to start from, I don't know if she can go anytime to school or just in September and even if she can, if that would be reasonable, since she'll feel very behind and that can demotivate her even more, or if I should start an English course for her first, or if there is special schools for foreigners. I could really use some help here, because I'm pretty lost. We're based in Putney right now, but we'll probably move in 6 months. Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

PatriciaHolm Wed 14-Dec-16 13:53:54

Given she can't actually go to state school now due to the visa she is on, I would look to get her some English tutoring.

Once she has a visa, your local education authority must find her a place, regardless of when in the year it is. She can start as soon as they give her a place.

When was she 10? If she turns 11 before Aug 31, she will go to secondary next September, but on-time applications have closed so you would need to apply as soon as you have an address in the area you will be living then.

Luandac7 Wed 14-Dec-16 14:07:59

Dear Patricia,

Thank you so much for your reply! For instance, I didn't even know I had to go a local education authority and specially that the applications for next year are closed. Right now, I'm with my hands tied right now, so I'll have to wait for the visa to start doing something towards her education. Thank you very much for your attention and kindness!

user1470997562 Wed 14-Dec-16 14:16:22

I would contact your local council education department where you live now and ask them.

Do you come under Wandsworth Council? If so the number is here.

I've found ours really helpful.

Luandac7 Wed 14-Dec-16 19:43:33

Thank you very much. I've called the Council and it was indeed helpful. Thank you!

Mary21 Wed 14-Dec-16 20:19:41

Hi, There is a Japanese school in London. However it is a private school Because it's not a state school she might be able to start there or do courses there prior to getting her visa.
It might also be worth seeing if there ar any home education groups in your area so she could meet a few English children. Also look into out of school activities suitable for her age e.g. Sports, music groups, guides whatever she is interested in

Mary21 Wed 14-Dec-16 20:51:03

This might also be helpful while you wait for school

Bundao Thu 15-Dec-16 11:04:18

If you have a valid visa then it is possible to get her a place. I would go to the school directly. They don't have to deny her a place just because she's on a tourist visa but they will probably report her case to the Home Office, just so you're aware.

I wouldn't worry too much about her lack of English. Can you find a school with a high Portuguese intake? Possibly look at Stockwell, Clapham area, although I think Putney/Wandsworth schools will have a lot of Portuguese/Brazilian children as well.

My son was 10 when he started school in Brazil, he spoke no Portuguese. It was hard at first but after a couple of months he was fine. England is slightly easier because she is not required to sit standardised tests or pass the year, so she has longer to settle and learn before her crucial exam years start.

Good luck.

Luandac7 Thu 15-Dec-16 11:54:48

Thank you all! All posts are really helpful, I'm looking into all the suggestions, really, many thanks to you!! <3

eyebrowsonfleek Sat 17-Dec-16 08:42:51

My children have had children with no English join their state school and they have picked up English after a few months.

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