Reasons why we should choose Scotland to move too?(56 Posts)
Don't live in U,K at the moment but there is a chance Scotland may come up as a possible move. (Dh in oil industry) As long as we are near good transport links I don't mind.
I am more concerned about schools, children are 8 and 10.
Any pointers on area for good school. I am completely open to suggestions.
Scotland is actually a pretty big place do depends where u thinking of moving to before could advise on schools.
Scottish system is great though.
if he is in oil iindustry near aberdeen seems most likely
You don't have to water the grass!
Sorry, I'm bitter because it's been raining for days (so much for summer)
In all honesty I love living in Scotland, it's absolutely beautiful. Schools can vary wherever you are
If it's Aberdeen, you're not far away from fabulous countryside/hills. Shopping/eating out/entertainment - it's reasonable, not same variety as London but good range. Schools are generally good. Fresh air/no droughts
It is really hard to choose an area. Dh is in the oil industry but not tied down to one place( He travels a lot) It would be a lot easier if he was, limit our choices, and make it easier all round.
I would love to live by the water, not necessarily the sea. Not a big city, but not too rural either. I'm sure that doesn't narrow it down at all.....
I know the Scottish school system differs from the English system, not 100% clear on those differences though. Kids are in an american system at the moment which complicates it even more.
I have visited Edinburgh and think it is beautiful, though I know that doesn't mean it's automatically a good place to live.
Edinburg all the way. Great place for kids to grow up. It's a city but you can escape to wonderful wilderness easily. There's a American ex-pat presence too, if that's important. No mosquitoes, LOL.
I'm in Aberdeen. If I had your choice, I'd look at Edinburgh. Aberdeen is expensive for what you get. Not just property, there are very few decent restaurants, but there are a lot of expensive ones. Because there is so much expense account spending, the industry gets away with serving up second rate food. There is an International School though, which follows the American system, as well as British and IB.
Stirling/Dunblane/Bridge of Allan and maybe Callander or Dollar - Easy access to Motorway for Glasgow or Edinburgh, near enough to commute to Grangemouth and handy for A9 to head over to Perth/Dundee and up to Aberdeen. On the train line.
Small City/town/Village areas. Good schools, great countryside, access to Uni and sports facilities of any type, some cultural stuff as well as history etc. Rivers etc rather than sea but can be at Loch Lomond in 30-40 minutes or across to the beach in Fife in 40-50 minutes.
If you really are totally flexible have a mooch around in google maps, looking for towns the right size etc near to water/roads/railways. Have a look at any likely places on right move to see what is available.
If you manage to narrow down at all, I'm sure you will find a local to give you the lowdown...
Edinburgh from me too. A small, beautiful European Capital city with lots of culture and character and an international community. What's not to like (apart from the house prices and the weather!).
Given the choice between Aberdeen or Edinburgh and the Central Belt I would definitely choose Central Belt - Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Perth or anywhere in between. I would find Aberdeen a bit isolated and insular.
Weather is usually miserable but a lot of the rainy days are "useable" as the weather man puts it. Most places are within an hour of the coast and / or mountains and absolute wilderness (loads of opportunities to do organised or your own outdoor pursuits). Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have World beating cultural stuff (museums, universities, science centres, concert halls, sport, festivals) which is pretty accessible and affordable for everyone.
Central belt transport links between places are pretty good (trains, buses, motorways).
Property prices relatively affordable (Glasgow more so than Edinburgh) and more space per person.
Education for later years is much broader than in England which is why I am glad I came home. (5 highers in 5th year with options to do more and specialise in a couple in 6th year rather than restrictions of 3 A levels) Also in general DC go to the local school (you can research performance for different schools and their related catchment areas on Parentzone education Scotland) which is much less stressful for DC and parents than "choices" in England.
If your husband travels a lot you might want to be near the main airports.
Personally if I was you I wouldn't want to live in Scotland. Just my opinion mind you.
I'll defend the Aberdeen area!
The city, suburbs and surrounding towns and villages are full of folk the same background you suggest.
It can seem expensive, but I'll make a sweeping assumption that if you're in an oil job, not tied to an office and have kids in the US education system, you're probably on a decent salary so wouldn't struggle there.
Banchory / Deeside area is pricier for houses, but arguably better area. Although all the surrounding areas are "good".
Higher than average, I think, amount of private education including The International School if that's what you're after too.
I know several people in Central (Stirling/Dunblane etc) who are in the oil industry. It's nice here.
Lovely people too
My dh also in oil industry and Aberdeen based (previously was at Grangemouth). Grangemouth easily commutable from central belt - including Dunblane area. Aberdeen definitely not. We moved to around 50 miles from Aberdeen (no closer due to my own job in opposite direction). His commute can take between 1 and 3 hours depending on traffic. Will be better when the bypass is open (eventually!) Will say that although not particularly warm, the north east seems to be drier than central belt!
Thanks everyone for their replies. I will spend time researching various areas. Thank goodness for 'google'
Is the difference between Scottish and English schools systems huge. When I read about The UK school system in the news I realized (after a while) that they were nearly always referring to the English system rather than UK
Has anyone experienced both and has a preference?
I would say the area you should choose would depend on which part of the oil industry your DH works in. There has been a huge downturn in the N Sea oil industry recently, and a lot of redundancies. Perhaps your DH works in a skills area not yet affected?
Living in central belt Scotland is ok, but as others have said the weather is rubbish and house prices are high in all the nicest parts. Aberdeen is freezing and feels quite cut off from central Scotland, it is also very expensive.
People in Scotland tend to be proud of the reputation and standard of the Scottish education system - but I don't have experience of others so can't comment on comparisons!
What is too large city to you, population wise? Large cities for Scotland aren't large cities elsewhere, so you might have quite a choice. Like all cities they have their more and less sought after/desirable areas, so probably best to narrow down your choices then ask for advice on areas.
If your name really is Fanny you might want to reconsider moving here though
My only real comparison is with the NZ system (a loooooong time ago ): I was 13 when we went, had to jump ahead 6 months with the change in hemisphere but coped. Spent 2 years there and came back when I was 15, 6 months before my O Grades. Technically I jumped back 6 months to my original year, but I still had to catch up
I ended up studying Hamlet for 3 years, as we'd done it in NZ, came back and they were over half way through Macbeth for the O Grade, so I just revised Hamlet again (cut down my choice of questions as I had to answer the generic Shakespeare question but I was ok with that) and then studied Hamlet
again with the class in S5 for my Higher . Had to do a crash Latin O Grade, as I didn't have time to study German before the Oral.
In comparison with Americans and English at Uni (went to St Andrews, where there were lots of both ), the Scots performed well. But again, that was a looooong time ago
The Scottish education is broader than the English one, which I like. 5 Highers (for academic kids) are the norm, taken in S5 (I did 6, but that seems to be rare these days), which is the equivalent of Y12. You can then go to Uni or stay on for S6 and do Advanced Highers, more Highers (some people, for example, do a "crash" Higher in the 3rd Science, if they only did 2 Sciences in S5), or even A Levels - or re-sit any Highers for which you didn't get a good enough result.
The new Curriculum for Excellence is still bedding in. You'll get mixed views on Mumsnet as to its effect on the quality of education in Scotland but so far my experience, vicariously through my ds, who is starting S4 (and will be sitting 8 National 5s
the equivalent of GCSEs in May next year), has been good. That may also be due to the pragmatic way his (state) school has been implementing it
I can wax lyrical about the benefits of Glasgow. I love the city, its culture, its people, the architecture, its compact size and shape meaning that the beautiful countryside is easily accessible wherever you stay. We're in leafy Pollokshields on the Southside of Glasgow - easy access to the airport, one of the original 19th century planned suburbs - yet only minutes from the city centre)
Thanks again everyone. Though I don't know whether all the advice is making it easier or harder to narrow things down
Dh travels a lot ( opposed to being based somewhere) so we need to be near(ish) major transport links, hence the Edinburgh idea.
Obviously my main concern though is the childrens education. I know they say most children adapt to the changes of a move but you always worry about it.
I suppose finding the right school is paramount. Apparently there are 365 secondary schools in Scotland. It shouldn't take me long to investigate, should it
I've experienced both primary school systems with 2 of my dc and hands down, no question I prefer the Scottish system!
The English system (IMO) is too focused on reaching targets and ticking boxes resulting in pressured environments and stressed teachers and children. There are of course some lovely schools and attached communities but the difference in Scotland is refreshing. Positive differences I have noted are;
Much more traditional idea of teaching with focus on the whole child experience so less of the stress to meet the next target and more energy put into producing a confident, polite, well behaved and well taught young person.
The teachers are allowed to be much more nurturing and often give upset children hugs and special jobs to do. It sounds crazy but there seemed to be so much worry about touching a child in the English system, I'm assuming due to safeguarding worries, that the teacher/pupil relationship just sometimes felt a bit cold. I've not found the same in Scotland even tho of course they also have safeguarding practices.
The primary school day is shorter by a good half an hour which I have felt benefits my children.
The majority of school trips are free and they still do trips 'just for fun' like soft play and the park without it necessarily having to be accompanied by fact sheets and homework.
The primary school my dc go too spends an entire week in the Summer term just having fun and trying out every kind of sport and dance you can think off. Sadly English schools just don't seem to have time in the curriculum to take a week off like that.
There is considerably less homework for the younger ones but I'd say my 5 year old learnt to read and write faster than his older brother who started life in the English system.
The cut off date for each year is different to the English system so if they were to go into an English school they might be the year above equivalent but that wouldn't really matter in your case.
By the way I am English Good luck, I really like Scotland for bringing up a family and sad we won't get to stay longer also due to my dh's job.
OP, I think there are ways to narrow it down. Are you looking private or council school for a start? A large percentage of children in Edinburgh go to private schools which I think makes finding academic non private schools a bit harder. Do you want a rural location or suburban? Glasgow is probably the only big city but even then there are lots of leafy suburbs and easy access to the countryside. Most children in Scotland attend their catchment school so house prices in the area of good (this mainly means high achieving academic schools) are high. You can apply out of catchment but you are responsible for transport. If your children aren't necessarily academic then there are schools that specialise in Sports too.
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