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Moving to Scotland - to move or not to move

(23 Posts)
Virtualpa6mum Wed 23-Mar-11 16:45:23

Hello, Ill be quick but need some advice if possible please. I have two boys - 13 and 6. Both are currently in great schools, eldest one is in grammar stream. I have already gone through the appeal process to secure a good school for my eldest. It was a very distressing time, but we managed to get the school after much hassle.

Husband has been offered redundancy at his job or a relocation to Scotland. We have been given 6 weeks to take the job offer. We are thinking about moving to Renfrewshire as grandparents live there, however Im coming up against a few problems. I thought that I would No.1 Find good schools, and then 2. move into the catchment area. However as usual, it seems that you have to move and then hope to get into a good school with an application. Ive done a little research and it seems that all the good schools are oversubscribed. Im really loath to move up there, and then leave it to "chance" that we get into a good school. Im also loath to move up to Scotland if they wont be put in the right year.

Can anyone give me advice on when in the year to change or move? I hear the Scottish intake/year start is a little different than here in the UK - August? I also need some advice on great schools in Renfrewshire and how hard it is to get a school of choice. I would never make the move and disrupt the children, but Im between a rock and a hard place (No job v Job and move). Thanks you :-)

senua Wed 23-Mar-11 19:56:15

Don't know anything about the Scottish system, but did you see this thread?

mozette Wed 23-Mar-11 20:07:23

Schools start in August in Scotland. A lot of schools hold places back for people who move into the area. Have a look on the council website and have a look on here - which lets you search for schools within the region and compare it to others. Find a good one then go back to council website and have a look at that schools catchment area.

tabulahrasa Thu 24-Mar-11 11:19:42

they can't be put in the right year as in the same year as in England because it's a completely different system, different curriculum, everything

what year they'll actually be in depends on their birthdays, but the dates aren't the same as in England - if your eldest is 13 though, it doesn't really matter as he'll either be coming in a year before they make their exam choices or just in time to do it and he'd be taught the whole Standard Grade course

EdwardorEricCantDecide Thu 24-Mar-11 11:25:52

i'm in scotland AFAIK most schools in renfrewshire are good as its quite an affluent area, did want to point out though that scotland is "here in the UK" wink

AMumInScotland Thu 24-Mar-11 11:30:42

Under the Scottish system, children start in P1 (there is no Reception) if they have already turned 5 in the August, or are going to be 5 by the end of February. They then go through to P7 in primary school, then start in Secondary at S1 up to S4 at least, or S5 or S6 if they stay on.

Your children will be put in the "right year" according to the Scottish system - that may or may not sound different from the year they are in at the moment, but it will still be the right year!

Many councils keep places in their schools for people who move into the area - when we tried to move schools we couldn't get a place at one, because they were holding places in case of people moving into catchment, so you may well get lucky. They can't promise you the place until you have the proof of address, but they should be able to tell you what the chances are.

Virtualpa6mum Tue 29-Mar-11 11:46:22

Thanks for all your messages and advice! Ill do a little more digging - Thanks again everyone!

RamblingRosa Tue 29-Mar-11 11:48:07

Sorry, I have nothing useful to add re Scottish education system but FWIW, I'd move to Scotland in flash grin

LordLofty Wed 30-Mar-11 12:46:17

Age is calculated on Jan to Dec so olderst kids in year are born on Jan 1.
Kids between Sept - Dec are in same year. Jan-Aug would be in the year below hence they sometimes appear to be held back a year. Same number of years at Primary, 4 years to sit O'Grade. Very good education system and top universities in the area - Edinburgh for one. MOVE!!!

Salmotrutta Wed 30-Mar-11 19:34:33

Sorry, just had to point out - it's not 'O' Grades (O grades went out about 20 years ago) it's Standard Grades but they are being phased out. Present S1 (12 yrs) in Secondary are first to go through the new Curriculum for Excellence which has new National Level certificates. And Standard Grades (used to be O grades) are sat over 2 years from S3-S4. S1 and S2 are general science lessons. Highers and Advanced Highers are remaining.
If your child is 5 before mid February they start school the August of that same year. Primary goes up to P7. Then they start Secondary.

Don't mean to be pedantic but just wanted to point out the system grin

Salmotrutta Wed 30-Mar-11 19:36:22

Sorry, mistake - meant to say if your child is 5 before mid Febuary of the following year then they go to school in the present year <rolls eyes>

SoundTheOctoalert Wed 30-Mar-11 19:44:01

In Scotland we don't tend to 'apply' to schools, we just go to our local ones unless you go into the Catholic streaming in which case you go to the nearest Catholic ones. (You can make a placing request to another school which isn't your catchment but it isn't guaranteed and you'd normally have good reason to do it). I have never heard of someone not getting into their local school and it strikes me that it would be incredibly unusual not to get into the local secondary. My friends and I often discuss how awful it sounds for many people in England based on MN threads!

I know Gryffe High in Renfrewshire gets a very good name...

SoundTheOctoalert Wed 30-Mar-11 19:45:42

Oh, and I have lots of 'good schools' around where I live and the only over-subscribed one is the Catholic one (been in the news it's so over-subscribed!!) but even still, if you are Proper Catholic and you live in the catchment area you will get a place.

thelennox Wed 30-Mar-11 19:49:46

You don't apply as such here in Scotland. Your child goes to the local school in your catchment area. If you want to make a placing request to another school you cam but you are not guaranteed a place. There is none of this choose your list of schools and hope you get the one you want. Think English system is terrible for that, all that suspense!

TwoIfBySea Wed 30-Mar-11 19:50:28

Have a look at the top schools in Scotland. In my town we have one of the best state schools (no. 9 on the list) so I have no problems with my dts going there.

Take a look and see if any of these are near where you want to move.

Be aware that although the Scottish system tends to be ahead in a lot of ways there are some schools that you really wouldn't want to touch!

prettybird Wed 30-Mar-11 20:09:44

The age cut-off is not January to December but March to February, although I can understand the confusion becasue of the ability to (properly) defer.

Any child turning 5 after 1 March this year will start Primary 1 ( the equivelant of Reception) in mid August. However, if the child's birthday is after the start of the school year, they can in theory start Primary 1 the following year. In practice, deferments are only really considered from Jan/Feb babies - partly because the cuncils usually won't fund the nursery places for the Sep-Dec babies.

They go to secondary school at the end of Primary 7 (= Year 6) so similar to England.

Gryffe High does have a really good reputation, so anything in its catchment would mean that you would automatically go there. It does increase the price of the housing though!

Anna12345 Wed 30-Mar-11 22:41:38

Message deleted

freerangeeggs Thu 31-Mar-11 22:19:00

I'm pretty sure your child would get into the local Scottish school. Since moving to England I've realised how horrendous it can be to get a place - no problems like that in Scotland at all.

Schools in Renfrewshire are good and the Scottish system in general is better IMO.

darleneconnor Thu 31-Mar-11 22:37:01

Depending on their birthday, english kids ive known to have moved to scotland often had to'move down' a year.scottish pupils do less subjects but do those in more depth at s grade/;gcse level. You might want to check things like what mfls your 13yo has done and if these match your new school.
Since you mentioned ' grammar' are you aware that all state schools in scotland are true comprehensives?

prettybird Thu 31-Mar-11 23:26:47

On the other hand, Scottish pupils do more subjects post Standard grades (=O levels/GCSEs)

meala Thu 31-Mar-11 23:46:52


You should be able to get into a school if you live in the Catchment area. If the school is full then there may be problems initially.

In Scotland, Curriculum for Excellence has started this year. Pupils from Nursery to Secondary 3 work on the levels (early, 1st. 2nd, 3rd and 4th). They would then move on to Standard Grades before doing Highers or Intermediate exams in S5, S6.

School terms run from mid August until the end of June.

Your 13 year old would either be in S2 or S3 just now depending on when his birthday is. If he turns 14 before the end of February 2012, he would be in S3 now.

In secondary, pupils move into next academic year at start of June. So S3 pupils now would start S4 work in June and continue til exams in April/May 2012. As Standard grades are 2 year courses, your son may find it difficult starting at the end of S3 as half of the course will already have been taught. You might need to see how the S3 course in the school compares with what he has learned previously to make sure there are no knowledge gaps. Another option would be to start in S2 so that he is working from the the start of SG course.

Hope that helps a bit smile

iggi999 Thu 31-Mar-11 23:49:33

Darlene they are not selective in terms of ability, but sadly nothing is ever truly comprehensive (as I understand it) since we still have the same posh v poor catchment area divides, and in places like Edinburgh large chunks of kids being taken out of the system altogether. Argh.

fullhouselisa Mon 01-Aug-11 08:03:46

I have a similar horrible situation in which we were planning a family life enhancing move to scotland as my DH is coming to the end of his military career BUT it is proving a nightmare for sorting out the education of our 4 girls. DD1 would suddenly find herself in Standard grade year when she had 2 years to go til gcses, DD2 would be in S2 when she was about to go to yr 9 (3rd yr senior), DD3 has resounding success at 11+ and a grammar school place but would be in P7 (though her friend also moving to scotland would be going to S1 because she has her birthday earlier in the year), and DD4 was about to go into yr 5 but would jump to P6. All because 2 fall later than the March birthday cut off. And because they seem to have shorter senior school. Or have I worked it out wrong? I can't work out what the year equivalents are - for example with DD3 is she going back a year from Yr7 to P7 or is her friend jumping forward a year from yr7 to s1 because surely one or the other must be true, and this then impacts on all the others...?
Oh my poor head sadconfused

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