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Relocate to London in August and urgently seeking school places for Year 11 and Year 8 boys

(46 Posts)
benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 04:11:11

May I have your help please? I am unexpectedly relocating to London in August, but feel helpless in securing school places for my two boys who should be studying in Year 11 and Year 8 in September. Can anyone provide me some help or tips which schools I can try? We are from Hong Kong, and my boys currently study at International School with UK curriculum. We would probably rent a home in west or southwest London. Many thanks in advance.

mummytime Fri 09-Jun-17 06:17:14

Are you looking for State or Private schools?

Your local authority will have to provide you with a school place within a "reasonable" amount of time.

The real issue is your eldest child. Year 11 is a dreadful time to move. Even if they have been following a course leading to GCSEs, these are likely to be iGCSEs which have different syllabuses to any of the GCSE syllabuses in the U.K. So schools will be reluctant to take him (and if forced may give him a reduced set of subjects to give him the best chance of getting the basics).

Ideal would be him continuing his present courses either via an international school or home education.

AuntieStella Fri 09-Jun-17 07:00:53

There are however many private schools which do IGCSE courses, so would that be affordable for the one year to see if there is some sort of continuity?

Which board does his current school do?

benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 07:12:29

He is currently taking IGCSE. May be I really need to search which London school offers such courses. Many thanks for precious views above!

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:18:10

DS's private school do iGCSEs (SE London). I do think that is your starting point as you need to find a school that is following the same syllabus.

TestTubeTeen Fri 09-Jun-17 07:22:23

Will you be able to place your Yr 11 in a private school?

This is key to the help people will be able to offer.

benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 07:32:07

I am open to private schools as well.

benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 07:33:41

Sorry, may I clarify what is "DS's private school"? Thanks.

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:34:53

Depending whereabouts you are going to be, I think both Trinity and Whitgift in Croydon do iGCSEs. Pretty good transport links via East Croydon station.

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:35:34

DS = Dear Son
So "My son's private school".

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:36:24

To clarify my other post, I know Trinity do iGCSEs and I think Whitgift do but I'm not sure.

OhTheRoses Fri 09-Jun-17 07:38:51

It's the more selective schools that do IGCE. Can he not board in HK for Yr12?. If he's at an international school can they advise?

AnotherNewt Fri 09-Jun-17 07:40:13

It means the school her DS attends.

You need to find out which IGCSE board, and have a detailed report on your DS's predicted grades.

Schools generally don't admit to year 11 because it is hard to integrate a pupil at that age and in that year. But it is always worth asking about an ad hoc admission - the worst they can say is no. I'd start with the biggest school - Whitgift and Trinity have already been mentioned, Dulwich College might be one to add to the list, also Ibstock and Harrodian.

Would you prefer your DS2 to go to state or private school, and would you want your DS1 to remain at his year11 school for sixth form or would you want to switch him to a state sixth form?

LIZS Fri 09-Jun-17 07:44:17

Most state schools are in the midst of transitioning to new style gcse curriculum so to continue igcse your choice is much narrower. Would you have access to an agent who could do the groundwork for you? Dc independent school do igcse in some subjects but a mix of gcse boards for others. So to get continuity will be very hard. Agree y11 is tricky as an entry point anyway. Then you have to take into account what he plans to do in y12 - A level, IB , Btec etc - as presumably he wouldn't want to move again.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 09-Jun-17 07:48:29

If you are moving your son half way through his IGCSE courses, how do you plan for him to manage with the fact that whatever school you put him in, he will have to cope with different exam boards, different specifications, and therefore courses that don't match up at all with what he has already done. This is a dreadful idea.

As an English teacher, it would be impossible to integrate your son into our classes with just two terms of the course to go unless he had done the same specs as we are currently doing.

You would be far better off either staying in Hong Kong for a year and then moving him for sixth form, or writing off the work he has done thus far and try to get him into a private school here which offers a "pre-sixth" year: a one year course where students of Year 11 age take key GCSEs - ours take maths, English, sciences, a language, a humanity.

benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 07:50:29

Really appreciate your valuable views. It looks like year 11 is a tricky one to start off at London. But I will still try to find out more from your recommended schools. Thanks a lot.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Fri 09-Jun-17 07:52:14

When is his birthday? If it's later in the academic year (ie a summer born child) then you might find a school willing to take him into Year 10 rather than Year 11. He could then do the full 2 year GCSE syllabus.

AnotherNewt Fri 09-Jun-17 07:54:23

Another thing to consider (which may prove less expensive and better for family life than leaving him boarding or with a host in Hong Kong) is if a private school would consider allowing him to join out of his age cohort, so he repeats year 10.

As the state system is distinctly less open to out-of-age cohort places, this might mean he would have to stay in the private sector for sixth form.

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:56:54

Is the earlier suggestion of him boarding in HK an option?

SoupDragon Fri 09-Jun-17 07:57:55

Trying for Y10 is also a good idea.

teddygirlonce Fri 09-Jun-17 08:06:57

As someone who moved half way thro' GCSEs in Year 10 (different boards and had to start some subjects from scratch), I would strongly advise in favour of continuity in exam boards if at all possible. It's a massive upheaval (quite apart from the social issues - having to break into friendship groups and the like).

Ideally you would look to find them a school which is as similar to the one they've been at in HK to minimise 'transition/moving' fallout issues.

So think you should start with finding schools that do the same exam boards (if that's feasible) and then work from there.

On the positive side it's often easier placing DC in those year groups than it would be if they were coming up to Year 7 and Year 10 (when many people might make a move).

Good luck!

benten1323 Fri 09-Jun-17 08:19:42

I prefer the whole family staying together, so if I relocate to London for work in coming August, I would be sad to leave my DS1 alone in Hong Kong, where he would need to cope with the year 11 IGCSE exam pressure alone.

But I have another question. My son was born in September 2002. Does that mean London schools would strictly follow the age requirement and won't let him enter Sixth Form in September 2018, even when he has completed the IGCSE exams in Hong Kong by then?

LIZS Fri 09-Jun-17 08:24:17

So he should go into y10 by age. That may be the most pragmatic solution. Yes he might repeat some work but it will allow him time to settle and take a 2 year gcse course. There are often HK pupils at dc school placed a year below but that doesn't seem necessary in this case as his age would enable you to do so.

WinifredAtwellsOtherPiano Fri 09-Jun-17 08:28:32

I think September 2002 means that he'd be joining year 10 in a state school in September 2017, and you'd have no option about that. A private school might theoretically take him into year 11 out of his standard year group but as other posters have explained, that would be very difficult for him half way through the course. So it looks like your best option is for him to start his GCSEs all over again, repeating year 10, either state or private.

BarbarianMum Fri 09-Jun-17 08:37:54

If you move him to year 10 then you don't need to worry about exam boards and he'll get some time to find his feet. A far better option than moving into Y11 in my mind.

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