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Confused about secondary schools - Scotland/England border

(12 Posts)
Tractorsandsheep Sun 08-Mar-20 11:32:32

We live in England. The DCs go to primary school in Scotland because 1. It’s the closest school and 2. I drive that way to work every day, so it’s just easier. The English primary school is in the completely opposite direction and further away.

DC1 is in P5 at primary so isn’t due to go to secondary until August 2022.
However, the secondary school DC1 primary feeds to is further away than the nearest English secondary school but DC1 should start English secondary school in September 2021.

I’m considering applying for the English secondary school but this would mean taking DC1 out of primary a year early.
The other way is to keep DC1 in primary and they go to the feeder secondary with everyone else but this is further way from where we are.

It’s 10 miles to English secondary and 11 miles to Scottish Secondary. So I know it’s not much different but transport will be the issue. Plus with the way the English system works there’s no guarantee of a place anyway and we could end up with a secondary school even further away.

I think I’m being slightly swayed because I understand the English secondary school system better?

So I think I’m asking
Has anyone ever done this?
Is it right to move a child to a school where they would know no one?
Would it be too much of a jump going from P6 to English secondary school?

OP’s posts: |
KittenVsBox Sun 08-Mar-20 11:42:29

Are there other kids around you? Which secondary do they go to?? Realistically, would you get a place at either school?
Has DC1 had a deferred start in Scotland? ie are they skipping a school year, or just changing systems and therefore numbers?

Moving schools is fine. Skipping a year could be interesting, changing systems should be fine.

Theresnobslikeshowb Sun 08-Mar-20 12:41:21

Whats then difference between the two curriculum wise? (I have no idea of the Scottish curriculum). If none, I would go for the school that’s the most convenient, or you spend a number of years with a lot of driving if there’s no transport and that’s a pain.

I placed dc’s in a school 6 miles away out of county because ours was crap, then for high school, ds1 went to a further county 11 miles away. I don’t regret it one bit.

However, you have to have good secure plans in place for sickness if you can’t get out of work etc as no one can just pop down the road to get them. We had to drive them to school, as there was no transport available, nor are there buses or trains (plenty of Welsh mountains!). But it becomes the norm, so 🤷🏻‍♀️. Ds2 is now year 10, and able to catch the bus- yay!!! We’ve saved a fortune on fuel, his £20 a week bus ticket, is nothing compared to what we were spending!

titchy Sun 08-Mar-20 12:51:31

As the schools are over 3 miles away he'd be entitled to free school transport, to the English one anyway, so find out what form that would take and factor that into your decision.

Tractorsandsheep Sun 08-Mar-20 15:59:33

No DC1 hasn’t had a deferred start. DC1 is August birthday (born 2010) so started P1 in August 2015 where as in England should have started reception year in September 2014.

Based on DC1 age they would be Y5 in English school. Y7 is the start of secondary school in England. So would miss the last year of primary school if they went from Scottish primary to English secondary.

Realistically I don’t know about places, England secondary schools are apply and hope for the best. The Scotland school, we aren’t in catchment (obviously, as we aren’t even in the same country) but I have no problems with asking like I did for primary and it would be nice for DC1 to carry on at school with everyone else.

We’re in a very small village, if you can call 15 houses and a farm a village? Of the 3 secondary age kids round here one is at a state boarding school (not an option for us and not going to consider it), one in Scotland (they moved from Scotland to our little village and their DC stayed at Scottish secondary because they were already there) and the other in England. All the other primary age kids are in various English primaries because their parents work in that direction. No one has done what we did.

There is a difference in the curriculum and exams taken later up in the school. But changing or sticking with a system at this stage won’t make any difference.

It’s the free transport because we’re more than 3 miles away which is a big draw to the England school (among other factors) and would make life a million times easier. For the Scotland school I’d have to look into public transport but I’d still have to drive DC1 to the town where their primary is to get the bus (not too much of a big deal as I go there every day anyways).

The major concern is really the missing a year of primary school. DC1 would go straight from P6 to Secondary school. I can’t really work out whether this is a good or bad thing or whether DC1 would actually be missing a year. Maybe they won’t be and it’s just numbering because there’s 6 years of Scottish Secondary and 7 years of English secondary?

OP’s posts: |
PointlessAddict Sun 08-Mar-20 16:03:15

It might depend on your child as well. My eldest son was pretty much ready academically to go to high school after primary 6 but my youngest very much not.

Does your child have a preference?

midnightstar66 Sun 08-Mar-20 16:06:39

I'm surprised you've been able to do this, I thought you had to live in the correct local authority on applying for schools never mind the same country. However I think it might be detrimental to use the English high, especially a year earlier. Scottish vs English curriculum is rather different and things are more relaxed here in Scotland in general at primary. Unless your son is very academic he might be quite behind at technically a year below, also what about friendships

Tractorsandsheep Sun 08-Mar-20 17:40:07

DC1 probably would be ready for secondary school by September and is keen on the idea of going but also there’s the wanting to stay with friends issue.

The English secondary has an open day in September which we will go to because we will have to fill the CAF in before October.

I think I will speak to the feeder secondary (Scotland) and see what they say. DC1 may not be able to have a place there because the English school is not that much further away, I think we got away with it at primary because we were arguing 2 miles for Scotland vs 5 miles for England.

I appreciate that our situation is definitely unusual. I hadn’t even considered having to be in the same local authority. That may be the Englishness in me where you don’t consider that because you can apply for any schools in any local authority and will be allocated a place if they have spaces.

Just for interest in case others are wondering - Before DC1 started primary I went to the school and spoke to them about why we wanted that one and after they had considered where we lived and the distance from our house to our closest English primary they said to get back in touch next year (because DC1 was too young) and DC1 could have a place if there were any. A year later they offered a place because they had spaces. If not DC1 would have gone to English primary. I don’t know whether they should or shouldn’t have offered the place, but they did, so I didn’t question it.

I’ve acrually found, based on our experience compared to other family members experiences who have DCs in English primaries, that Scottish primaries, although more relaxed are actually better than English primaries. The children learn more and have a more firm grounding in English and maths. Which is kind of swaying me to stick with Scotland because I think the education is better. But does mean if we go with England that English and maths skills won’t be a problem.

OP’s posts: |
TW2013 Sun 08-Mar-20 17:54:32

Some of yr7 is revision of yr6 as students come from many different primary schools. I think that friends is a bit of a red herring as groups don't necessarily stay together. It is also worth considering the radius each school draws on. Your ds might make friends with someone 20 miles in the other direction. Although thinking about university, some Scottish students attend uni younger than English, is your son likely to want to go sooner or later. Or move to Scotland and get free uni fees if you travel that way anyway.

rivierliedje Sun 08-Mar-20 20:29:36

I think the secondary vs primary thing is probably not a big issue. The systems are just different, in that the change from primary to secondary happens a year earlier in England than in Scotland and there are therefore 6 years of secondary in Scotland and 7 in England. She will finish school (if she stays on for sixth form) in the same year wherever she goes.
Apart from transport and curriculum, the only other thing that is different is that instead of being in the middle age wise for her year, she will be the youngest in England.

confusedparent12 Sat 14-Mar-20 16:51:56

I went through the Scottish system and my kids are now going through the English one. If I had the choice I would totally go for the Scottish curriculum - it seems broader and less pressurised.

MarchingFrogs Sat 14-Mar-20 18:22:38

I thought you had to live in the correct local authority on applying for schools never mind the same country.

State schools in England cannot refuse applicants on the grounds that they do not live in the same LA as the school. Quoting the Admissions Code:

1.14 Catchment areas must be designed so that they are reasonable and clearly defined. Catchment areas do not prevent parents who live outside the catchment of a particular school from expressing a preference for the school.

The above section further refers to the 'Greenwich judgement', which ruled that pupils should not be discriminated against in relation to admission to the school simply because they reside outside the local authority area in which the school is situated.

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