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Teen looking for advice(23 Posts)
Hi everyone, I'm not too sure how this website works but I'll give it a go.
I am actually a teenager looking for advice - I know weird right?!
To give you some context - my Dad currently hasn't got a job at the moment (we are living abroad but are from the UK) and the school that my sister and I go to costs a lot of money.
In an ideal world - my sister would complete her GCSEs where we are living now and I would complete 6th form. But then you've got the whole home status / funding issue and all that stuff (as I would most likely go to a Uni in the UK).
This academic year, I am going to do my GCSEs (i'm 15 at the moment) and my question is - would I be able to complete sixth form in the UK and live by myself (I'd be 16 then).
Are there any laws against that? Would I need a guardian to care for me? What would be the best thing to do?
If my Dad does get a job, then my sister can live with my mum and complete her GCSE's - she'd be happy (as she doesn't want to move countries), my dad would be settled in his job - wherever that may be, and I would be able to complete my A - Levels back home.
Complicated, I know - but I don't really know who else to ask. My Mum and Dad are quite sensitive whenever I ask them about it - understandably as well.
If you have any advice, I'd be really grateful!
Hmm, Im not sure there are actual laws about 16 yo living solo - in Scotland you can marry, so I don't think you'd have social services at your door.
I think you'd be in England though. Who would be paying your expenses? You might find it difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to someone your age. Would boarding school be an option?
Hi! Thanks so much for responding,
We do have a house (the house I grew up in) that we still own so I would assume it would make sense to go there. It's a difficult one because I don't want to say that my Dad would pay for it all because that's just spoilt, right?
I'm not sure about boarding school although it's not a bad idea.
Correct me if I'm wrong - as my dad owns the house, would that mean he is the landlord? I really don't know much about these sorts of things as they don't teach us this in school. Instead the waffle on about Romeo and Juliet 😂.
Thank you for responding tho!
Would it not be more expensive to support you to live independently than it would be to carry on living with your mum? Why would you not just change schools where you are? Much less expensive and stressful surely?
Different systems maybe? Do they not offer IB? Or could you not just follow local system? My kids were educated overseas and did not have any trouble being accepted to U.K. university.
You're probably right - it would be more stressful to move back home and I'm sure you've got way more experience than me.
In terms of IB - I don't do that. But the whole home status thing - my teacher was saying that if you live in the UK for something like 12-18 months you can get home funding which means universities would be cheaper? I think it was something along those lines.
I just want to do right by everyone. I know that it's not my job - my job in the family is to just pass GCSE's but I can't help worrying about where I am going to be next year.
Thanks for responding
It’s 3 years, but residence is based on many things.
If you (your parents) pay tax in the U.K. still and you spend 91 days there each year, you are classed as resident.
is It only the cost of university that makes you want to come back to the UK? Or is it that you want to come home?
From a parent’s point of view, I wouldn’t let a 16yo live independently on their own in another country. The pressure on you would be too great, there are so many things that could go wrong.
I would need there to be a trusted guardian such as a sister to act as a safety net. Or as a pp said, possibly a boarding school.
Teenagers from the Falkland Islands do their 6th form in the UK so there isn't an issue with that aspect.
From your parents perspective they may not like the idea of a 16 Yr old living alone. For starters once any friends find out you might find that your pressured into having parties etc at your house.
Do you have a relative that you could live with instead?
Definitely concentrate on your GCSEs but sit down and have a discussion with your parents about what you have been thinking you seem sensible to me but I would also be prepared for them to say no.
As a mum I would be worried about my daughter living on her own at 16 in another country where I couldn't easily support her. Even if you are the most sensible trustworthy teenager ever, that's terrifying for a parent as we are basically built to see the worst case scenario and panic about that all the time. The thing is that even if you moved out at 18, very few people with a supportive family do this totally alone. You'd have the support of being local to your parents, living in uni halls, or if nothing else living with friends.
For instance, what if there was a fire or a break in? That would be awful and not something I'd want you to handle alone. Come to think of it, the insurance on the house may be unhappy about a teenager living alone.
What if your classmates twigged that you were on your own and decided to crash the house for a party? I've seen this happen in my own youth. What about if you start drinking yourself? Even if you're sensible about it that's a huge thing to do without supervision. What if you fall in love? Sooner or later you're going to want to have sex and you'll have your own house to do it in, whereas living at home you'd have a bedroom with limited opportunities for total privacy. Would you necessarily know how and where to get contraception? What if you fell in love with someone who turns out to be controlling or abusive? Or just have to deal with normal breakup heartache alone? What if you despite the best of intentions ended up pregnant and alone in another country?
And then there is even the everyday living kind of stuff. How will you go shopping without a car? Or get things that you need for example if a piece of furniture breaks and you need a replacement. Would you eat healthily or junk food? Can you be a holder of utility contracts at 16? What about when you just have a bad day or feel homesick and want your mum? Everyone has those days but if you're in a more supported place then you have that at least. In fact it's worry that you might hide homesickness or bad days from me because you were worried that if worry. And who's there to support you through the normal teen troubles like friendship and hormones and school work?
And this doesn't even cover scenarios like what if you were injured or mugged or raped or became seriously ill?
Sorry to be negative. I know it's so likely that none of these things would happen, but that's where your parents thought processes are likely to go.
Interesting about the Falkland Islands, apparently they don’t have post-16 provisions.
The Falkland Islands State sixth form provision is at Peter Simmons in Winchester which is a State Sixth form with boarding houses so that is a red herring.
If you want to come to Uni in the UK you may need to have a direct conversation with your parents about whether you as a family have residential status or whether they have gone non-Dom for tax reasons.
I would advise against renting and living alone for sixth form I was at a college that allowed this 20 odd years ago a and definitely my friends who privately rented had a much harder time cooking, cleaning etc as well as studying and did not get quite as good grades as those who were in the boarding houses.
If you are in a European country you would qualify for free university in Scotland. And you can start at 17
^ If you (your parents) pay tax in the U.K. still and you spend 91 days there each year, you are classed as resident^
This is wrong
. Whether or not you are classed as being resident is based on a number of things. There is no requirement that you spend a specific number of days in the UK and there is no requirement that you pay tax in the UK.
CORRECT INFO HERE
Home funding is based on 3 years living in UK but not only for education, ie, boarding school while otherwise resident abroad would not count. Different unis apply the funding rules slightly differently and it may well change post Brexit. Is the country you are resident in part of EEA? Could one of your parents not return home with you?
Just wanted to say thank you for all your advise - it really helps me out.
Obviously being only 15 - I don’t have a lot of ‘life experience’ becaus I’m still in school so I’m really greatfull for all your responses.
Do you have family in the UK you could stay with? My daughter left the UK mainland to do sixth form in the Channel Islands so I have a bit of experience as a parent of letting your child make decisions like this. I would not have felt comfortable at all allowing her to do this if we didn’t have family there too. She is the most sensible and responsible 16 yr old I have ever met but she is still a child. She is thoroughly enjoying it but I think just how much she misses us has surprised her and my fantastic brother and his wife have so important in helping her with that. She still needs a legal guardian in regards to her sixth form and although I am listed, her uncle and aunt are listed too, as they are there on the island.
As for the law side, lots of people leave home at 16. As long as you find a way to pay your rent & bills it shouldn't be a problem.
Have you looked into student housing / flat sharing with other students? That might be a better option for you.
If you are in an EU country you can get free tuition in Scottish Universities
I know someone who lived alone in the 6th form so think it can be done. But maybe finding lodgings in a family home would be more preferable. Someone to cook dinner, talk to about what happened at school etc.
It is not incorrect CupMug. It is part of the sufficient ties test for residency.