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At what age do kids start full time school in England?
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chimichanga1976 · 23/09/2014 12:14

Hi everyone, I'm currently living in Holland but wanting to return to England for when my daughter is due to start school. She will turn 4yrs old Nov 2015. Will I miss the intake that yr and have to wait a whole year before she can start full time? Totally clueless, I'm afraid, so if anyone can clarify that'd be a huge help!

I'm getting conflicting info from people back in UK. Does it depend on the area? I will be moving to the North Tyneside area but can't be more specific at present.

I need her to be in full time education so I can have the flexibility to sort myself out career-wise, as I will also be a single-parent.

Thanks in advance

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donkir · 23/09/2014 12:18

Most children start the sept after they're 4 but it's not law until they are 5.
If she's starting sept 15 you will need to enrol her by jan 15. You will then find out if you have got your required place in April 15.

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MrsLettuce · 23/09/2014 12:19

My children are in Dutch schools and there would have to be some pretty hefty circumstances for me to even consider taking them out and entering them into the lottery that is the British education system.

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donkir · 23/09/2014 12:19

Some schools do a feb intake if your child has a late birthday. The 4yr old I look after has friends in reception who have just turned 5. You'll need to speak to the schools and ask them their policies.

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donkir · 23/09/2014 12:20

April not feb intake.

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AuntieStella · 23/09/2014 12:21

In England, a child is eligible for a school place from the start of the September when they are 4, so for your DD that will be September 2016 (applications window autumn 15 to mid-Jan 16).

If you need a full time place before that, you can look for a nursery/pre-school, though you will need to pay for hours in excess of the funded 15, or find alternative childcare such as childminder or nanny.

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MollyBdenum · 23/09/2014 12:27

She would start full time school in September 2016, shortly before her fifth birthday. Before that, she is entitled to 15 hours a week of preschool from the term after her third birthday, but this tends to be available in slots that don't fit in very well with employment, eg 8.45 am- 11.45am, and you would need a childminder the rest of the time. The preschool hours can be taken in a private nursery, but they usually charge an additional top up and the funding only applies during school term time.

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MrsLettuce · 23/09/2014 12:32

(in the Dutch system children just start the day after their 4th birthday, unless it falls in the holidays. They aren't obliged to attend until the day of their 5th birthday although I've never heard of anyone deferring. Parents are free to choose which school their child attends, even at the most popular schools getting a place is rarely a problem)

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chimichanga1976 · 23/09/2014 12:35

Good Lord girls, that was quick LOL!! Thankyou so much for your replies : )

So it looks like 2016 would be the yr for me returning home.......Bum! : /

MrsLettuce, well actually the return to the UK is gonna be the topic of another thread, once I get round to it. I won't show my husband your above post, it'll only add to his arsenal of " Reasons the Netherlands is better than the UK " I'm often bombarded with! : /

thanks again

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Picturesinthefirelight · 23/09/2014 12:42

If you move to a "deprived" area like Stoke on Trent then children get a full time place at a state school nursery the September after they turn three.

Elsewhere it's part time nursery & full time school the September after they turn 4.

Be aware though that even full time only means 8.30am - 3pm/ 8.45am - 3.15pm ish.

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MrsLettuce · 23/09/2014 12:44

I'm sorry to say that all the statistics point to NL being a much, much healthier place to grow up than the UK (socially, emotionally and in terms of education). He's right.

OTOH, statistics apply to the population as a whole and they little about what would be best for a particular child.

Good luck!

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chimichanga1976 · 23/09/2014 12:44

Thanks Molly also. Yes, not terribly practical for me, as you say. Think I shall have to remain here longer, then.

It's good to have it all clarified, however : )

Thanks MrsLettuce, I wasn't wanting her to attend a Dutch school, as I'm not wanting to stay here long - term, but the only alternative is the International school, which is 3,885 Euros/Yr. Not sure that's financially viable really.

Just didn't want the fact that she'll be in full - time Dutch education to be detrimental to her once she's back in the UK, and having to adjust her learning/language. Maybe she's too young for it to be of concern, at age 4 - 5yrs old.

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MrsLettuce · 23/09/2014 12:50

A short year of Dutch education wouldn't likely do her any harm! Language is unlikely to be much of an issue, if it's an issue at all. AFAIK there are also state primaries that are Dutch / English bilingual in most of the big cities.

The whole international school / expat thing is a bubble that I've stayed out of.

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addictedtosugar · 23/09/2014 12:52

If you "need" to be in the UK before then, first choice of schools goes to those with an address the Janurary before the September they start - so you could "need" to be established back in the NE before Jan 2016 to ensure you get a choice of schools, rather than a place left over as noone else wanted or needed it.

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chimichanga1976 · 24/09/2014 17:02

MrsLettuce, are you a British expat by any chance then? Just wondering if you have any words of advice as I feel like having to remain here another 2yrs, without work, is gonna be seriously difficult! To put it mildly.

I'm not married to a Dutchman, though I'm sure that helps lol. Also, what on earth do women do once their kids go to school and they have even more time on their hands?

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