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Phoebe Holmes

When is the best month to arrive? (school enrolment)

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We are moving back to uk - when is the best month to arrive to enrol a child starting reception and another starting year one? My son only turns 4 in July - I wish we could hold him back a year like you can in oz!

 

All this talk about school catchment and lottery systems has me panicking that we won't be able to get the kids into the school nearest to where we will be living!

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We returned November last year after 9 years in Sydney, specifically to enrol my now 4 year old for school start. We had to have the application in by mid Jan I think, and the allocation was given mid April, we got our first choice thankfully, although our second choice was equally as good. You can put in a mid year enrolment although obviously your choice will then be limited, so it depends on the area. All schools locally are good here so I wouldn't have been too upset to have to have put a mid year application in.

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We are moving back to uk - when is the best month to arrive to enrol a child starting reception and another starting year one? My son only turns 4 in July - I wish we could hold him back a year like you can in oz!

 

All this talk about school catchment and lottery systems has me panicking that we won't be able to get the kids into the school nearest to where we will be living!

 

 

Applications usually go in early in the calendar year, however you can do mid year applications. The best thing is to contact the schools that you are interested in and enquire about availability of year 1 places.

 

With regard to delaying entry for your July born - it is not impossible and worth enquiring. There have been reports about a UK mother winning a court case recently because her council rejected her application to delay. There has also been this recent article in the Daily Mail:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3059609/Parents-summer-born-babies-right-delay-entry-school-new-Tory-plans.html

 

I am the mother of an August born, who started school a week after turning 4, saying that she coped very well, but the first year for me was very stressful!!!!

 

Personally I think if you can get back for the start of the school year - end of Aug, beginning of Sept (dependant on your county) then the children will get a full UK school year in.

 

I wish you luck - schools for me are probably the most stressful thing when I am moving - we put ourselves under so much pressure to get it right first time, but you will get a better picture of things when you are there.


176 lodged 2009; SOL changed now priority 5 - never going to be processed!; SA sponsorship applied 9/6/2013; SA sponsorship approved 24/6/2013; Subclass 190 lodged 27/6/2013; Meds booked 24/8/2013; CO 1/8/2013; Visa Grant 31/8/2013. Entered 1/8/2014; Leaving Sept 2015.

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I second Rinkies statements if your preferred school is hotly contested. Be living in a house within the school catchment before the application process otherwise it can be pot-luck. We made that mistake and despite getting application in and expecting to be in zone (as we planned to be by start of school) our local authority took our Oz address in January. So no chance of getting into an oversubscribed school as we were always going to be the greatest distance away!!!

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Depends on the area, if zones are applied and if places are available. Usually reception places are allocated earlier in the previous academic year after applications are made by parents (usually a pick 3 and hopefully get one of those type lotteries). Just because a school is your closest doesn't mean your child is going to get a place. So many other factors also.

Once the intake is allocated, if you apply for a place after, it could be you are directed to another school if no places available in reception or Y1 at your preferred school. Often then there can be a wait list and if a child leaves or moves in the meantime and doesn't take their place in the school it is allocated to someone else on the wait list. However, if wanting places for 2 children in different year groups that could mean waiting longer. It's really hard to know as each area and school has different policies. 

I know when we moved to Aus my child's Y1 place in his UK school was filled the day after he left by a child who had been on the wait list for a place since reception. The family had moved into the area and had to go to another school but transferred over when that place was freed up my child leaving. This was mid term to boot. 

 

 

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Normally if your kids are on a wait list and one gets in, the other will get bumped up as they will then have a sibling in the school. I know someone who moved back last year and managed to get both kids into their school of choice but had to wait until the first week in Sept. It can be a stressful time - good luck


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Earlier post was spot on for time of year (Jan for application, approx March Apr for allocation), however, it is generally not liked by the powers that be that any child is not in full time education. So, if you rocked up in Mid Oct in a new area the local council would take application and allocate a place as soon as possible. There is an appeals process as well.

In case you are not aware, all children in the UK should start Reception the September following their 4th birthday. it can be tricky to get decent info on schools as OFSTED ratings are not the be all and end all. i.e. There are 3 schools in catchment for me, all are GOOD according to OFSTED but every one is better than another in some respect. Always remember, you can always move school it is not a lifetime decision. Try to find info on a schools VALUE ADDED if you can

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Just to add you can defer fairly easily as your child is July born. Our daughter is4 in August & we're deferring. Look on council website. Only catch is that you have to defer with council then if church school defer with them too. So one school has already said no to us. Council wise it's pot luck. You need evidence too- just write a letter. If in childcare get them to write one too. Good luck!

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When we started looking into places for our son to start school, we were lucky as the Christmas before we went back to the UK and had the chance to take our son around the possible schools. So that he could pick the one that he felt most comfortable with and wanted to go too. He made his choice and then we emailed them direct about places. We looked on the local council website and that gave us all the dates and forms that we needed to fill in. All correspondence was performed either by telephone or email. Thank the lord for the TPG free international calls package that is all we can say lol. It helped us out a great deal being still in Sydney and trying to sort out things for our sons move.

We did not think about holding our son back at all and even if we had, we would not have done so. In the end it turned out to be the right decision. If there was anything that we needed to do to help him get up to speed we would have, but as it turned out all was OK. Going into year one will be a bit of a shock for the little ones, but it is something they need to all go through to get them from day-care mode into school life. We would not recommend holding them back at all.

 

To answer the question posed in the title of the post, as we did all the communications and set up via email and phone, while in Sydney, we were able to take our son one week before the new term started. One week to get the last minute things started and then one week with him while he did his first week in school.

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Family of five now with our one son living in the UK

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You can have 4 year olds doing part time, so that's something to consider. Reception is mostly play, so most 4 year olds, although i still think it's too young, seem to cope ok. They start at 3 full time in spain and france! We had to cope with the transition from Reception (australia) to Year 2! My child couldn't even read or write and had no grasp of maths at all- the school were brilliant at helping her catch up and she managed to sit her Year 2 SATS with all the other kids. 2 years back in the UK and she's middle of the class, which for an August born, is great. Be mindful that primary is quite full on here- the government have made silly changes which means all the curriculum is shunted down so for example, a year 3 child is now doing work which used to be expected of a year 4 or 5 child. It's not ideal, but again, most kids seem to be coping ok. It's definitely not as laid back as Australian primary, but that could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on your views. 

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We have always taken the approach that the sooner we can get our kids socialising with other kids, the better, it really helped with their social skills and growing up. We have friends who kept their children with them as long as they could, not taking them to day-care or such like and when they get to start school, it is really noticeable. You can really tell the kids who have been mixing with others from them who have been kept in a little bubble for as long as possible.

 

With regards to year 3’s being exposed to year 4 or 5 work, the fact that they are being driven to strive and learn more can only be a good thing. Life is not sugar coated and there will be pressure, the sooner we start coping with it the better later on in life.


Family of five now with our one son living in the UK

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On 02/08/2017 at 19:29, thinker78 said:

You can have 4 year olds doing part time, so that's something to consider. Reception is mostly play, so most 4 year olds, although i still think it's too young, seem to cope ok. They start at 3 full time in spain and france! We had to cope with the transition from Reception (australia) to Year 2! My child couldn't even read or write and had no grasp of maths at all- the school were brilliant at helping her catch up and she managed to sit her Year 2 SATS with all the other kids. 2 years back in the UK and she's middle of the class, which for an August born, is great. Be mindful that primary is quite full on here- the government have made silly changes which means all the curriculum is shunted down so for example, a year 3 child is now doing work which used to be expected of a year 4 or 5 child. It's not ideal, but again, most kids seem to be coping ok. It's definitely not as laid back as Australian primary, but that could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on your views. 

This will be our reality next year - we delayed our daughters start to prep as is the norm here in Melbourne for all Jan- April babies, but it means she's 6.5 now, in prep and only just starting to read and write. Totally fine here but when we go back she'll be in grade 2/3? 

How did you know which schools to apply to from Australia or was it just move first and then get into local school? Thanks 

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First time writing on this forum. We are thinking of moving back to UK (we left London in late 2010 and spent 2 yrs in Singapore, then the past 5 years in Sydney). Hubby is Aussie and I am Irish. Daughter is 12 in Nov and in Year 6. She’ll be going to secondary (year 7) in Jan (if we stay in Oz). Other daughter is 6.

If we leave for the UK in Jan, will my eldest be eligible to go to secondary in UK in Aug/Sept? Would it work like that? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks. 

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