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Antipodista

Raising kids

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I think we can tell from this thread that there isn't much difference between UK and Australian education.  My nephew and niece (brother's children) were born in Thailand and educated there until they were 17 years old.  My nephew graduated from Edinburgh University last year and his sister is there now doing a 6 year degree in medicine and surgery.  They went to a local primary school near where they lived in Bangkok then to the International School.  Given the chance, children can get on well wherever they live.

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5 hours ago, Toots said:

I think we can tell from this thread that there isn't much difference between UK and Australian education.  My nephew and niece (brother's children) were born in Thailand and educated there until they were 17 years old.  My nephew graduated from Edinburgh University last year and his sister is there now doing a 6 year degree in medicine and surgery.  They went to a local primary school near where they lived in Bangkok then to the International School.  Given the chance, children can get on well wherever they live.

Exactly, both education systems rank very highly with little discernable difference. Kids in either country have huge opportunities available to them. 

As far as one country being better for kids than the other well that's clearly just subjective as there is no 'data' available that shows one or other is superior in some way so it is down to personal experiences. We have noticed that our kids compared to a few of the friends they left behind are staying younger longer as are their new friends here. This is probably helped by the rural setting but I suspect if you looked at kids in city settings again the difference would be indiscernable. 

When you consider that the 2 countries are so close in practically every way it just comes down to personal preference. 

I realise there is a survey that suits practically everyone and they are mostly for bragging rights down the pub but 4th Best Country overall isn' bad really ;)

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/overall-full-list

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Loving life in Gods Country. Woohoo, look at me. 

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On 03/02/2018 at 16:35, bristolman said:

I realise there is a survey that suits practically everyone and they are mostly for bragging rights down the pub but 4th Best Country overall isn' bad really ;)

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/overall-full-list

Trying to work out who’s survey that is? Is it just the usnews websites survey that they have put together?

@AntipodistaI prefer more reliable sources like the OECD better life index, it measures everything from education, life expectancy, disposable income, crime and lots more If you click the link below it will display in alphabetical order click by rank and you will see how well Australia scores compared to the UK In most areas.

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/11111111111 

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Thanks @Sandgroper

it was this survey that got me...a few years ago now, mind, but still 😬

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257165/Britain-voted-worst-place-world-bring-children-Australia-best.html

its all very subjective at the end of the day I know, but I am having to make some very difficult decisions attached to the move and directing my thoughts about where is best is a bit like herding cats at the moment! 

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Definitely subjective and depending on the individual child I think.  There are some scary schools discipline- wise in the UK but that may be more to do with a large population. My impression is that kids tend to be more respectful to their teachers in Australia but I am sure this is just my observations and experiences and others would totally disagree.

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We have nieces and nephews of all ages and, in my experience, Australia is better when the kids are very young, the weather helps as do parks and beaches galore. The family young uns over here have a better life than the ones living in the UK.

But, when your kids are teens and into clothes, music and stuff i.e. kids culture, there's not much going on and it's not very contemporary here. Keep your teens into studying or sport otherwise they'll be glued to their phones. When we have the teen nephews over on holiday, they seem well more clued up than the ones here.

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Neither is “better” for kids, there are swings and roundabouts. Personally I’m not a great fan of the Australian Education system but even that differs from state to state - NSW and Qld were known to be more rigorous than ACT which was very lassez faire in comparison (still is, from the look of the granddaughters).  At least in Aus there is more choice for private options without costing a lifetime of penury and the security of living in a Priority Enrolment area is a plus for school choice but otherwise I prefer a little more rigor in education - and I don’t mean teaching to tests but actually knowing where each kid is and what they need. I’ve seen the planning and accountability required of teachers in both places and the UK does it better IMHO - more work for teachers but fewer rocking up at 9 and leaving at 3 (and I’ve known quite a few of those in my time). Both of my boys were less than satisfied with their Uni experience (at one of the high ranking Unis) and my nephew and niece some years later have had the same complaints. 

People usually think blazing hot sunshine is going to be “better” but after 6 years back in U.K. I am still astonished by the number of kids I see playing happily outside all year round. My own grandkids are inside kids, perhaps from early days when their mum kept them inside because the sun was too fierce and I remember their delight when playing on real grass here, outside in the orchard in October, having a picnic, rolling on the grass (they’d never done that before) and making daisy chains. My own son is now cursing me because of his need to have regular mole checks after childhood “accidents” with the sun.

There’s usually the “Aussie youngsters stay little for longer and are better behaved” meme too. Can’t say that I’ve noticed much of that either. I’ve yet to have an Aussie youngster leap to their feet to offer a seat to an old lady but it’s happened quite often here. I haven’t seen a yr 6 formal here in U.K. but some of the Aussie ones I encountered made me wonder what the hell those kids were getting up to - far from child-like. Look at the youth mental health issues too - Australia’s youth suicide rates  have been a concern for years and school bullying has been an ongoing intransigent issue for decades.

There is no “one size fits all” but I most certainly wouldn’t be making a move to the other side of the world in search of “better life for the kids”. Move because you have a better option by all means, but one first world country is going to have pretty much the same outcomes and issues as any other first world country. The kids are going to be just fine with loving parents and family around them, you just have to balance whether that loving supportiveness can be done just as well in isolation on the other side of the world or from having extended family around.

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Thanks @Quoll Great unsighted insights as always. Still struggling with it all unfortunately! Hope all is well with you x

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11 hours ago, Antipodista said:

Thanks @Sandgroper

it was this survey that got me...a few years ago now, mind, but still 😬

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257165/Britain-voted-worst-place-world-bring-children-Australia-best.html

its all very subjective at the end of the day I know, but I am having to make some very difficult decisions attached to the move and directing my thoughts about where is best is a bit like herding cats at the moment! 

That 'survey' is quite frankly laughable and isn't in any way back up by anything I have ever seen or heard. Quoll summed it up very well and accurately. 

Ask an expat about the country they have left they are very likely to be negative about that country and very positive about the new country. Look at practically every comment in this thread and consensus is there really is no difference. 

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Loving life in Gods Country. Woohoo, look at me. 

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So far, Australia, definitely.

We are considered to be an outdoorsy family. Biking, hiking, walking through the drizzle. Love love the scenery of Scotland. No bad weather, just bad choice of clothing.

But. It’s so much nicer in warmer drier weather. Things seems more maintained here also but could be down to UK being damp/wet more often. In my experience and I’ve seen a huge amount of outdoor life.

Get out and about, best thing for everyone.

Edited by Ozzie
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I believe that one of the modern forms of bravery is to say, OK I will start again from scratch.

Doing something new, learning new things requires great strength, great humility and great courage.

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On 2/5/2018 at 13:39, starlight7 said:

Definitely subjective and depending on the individual child I think.  There are some scary schools discipline- wise in the UK but that may be more to do with a large population. My impression is that kids tend to be more respectful to their teachers in Australia but I am sure this is just my observations and experiences and others would totally disagree.

Although he has not met everyone (clearly) this is my OH's opinion as well. Although he's not a teacher, he is involved in seeing and interacting with school groups four out of five days a week, for 17 years in the UK. In the short space of time he's spent doing a very similar role in Australia (same 4 out of 5 days) he's noticed a massive difference. He thinks 'kids seem to stay kids longer' and come across as more polite in Australia just from his experience.

Edited by Ozzie
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I believe that one of the modern forms of bravery is to say, OK I will start again from scratch.

Doing something new, learning new things requires great strength, great humility and great courage.

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I was an outdoors kid in Scotland.  Didn't matter what the weather was like.  Helped Dad on the farm but I dare say town/city kids spent more time sitting around the house.  My two Aussie boys were into a lot of sport and were outdoors in all weather here too as were most of their friends.  Doesn't matter where you live there will always be kids who prefer playing computer games indoors or whatever else they get up to and kids who enjoy sport and spending time with their friends outdoors.  

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48 minutes ago, Toots said:

I was an outdoors kid in Scotland.  Didn't matter what the weather was like.  Helped Dad on the farm but I dare say town/city kids spent more time sitting around the house.  My two Aussie boys were into a lot of sport and were outdoors in all weather here too as were most of their friends.  Doesn't matter where you live there will always be kids who prefer playing computer games indoors or whatever else they get up to and kids who enjoy sport and spending time with their friends outdoors.  

Yes our 2 boys still have friends in Australia they keep in touch with and they are on their computers endlessly. Ours were never really outdoor kids in Australia and they aren't here either. We would have liked them to be into some sort of sport but they aren't and that's fine. 

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Loving life in Gods Country. Woohoo, look at me. 

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On 2/5/2018 at 05:07, Antipodista said:

Thanks @Sandgroper

it was this survey that got me...a few years ago now, mind, but still 😬

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257165/Britain-voted-worst-place-world-bring-children-Australia-best.html

its all very subjective at the end of the day I know, but I am having to make some very difficult decisions attached to the move and directing my thoughts about where is best is a bit like herding cats at the moment! 

Yeah that survey is pretty shocking, tbh at the end of the day you have to take all the information you can gather and try to make an informed decision, that is what we did and are so glad we made the move. Australia is a great place for kids ours although outdoor types were restricted in the UK due to the weather so found themselves indoors to often just not the case here so much to do for them with the various sports and clubs.

Edited by Sandgroper
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On 2/5/2018 at 08:07, Antipodista said:

it was this survey that got me...a few years ago now, mind, but still 😬

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257165/Britain-voted-worst-place-world-bring-children-Australia-best.html

One thing to remember is that the survey was conducted among expats, not migrants (thought they then interviewed a migrant, just to confuse things!). 

Expats (I used to be one) are people who move temporarily to other countries for work.  They often live in an artificially privileged world, because (a) they are usually senior executives, (b) their employer provides benefits, and (c) they are likely to be living in the upper echelons of the country they move to.  In many countries, their kids will be going to an international school with rich kids, so naturally that will come out best.  Harder to understand why Australia did well, but then they are probably living in nicer areas - and they may be sending their kids to private school, which they wouldn't afford in the UK.  It's one reason why a lot of these liveability surveys don't quite add up, because they're not asking people who live in those cities long-term. 

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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One size does not fit all.  I have lived in 3 countries and had experience of education in all 3.  They are all much of a muchness to be honest.  My kids and I are happier here than the UK, does that make it better than the UK no of course it doesn't just better for us.

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3 minutes ago, northernbird said:

One size does not fit all.  I have lived in 3 countries and had experience of education in all 3.  They are all much of a muchness to be honest.  My kids and I are happier here than the UK, does that make it better than the UK no of course it doesn't just better for us.

Some would have us believe we must choose one over the other, it isn't acceptable to just say there really is no difference. Often the difference is you have removed yourself from a situation that may have been making you unhappy, you could go to France or America or Timbuktu and you will be happier because your situation has changed. 

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Loving life in Gods Country. Woohoo, look at me. 

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