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Kane and Cara

Doing UK GCSE’s / IGCSE’s in Brisbane

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Hello
Really need some advice please!!
 
My daughter Ella is due to sit her GCSE exams in May 2023 in the UK but due to visa restrictions, we have to be in Australia by May 17th which is the week she is due to start the GCSE's here in the UK.
 
I am looking at the possibility of her sitting IGCSE’s instead in Australia. 
 
We will be based in or around Ormeau area of Brisbane. 
 
I am very confused as to what exams she can take so would be very very grateful if you could advise ?
 
In the UK, she would be due to sit the following exams:
 
English Language
English Literature
Mathematics
Tripple science - Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Geography
History
Sociology
 
We do not feel that she needs to do all of these exams so the main ones we are focusing on is the English ones, maths and triple sciences
 
I am looking for some information as to where in Brisbane she can sit them and when please? We would also like to know if there would be any material we can send to her current school in the UK that they can assist her in learning while we are still in the UK?
 
Sorry for so many questions, it is very unfortunately that our visa expires in May and not July as she would have had time to sit them here instead. 
 
We were due to begin the move to Brisbane in 2020 but obviously covid put a stop to that and now I am very stressed that she will miss out on exam qualifications that she has worked so hard for these last 2 years.
 
Anything you can advise would be so very much appreciated.
 
Kind regards
 
Cara

 

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Can you not arrive in Australia and she then get a RRV and return to the UK to do her exams.  It will be a terrible shame for her to miss doing them and I have never heard that they can be done in Australia.  I think ideally she does need to do them all.  You never know what opportunities may come up in the future and limiting what GCSE’s you have on your CV isn’t ideal.  The two countries have quite different exams and teaching so I can’t see that she could sit different ones.  As you say, she has worked hard over the years and deserves to be able to sit them and reap the rewards.  There must be a way.   Hopefully someone will come along with a great way to make it work.  Have you spoken to a migrant agent? Would be worth it as they could maybe help.  I believe in exceptional circumstances you can get an extension on your visa.  

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She cant. Can she take a quick trip prior to validate her visa then return for exams? If her visa expires, apply for RRV and explain the extenuating circumstances. But if you are planning on living in Australia for the longer term they're irrelevant anyway. There will only be interest in her year 12 results and the GCSEs will mean diddly squat.

You could contact her examination board and ask them if there are options for remote examinations but I doubt it. 

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Posted (edited)

Even if she doesn't take the exams, those 2 years aren't wasted, because she has learned how to study, and she has improved her knowledge in all those areas, which will stand her in good stead when she goes on to do her Year 12 exams in Australia. 

Quoll is right in saying that if you're planning to stay permanently in Australia, the GCSE qualification will be a meaningless piece of paper anyway.  I'm not sure about Queensland, but in NSW, the School Certificate became so meaningless to employers, they abolished it in 2011.  Employers and universities are only interested in Year 12 results.

That said, if there's any doubt that you might return to the UK one day, it would be worth making the effort to sit the exams.  It's not an Australian body that organises remote examinations, it will be the examination board in the UK, so they are the people to ask.

Edited by Marisawright

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

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Thank you for your reply’s. Unfortunately We have already had our original visa PR of 5 years extended as it ran out during covid. We got 1 year extension which runs out in May. Therefore we are unable to apply for another extension. I would not want to run the risk of her entering Oz and going home to sit the exams and her then apply for another rrv and be denied. We are obviously not planning on returning but I just didn’t want her to miss out if there is a way she can sit IGCSE’s in Oz which are recognised in the UK should she ever want to return in later years. 
 

I find the difference between UK and Oz schooling very confusing. She’s in year 11 now but believe she would go into year 10 in Oz when we arrive? So will be at school for Oz year 11 and 12 which is what matters - is that correct? 
 

if you can’t sit GCSE’s in Oz - what is an IGCSE then please?

I have been in a lot of conversation with the school here in UK - they can’t help. 
 

thanks

Cara

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11 minutes ago, Kane and Cara said:

Thank you for your reply’s. Unfortunately We have already had our original visa PR of 5 years extended as it ran out during covid. We got 1 year extension which runs out in May. Therefore we are unable to apply for another extension. I would not want to run the risk of her entering Oz and going home to sit the exams and her then apply for another rrv and be denied. We are obviously not planning on returning but I just didn’t want her to miss out if there is a way she can sit IGCSE’s in Oz which are recognised in the UK should she ever want to return in later years. 
 

I find the difference between UK and Oz schooling very confusing. She’s in year 11 now but believe she would go into year 10 in Oz when we arrive? So will be at school for Oz year 11 and 12 which is what matters - is that correct? 
 

if you can’t sit GCSE’s in Oz - what is an IGCSE then please?

I have been in a lot of conversation with the school here in UK - they can’t help. 
 

thanks

Cara

I think she would be better to attend Yr 11 and 12 here and do the Aus exams. Yes its another 2 years of school but every employer pretty much asks if they have completed YR12, a lot of Uni's require you do to a gap year with them  if you didn't achieve an ATAR in Yr 12, before you can do any Uni courses.

Another reason to do YR 11 and 12 would be so your child can make some friends too. If your child really doesnt want to do school here i think your first port of call would be the British Council and ask them how to go about sitting the GCSE exam here as they would be able to do it - https://www.britishcouncil.org.au/exam/igcse-school

 Cal x

 


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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2 hours ago, Kane and Cara said:

if you can’t sit GCSE’s in Oz - what is an IGCSE then please?

It's an international qualification (Cal gave you the link), but honestly, I wouldn't consider it.   My sister (in the UK) put her children through a school that did the International Baccalaureat instead of A levels, because at one stage they were planning to move to France.   The 'Bacc' is supposed to be better than A levels but in fact, it's been a real hassle in their careers, because employers don't know what to make of it.  One of my ex-boyfriends did the Bacc as well (in New Zealand) and found it to be a disadvantage in his working life, too.   So I'd be worried the IGCSE would be the same. After all, I'd never heard of it till today, had you?

If you could possibly get to Australia in February instead of May, then she'd be here for the beginning of the new school year (Term 1 starts around 1st February).  Then she could start straight in to Year 11 if she's old enough, I think.


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

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

It's an international qualification (Cal gave you the link), but honestly, I wouldn't consider it.   My sister (in the UK) put her children through a school that did the International Baccalaureat instead of A levels, because at one stage they were planning to move to France.   The 'Bacc' is supposed to be better than A levels but in fact, it's been a real hassle in their careers, because employers don't know what to make of it.  One of my ex-boyfriends did the Bacc as well (in New Zealand) and found it to be a disadvantage in his working life, too.   So I'd be worried the IGCSE would be the same. After all, I'd never heard of it till today, had you?

If you could possibly get to Australia in February instead of May, then she'd be here for the beginning of the new school year (Term 1 starts around 1st February).  Then she could start straight in to Year 11 if she's old enough, I think.

The company i linked too offer A levels too, not just GCSE' s.

Personally i would consider this route if i know 110% i would be back in the UK within a year or two with no intention of ever coming back to Aus. If there was a chance id be staying in Aus i would do Yr 11 and 12 at a high school and Uni/ Tafe if req from there but that's just my opinion.

   Cal x

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If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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11 hours ago, Kane and Cara said:

Thank you for your reply’s. Unfortunately We have already had our original visa PR of 5 years extended as it ran out during covid. We got 1 year extension which runs out in May. Therefore we are unable to apply for another extension. I would not want to run the risk of her entering Oz and going home to sit the exams and her then apply for another rrv and be denied. We are obviously not planning on returning but I just didn’t want her to miss out if there is a way she can sit IGCSE’s in Oz which are recognised in the UK should she ever want to return in later years. 
 

I find the difference between UK and Oz schooling very confusing. She’s in year 11 now but believe she would go into year 10 in Oz when we arrive? So will be at school for Oz year 11 and 12 which is what matters - is that correct? 
 

if you can’t sit GCSE’s in Oz - what is an IGCSE then please?

I have been in a lot of conversation with the school here in UK - they can’t help. 
 

thanks

Cara

Some exam boards do international exams like Cambridge Assessment for example but they tend to be in countries where the education systems maybe aren't quite up to the same standard but each examination board has a different curriculum so what she's studied with her board may not be the same as they assess. It's the examination board you need to talk to not the school. I vaguely recall seeing adverts for a distance Ed school here in Australia which did GCE and A level courses but their fees were rather eye watering, they may be an option.

Could you not apply for an RRV extension just for her to sit the exams - if they say no, you lose nothing. If they say yes you win.

Australia is a foreign country with a completely different system. She would be best advised to enter year 10 in May - because the last 2 years of school 11&12 are a consolidated course and if she were to enter year  11 when she arrived she would miss a substantial part of the year 11 program - like doing A levels but missing a couple of terms. She may be a bit older than her cohort which, this year in year 10 will be 15 turning 16 but that's OK. Don't  think of it as repeating or going back because she hasn't done year 10 in Australia before.  If there is a chance that you may go back then you might find a school that does the IB which travels back better than the ATAR. But if she did decide that UK Uni was where she wanted to go, you'd be up for International fees even if you are British citizens. 

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Thank you everyone.

 

Can I ask, if she sat yr 11 and 12 in Oz, then went back to UK (not that she will but just for my piece of mind!) - Would her Oz qualifications be recognized in the UK? for her to get a job etc... i mean

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3 hours ago, Kane and Cara said:

Thank you everyone.

 

Can I ask, if she sat yr 11 and 12 in Oz, then went back to UK (not that she will but just for my piece of mind!) - Would her Oz qualifications be recognized in the UK? for her to get a job etc... i mean

Probably not for Uni unless she got a very high ATAR, she might have to do a foundation year and her entire Uni course would be at international student rate. For any other big standard job? No idea. It rather depends on the job but I would imagine she would probably be OK for an apprenticeship or something that needs GCSEs.

Marisa has a point - if she's already 16 or turning 16 before, say end March/April can you get her here in the next couple of weeks then she could start year 11 at the end of the month. I do know though that the years can be quite wildly out - my grandson turned 8 in August is now in year4 but if he were here he would just have finished year2. So it may not be that bad a thing for your daughter to go into year 10 when she arrives. 

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9 hours ago, Quoll said:

Probably not for Uni unless she got a very high ATAR, she might have to do a foundation year and her entire Uni course would be at international student rate. For any other big standard job? No idea. It rather depends on the job but I would imagine she would probably be OK for an apprenticeship or something that needs GCSEs.

You don't have to have an ATAR or do the Gap Year at a few Uni's here now IF you had half decent grades in High school, so could be worth the OP checking in with a few UK Uni's to see what the outcome would be IF she did go back to live and study as they too may have changed their rules.

 Are you sure about her paying International Rates in the UK? If she has only been out of the UK a couple of years and goes back to live and study? I thought you had to be out of the country quite a few years before paying International fee's ?

  Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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5 hours ago, calNgary said:

You don't have to have an ATAR or do the Gap Year at a few Uni's here now IF you had half decent grades in High school, so could be worth the OP checking in with a few UK Uni's to see what the outcome would be IF she did go back to live and study as they too may have changed their rules.

 Are you sure about her paying International Rates in the UK? If she has only been out of the UK a couple of years and goes back to live and study? I thought you had to be out of the country quite a few years before paying International fee's ?

  Cal x

No, you have to live in UK for the 3 years before you start Uni.  So if you're out for a year or two and you had a choice to live overseas then youve not been a British resident - gap years with parents still in a UK residence of course dont count. Being a citizen is irrelevant if you've been living and studying elsewhere. That's why the most sensible option for anyone with kids at the later stages of school is dont move until after A levels then you keep all your options open. A levels convert much better to Uni entrance scores if your student devices to move and they haven't screwed up their chances of going to a UK Uni in the process.

UK unis usually have an A level requirement and the ATAR doesn't convert too well so there is often a requirement for a Foundation year.  Though once you get to mature student level there are other options.

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6 hours ago, calNgary said:

 Are you sure about her paying International Rates in the UK? If she has only been out of the UK a couple of years and goes back to live and study? I thought you had to be out of the country quite a few years before paying International fee's ?

The rule is that you need to be living in the UK for 3 years immediately before enrolment.  I clearly recall some universities exercising their discretion and waiving that requirement:  however that was for families returning to live in the UK permanently, not for a child returning on their own to study while their real home remained overseas.

1 hour ago, Quoll said:

UK unis usually have an A level requirement and the ATAR doesn't convert too well

Small correction -- English universities have an A level requirement.  Scotland's Highers are closer to Australia's HSC than to England's A levels, so I would expect Scottish universities to be more open to Australian HSC.

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

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On 10/01/2023 at 09:49, calNgary said:

You don't have to have an ATAR or do the Gap Year at a few Uni's here now IF you had half decent grades in High school, so could be worth the OP checking in with a few UK Uni's to see what the outcome would be IF she did go back to live and study as they too may have changed their rules.

 Are you sure about her paying International Rates in the UK? If she has only been out of the UK a couple of years and goes back to live and study? I thought you had to be out of the country quite a few years before paying International fee's ?

  Cal x

There's a massive great tome by the British Council (probably all online now, but back in my Academic Registry days it was physical), which lists every qualification from around the world and the UK equivalent, so in terms of accessing university Australian qualifications aren't an issue as they do translate.

In terms of Home or International assessment, it's based on where your ordinary place of residence is, effectively if you've severed residency ties with the UK, you're international - I remember we had a mature student who had moved to Turkey just after his undergrad and was a bit miffed (i.e. very shouty) to find he was assessed as International when he came to do his post-grad.  We did have the discretion to assess the circumstances and would waive international fees if the parents had been temporarily posted oversees for work, but generally not just if the student had jack of being overseas and wanted to move back - then it's a case of having to be ordinarily resident for 3 years (in reality it was not that long, 2 years and 1 day counted as three years if the person was back in the country before Census date which was first year of academic term).

Bear in mind this was many years ago and there's a high chance things have been modified since.  Also we had more discretion than the Student Loans Company who were pretty black/white in how they viewed the residency of a student.

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