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Moving with older children

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Wondered if anyone had experience or advice ..i’m now  seriously starting to plan the move from the UK to Sydney .I have citizenship but have lived here since age of 2-husband is applying for the partner visa offshore (i know this is long wait..) I have 2 children who are 15 yrs and 11 yrs ,the 15  yr old is in 1st yr GCSEs and 11yr old 1st yr  in high school. Has anyone moved with kids this old and with organising house sell and the dog it would be later this year or next and that would be GCSE year ..i don’t want the whole 2 y work to go but he wants to go ( however the 11y old doesn’t ! ) Am i too old -47? is it fair on the kids ….? 

 

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We are also in the same situation. We have a 16 year old and a 14 year old. One is in her first year of A levels and our other daughter is in her first year of GCSE's. We are running out of time (age wise). My husband has been offered a job through sponsorship 

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I know it’s hard isn’t it .I want to do it but it seems time frames of visas ,pets etc that it will get later ! I have family there but my kids have only had a holiday there ! 

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We agonised over this for a long time and ultimately decided to wait until the youngest has finished A levels.  
 

Our rationale being that the GCSE & A-Level programme doesn’t align to the HSC programme and our youngest, for whom academic studies don’t come easily, would almost certainly struggle with the transition and be disadvantaged. 
 

Your kids might be much better placed to adapt. 

Edited by FirstWorldProblems
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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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Once they have got on the GCSE roundabout it's better to let them finish A levels tbh, that way they keep all their options open. If you can't get them to Australia to start year 11 which is when they've either just turned 16 or just about to turn 16 then let them finish in UK. In Australia the last 2 years - 11 & 12 lead to a year 12 score which sets them up for Uni so you don't really want to arrive and put them in half way through the course because that would seriously disadvantage them. 

If the dilemma is whether to finish GCSEs or not because of a time frame, the most important thing is for them to arrive before or just as they turn 16 because GCSEs mean diddly squat here. Once they're past 16 if they can arrive with A levels, they convert well to Uni entrance scores.  The other thing to consider of course is what if you decide you actually want to return to uk - then you've sort of screwed up their Uni options a bit - the Yr 12 scores don't convert as well in the opposite direction and often a Foundation year may be required and you'll be up for international fees because they won't have been resident for the 3 years before they start Uni.

Your other option is to leave the older kids behind - board with family or friends - to finish their education then when they're done they can choose UK or Australia for further education and training. 

In answer to the "is 47 too old" question - well, it's borderline. Australia is quite an ageist place and the closer you get to 50 the more over the hill you are seen to be with respect to employment. It gets harder to build up your Super for a comfortable retirement too so unless you're coming with a lot of money it could be struggle street for a while as you get on your feet which means you don't have the cash to pump into Super. 

Edited by Quoll

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1 hour ago, Squirlies said:

We are also in the same situation. We have a 16 year old and a 14 year old. One is in her first year of A levels and our other daughter is in her first year of GCSE's. We are running out of time (age wise). My husband has been offered a job through sponsorship 

Just a heads up, you do know that in some states you have to pay school fees on a temporary visa? 

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I’m Australian citizen so don’t think i have to pay school fees .i’m thinking by the time i sort things out is it better he sits the GSCEs but that would be may 2024 and then leave straight after .Would that mean he would  study for the HSC f he arrived at age of 16 after sitting GCSEs in order to do further education ? 

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1 minute ago, KCart said:

I’m Australian citizen so don’t think i have to pay school fees .i’m thinking by the time i sort things out is it better he sits the GSCEs but that would be may 2024 and then leave straight after .Would that mean he would  study for the HSC f he arrived at age of 16 after sitting GCSEs in order to do further education ? 

No, you won't have to pay other than regular school fees. Won't he be a citizen by descent? 

He will need a year 12 score to go to Uni - in NSW that's the HSC (other names in other states) You do realise that the school years start at different times of the year? School here starts at the end of January so if you arrive in June or July you've missed the first half of the year - that's like expecting to do well in A levels having missed a couple of early terms - it doesn't work out well.  Australia is a foreign country, GCSEs are irrelevant, all that matters here is the ATAR which you get after the HSC assessment.  They only matter if there's any likelihood that he may one day want to return to the UK for further education but then you'd have bigger worries, like international uni fees. 

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yes he is a citizen by descent .So my best bet is to aim for the term of january 2024 so he can sit the HSC or equivalent .i just worry he hasn’t done the ground work for this ..

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19 minutes ago, KCart said:

yes he is a citizen by descent .So my best bet is to aim for the term of january 2024 so he can sit the HSC or equivalent .i just worry he hasn’t done the ground work for this ..

This is the point I was making earlier about the two school programmes not aligning. 
 

In the U.K. kids do GCSE in year 11. A level in year 12 and 13

But in NSW years 11 and 12 are the HSC years. 
 


 

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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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4 hours ago, KCart said:

Wondered if anyone had experience or advice ..i’m now  seriously starting to plan the move from the UK to Sydney .I have citizenship but have lived here since age of 2-husband is applying for the partner visa offshore (i know this is long wait..) I have 2 children who are 15 yrs and 11 yrs ,the 15  yr old is in 1st yr GCSEs and 11yr old 1st yr  in high school. Has anyone moved with kids this old and with organising house sell and the dog it would be later this year or next and that would be GCSE year ..i don’t want the whole 2 y work to go but he wants to go ( however the 11y old doesn’t ! ) Am i too old -47? is it fair on the kids ….? 

The partner visa may not take as long as you think.  The figures on the Immigration website include people from high-risk countries, which require long, slow security checks. If you've applied from the UK, you'll be on the fastest end of the time estimates.  We had some members recently get caught on the hop because their visa came through so much faster than they expected. 

As Quoll has pointed out, if you're settling in Australia, then there's no point sitting for the GCSEs because they'll mean absolutely nothing in Australia. Employers and colleges are only interested in HSC or A levels.   Your only option is to get him here to do Years 11 and 12 so he can sit the HSC (he can't just do Year 12).  Otherwise, he's better off staying till he gets his A levels.  

Edited by Marisawright
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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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4 hours ago, KCart said:

Am i too old -47? is it fair on the kids ….? 

I don't think you should worry about whether it's fair on the kids.  Of course it will be a disruption, but it's also an adventure.  They've got you to support them, they'll be fine.

As for whether you're too old...I don't think so, but I wouldn't leave it too much longer.  As Quoll mentioned, Australia is an ageist country.  You don't want to be arriving in your 50's because getting work will be an uphill battle, unless you're in a very high-demand occupation.  I 'retired' at 55 but it wasn't really my choice, I just ran out of contracts (to be fair, I worked in a male-dominated industry). 

I think I'd be more worried about whether Australia will meet your expectations.  If you've had the right to live in Australia all your adult life, and have never felt a strong pull to live here, why move now?  Your kids will make new friends at school, but it won't be easy to make new friends in your late 40s.  Do you have family over here who can take the place of the support group you'll be leaving behind?  Have you looked at how cost of living compares (e.g. cost of housing)?  

Edited by Marisawright
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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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9 hours ago, KCart said:

yes he is a citizen by descent .So my best bet is to aim for the term of january 2024 so he can sit the HSC or equivalent .i just worry he hasn’t done the ground work for this ..

He will be doing the ground work for HSC when he starts in year 11. UK tends to be ahead of Australia in terms of skill acquisition so I wouldn't worry too much. 

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Thanks so much .i’ve learnt more from this than trawling through websites ! Terms start january so if i can get him there for year 11 january 2024 . he is born in may and would be 15 but i think this is correct .My younger one will be 12 ( august 2923 ) so i think he go into year 7 starting high school even though he would have done his 1st year plus 1 term of year 8.He’s not my worry although he is refusing to come ,the 14 yr old wants to go now ! 

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Best advice is to stop comparing the school systems. 

Yes your middle kid is now a seasoned UK high school attendee, but that's in the UK in AUS he is the young kid on the block.

The two systems are so different it's not worth comparing.

Now what is worth knowing is university fee status. In Australia a PR or citizen attracts home fees when attending University, in the UK you need to have been resident for the three years prior to attending University to be considered a home student.

If your kids plan to go to uni in the UK or you think you might do 5 years here then go back this will becomes a problem (specifically for your youngest)

 

 

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Thanks that’s so helpful..if we go there are no plans to return .I have asked them about Uni ,The older one (14) wants to do a trade -he is doing construction GCSE which he really enjoys so i’m hoping there may be something like this .The plan is Sydney -north shore -eastern suburbs but i realise i can’t apply to public schools without an address

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2 hours ago, KCart said:

Thanks so much .i’ve learnt more from this than trawling through websites ! Terms start january so if i can get him there for year 11 january 2024 . he is born in may and would be 15 but i think this is correct .My younger one will be 12 ( august 2923 ) so i think he go into year 7 starting high school even though he would have done his 1st year plus 1 term of year 8.He’s not my worry although he is refusing to come ,the 14 yr old wants to go now ! 

He's actually potentially got another year leeway there if he is only going to be turning 16 in the May of 2024 you could easily wait until January 2025 - May is a very late birthday and most kids with a May birthday would choose to be one of the older kids in the year instead of one of the younger.  In some states he wouldnt be eligible to start year 11 in 2024 anyway as they have cut off dates of April (ACT and Victoria).  If you are thinking NSW then the cut off is 31 July but kids born sort of March onwards usually stay back a year so they are a bit older

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so his GCSEs are due to be sat here may 2024..So potentially he could sit these and then come by July but would he then go into a year part way through ? or have those months off ?

i was hoping if i do go to be there by january 2024 but have to sort partner visa etc so he could get into new school year starting in february (i think ) .the 11 year old turns 12 august 2023 so he is a very late birthday !

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15 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I don't think you should worry about whether it's fair on the kids.  Of course it will be a disruption, but it's also an adventure.  They've got you to support them, they'll be fine.

As for whether you're too old...I don't think so, but I wouldn't leave it too much longer.  As Quoll mentioned, Australia is an ageist country.  You don't want to be arriving in your 50's because getting work will be an uphill battle, unless you're in a very high-demand occupation.  I 'retired' at 55 but it wasn't really my choice, I just ran out of contracts (to be fair, I worked in a male-dominated industry). 

I think I'd be more worried about whether Australia will meet your expectations.  If you've had the right to live in Australia all your adult life, and have never felt a strong pull to live here, why move now?  Your kids will make new friends at school, but it won't be easy to make new friends in your late 40s.  Do you have family over here who can take the place of the support group you'll be leaving behind?  Have you looked at how cost of living compares (e.g. cost of housing)?  

very good questions.I do have family there( not friends but my Mum has a lot of friends there) and i have asked myself why haven’t i done it sooner ?!We go back and visit but this last  visit in december  (i’m not sure if something to do with getting older and 1 last chance ) and my older child wanting to live there ,i thought i’d look into it.1 of the main reasons is my Mum now  wanting to go back and she is elderly .So need to decide but obv has to be right for the children and their  education but don’t want to leave it too late for my Mother. I think it’s a better life ? I am a Nurse so hoping at nearly 50 i would still be employable ! 

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5 hours ago, KCart said:

so his GCSEs are due to be sat here may 2024..So potentially he could sit these and then come by July but would he then go into a year part way through ? or have those months off ?

i was hoping if i do go to be there by january 2024 but have to sort partner visa etc so he could get into new school year starting in february (i think ) .the 11 year old turns 12 august 2023 so he is a very late birthday !

If you arrive in July 2024 then he could enrol in year 10 part way through the year. Its OK to enrol in mid year for any other year but not during years 11 and 12. Whilst no one would get their knickers in a knot if he did take 6 months off, legally he should be in school until he turns 17 and it would give him chance to get settled and make a few friends before the hard yards start. 

Your younger child would be going into year 7 in 2024 but if you arrived half way through 2024 that's OK he would just slot into year 7.

Getting work as a nurse - as long as you meet the AHPRA requirements you should be OK

https://www.ahpra.gov.au/~/link.aspx?_id=7DBDF4675BCA42EE93A46D3BCA2004D2&_z=z
 

It'll be a different life, not necessarily better or worse - just another first world country. If your mum wants to return, can she not move back on her own? 

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You mention Sydney north shore / Eastern suburbs...

I get that's where everyone wants to live, and your friends and family may have lived there for decades, but housing is astronomical out there.

You are going to need/want a 4-bed with some outside space. Well I haven't seen a habitable one of those in that area under $3m in a long time, and we are looking daily.

Not to "rain on your parade" but unless you already have around 1-1.5m dollars in deposit a house in that area that would accommodate your family is probably unaffordable 

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On the age topic, yes Australia used to be (and sir tof still is) a bit ageist when it comes to older employees.

However I've noticed this last 6 months that is changing. The demand for people is meaning they would quite happily take what ever resource they can and to be frank, the most recent generation's attitude to hard work seems to be pushing most employers towards shunning youth and employing older people who are used to actually having to work...

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7 hours ago, KCart said:

very good questions.I do have family there( not friends but my Mum has a lot of friends there) and i have asked myself why haven’t i done it sooner ?!We go back and visit but this last  visit in december  (i’m not sure if something to do with getting older and 1 last chance ) and my older child wanting to live there ,i thought i’d look into it.1 of the main reasons is my Mum now  wanting to go back and she is elderly .So need to decide but obv has to be right for the children and their  education but don’t want to leave it too late for my Mother. I think it’s a better life ? I am a Nurse so hoping at nearly 50 i would still be employable ! 

I don't think the ageism is such a factor in nursing, so it's unlikely you'd have anything to worry about.  You need to look into getting registered etc, of course.  

I just noticed in your original post, that you'd be moving to Sydney.  Have you sussed out housing and how much you can afford?   Sydney house prices are terrifyingly high. 

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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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I know i have had a look at the housing and do agree..Manly would be my choice but i have seen Belrose but really anywhere on the Northshore but it’s so expensive and often without prices .I’ve also seen auctions but don’t know if you get a bargain this way!?.Our family is in Newcastle ,Illawong ,Wollongong ,and eastern suburbs ( we would happily go here too)We do want Sydney.

I wonder if i should sign up with real estate /domain ? 

My Mum only has me and will only move with me so added pressure! she has a lot of cousins her age and friends .She wouldn’t move without us. 

I’ve looked into nursing but as i was registered in 2 states in 2000 when i travelled i need to check about my route back in as i filled in self check and it wouldn’t let me go any further as i have held registration before …

 

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1 hour ago, KCart said:

My Mum only has me and will only move with me so added pressure

It’s not fair that your mum is putting this pressure on you.  You do what you think is best for your own family.  Your mum should want that too.  Her ideals should come way below what’s best for her child and grandchildren.  

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