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The Gees

Education - UK to QLD

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We are likely to be moving to QLD in July 2024.  Our daughter will turn 15 in June 2024 and will have just finished her first year of GCSE study - Year 10 in the UK. ( We also have a 12 year old but think transition there is less complicated). Am I right in thinking that our daughter will be going into middle of Year 10 in Queensland? Or would it be Year 11?

I have struggled to find a simple year by year explanation of Aus education and how it works in Year 11 - 12 also. Do students choose certain subjects for TAFE, as they would chose their option subjects here in UK or does the curriculum remain broad?

We are thinking of finding her an international school or supplementing school with online study so she can continue her GCSE core subjects through to examination. I have only been able to find one school in QLD that offers iGCSE - Matthew Flinders in Buderim... is anyone aware of any other international schools or options here?

We are aware that GCSE's don't 'matter' in Aus and the important qualification comes in year 12, just wanting to fully understand our options and ideally provide her with a back up plan.

She is keen to make the move, we are just trying to get our heads around the system and to think about how we can preserve her options in case we return to the UK at the end of our visa in 2028 (we have a 491 visa so should be able to move to PR via 191 at the end of the 491 but... just in case!)

Grateful for any information and advice! 

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Technically your eldest daughter could join year 10 in July 24 however she will be the very youngest of that cohort and most kids of her age will most likely be in year 9 so you might  want to consider her joining in year 9.  In Qld, kids stay in HS until the end of year 12 and they will be selecting their subjects at the end of year 10.  TAFE is a whole other system and usually follows school if a kid doesn't want to go to Uni and is more for post school age people.

If you're likely to return to UK you'd be better finding a school that does the IB (International Baccalaureate) and there should be more of them about. https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/international-baccalaureate

I hear you that she's keen to make the move and all that but if there is a chance that you don't Iike it or won't get PR, have you thought about letting her  stay until she's finished A levels? She could board with family or friends and spend holidays with you. That way she would keep all her options open for Uni in either country. A levels travel well to Aus but the year 12 results don't convert as well in return. In addition, if you do return and she has an IB score (which would be better) she will be stung with international fees for Uni even though she's a British citizen.

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29 minutes ago, Quoll said:

Technically your eldest daughter could join year 10 in July 24 however she will be the very youngest of that cohort and most kids of her age will most likely be in year 9 so you might  want to consider her joining in year 9.  In Qld, kids stay in HS until the end of year 12 and they will be selecting their subjects at the end of year 10.  TAFE is a whole other system and usually follows school if a kid doesn't want to go to Uni and is more for post school age people.

If you're likely to return to UK you'd be better finding a school that does the IB (International Baccalaureate) and there should be more of them about. https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/international-baccalaureate

I hear you that she's keen to make the move and all that but if there is a chance that you don't Iike it or won't get PR, have you thought about letting her  stay until she's finished A levels? She could board with family or friends and spend holidays with you. That way she would keep all her options open for Uni in either country. A levels travel well to Aus but the year 12 results don't convert as well in return. In addition, if you do return and she has an IB score (which would be better) she will be stung with international fees for Uni even though she's a British citizen.

Thank you, this is helpful. I hadn’t picked up on the implications for uni fees. If we stay in Australia would there be any implications for uni fees? or would they just apply as they would to any citizen? 

Unfortunately I really don’t think boarding here in the UK would work. We are a very close unit and she is quite shy and sensitive.

We will have to think quite carefully. This is our only stumbling block but it does make me think twice about going. However, we won’t get another chance! 

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If you're on a 191 by then, she'd be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place, and as it'd be a permanent residence visa, youth allowance as well, if she met criteria; however, HECS loans to cover the cost of tuition would not be available until (if?) she took citizenship: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help

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Software Engineer by trade.  Gardener by heart.

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7 minutes ago, BendigoBoy said:

If you're on a 191 by then, she'd be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place, and as it'd be a permanent residence visa, youth allowance as well, if she met criteria; however, HECS loans to cover the cost of tuition would not be available until (if?) she took citizenship: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help

Thank you. Hopefully we would be on a 191. Is there a website you can recommend for info on HE options eg range of degree apprenticeships, degrees etc?

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As Quoll said, your daughter will be the correct age to join Y10 in Queensland at the start of Semester 2 next year (July 2024) because it works on how old your child is on 30 June each year, even though the academic year starts in January (different to UK). Although she will be one of the youngest in the cohort I would strongly recommend she goes straight into Y10 and not Y9, assuming she is of average or about average academic ability. I've taught in both the UK and Queensland state school systems and I would generalize that the academic standard in (most) UK schools is notably higher, to the point where Y10 in the UK is the equivalent to Y10 in Australia, even though the students here are on average 6 months older. It would also mean that she'd only need to complete 6 months of school before she starts Y11, which is when the real business starts.

Towards the end of Y10 students choose their options for Y11 & Y12, and if they follow an academic pathway they will choose Maths and English (compulsory) and 4 other subjects. I would say that the academic rigour is higher than GCSE, but nowhere near as high as A-levels. If she intends to follow a more vocational pathway, most schools offer practical subjects and Certificate courses, which lead them effectively in to TAFE courses once they complete Year 12.

Australian high school qualifications are generally accepted for entry into UK universities and other higher education courses, so it's rather a waste of time your daughter completing her GCSEs and it will put her under unnecessary pressure. That's assuming you will stay in Australia long enough for her to complete Y12 and gain her QCE and ATAR, which she should do if you're here until 2028.

Edited by InnerVoice
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Australian Citizen since 2007 | Returned to the UK between 2008-2011 | QLD resident for over 20 years

All advice and opinions I provide on PomsInOz are solely my own and are general in nature. I am not a migration agent, accountant, tax expert or financial adviser, and my insights are no substitute for professional advice. I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of qualified professionals for specific concerns. I do not assume any responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided in any of my posts, and if you choose to act on this information then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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@InnerVoice many thanks. That makes sense. The uni information above means we are feeling it would have to be a commitment beyond 2028! ( subject to a 191!). 

I am a teacher as well so will be looking for work in Aus. Would be interested to know how you have found it compares to UK in terms of workload, pay etc.  We are hoping that we might get a better standard of living and lifestyle, especially for the kids. My OH will be looking for work in Construction Management but mine is the primary visa.

I am very keen but now and again feel terrible gilt and worry about leaving my mum. My dad passed away a few months ago and despite the frustration and delays caused by borders closing due to covid etc, we were at least able to spend his last few years with him as he was ill with dementia. It’s been a hard few years and we are hopeful that Aus will give us fresh opportunities and reinvigorate us. 

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23 minutes ago, The Gees said:

Thank you. Hopefully we would be on a 191. Is there a website you can recommend for info on HE options eg range of degree apprenticeships, degrees etc?

Not me, I'm afraid.  I could point you in the direction of three universities in Australia that are worth a jot in my opinion, but I doubt that'll be much help to anyone.  I've become somewhat disenchanted over the last twenty years by academic standards globally, but that's a rant for another time and another place.


Hopefully someone will be able to give insight into useful resources for that sort of thing.

What I _will_ say is that TAFE is way beyond anything equivalent in FE in the UK.  If your daughter is more inclined towards vocational studies, the support and investment out here certainly trumps what relatives and friends have experienced in the UK over the last ten years.

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Software Engineer by trade.  Gardener by heart.

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11 minutes ago, The Gees said:

@InnerVoiceI am very keen but now and again feel terrible gilt and worry about leaving my mum. My dad passed away a few months ago and despite the frustration and delays caused by borders closing due to covid etc, we were at least able to spend his last few years with him as he was ill with dementia. It’s been a hard few years and we are hopeful that Aus will give us fresh opportunities and reinvigorate us. 

It's not an easy thing making the move; as I think some on the forum will agree with me, we need a little of the selfish gene to do something like moving to the other side of the world.  That doesn't mean you don't care for, love, or miss the ones left behind by any means: even if it is natural for us to question ourselves on that front from time to time.

We had a very shocking death in the family within seven months of moving out here permanently.  And the truth is, the why and the how of it meant that even if we had been living next door, there would have been absolutely nothing we could do about it.

Despite Optus' best efforts to the contrary, we're fortunate that we have modern communications systems that allow us to keep in touch with those back home.

And flight prices are slowly coming back into sanity.  China Southern, as an example, pretty decent airline (my wife raves over the experience, actually, she loves them), have return flights from Melbourne to Heathrow for $1200 next May flagging up now.  Alright, it's not exactly an EasyJet fare, but it's also not overly expensive in terms of making those trips back to Blighty every once in a while.  (Although if it's just the one or two family members and they're capable of making the trip, more affordable holidays out to Oz to see the family, sure).

Whatever you decide to do, short and long term, very best of luck.  It's not an easy thing to do: it takes a fair bit of courage to up sticks and shift halfway around the globe.  

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Software Engineer by trade.  Gardener by heart.

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2 hours ago, Quoll said:

Technically your eldest daughter could join year 10 in July 24 however she will be the very youngest of that cohort and most kids of her age will most likely be in year 9 so you might  want to consider her joining in year 9.  In Qld, kids stay in HS until the end of year 12 and they will be selecting their subjects at the end of year 10.  TAFE is a whole other system and usually follows school if a kid doesn't want to go to Uni and is more for post school age people.

If you're likely to return to UK you'd be better finding a school that does the IB (International Baccalaureate) and there should be more of them about. https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/international-baccalaureate

I hear you that she's keen to make the move and all that but if there is a chance that you don't Iike it or won't get PR, have you thought about letting her  stay until she's finished A levels? She could board with family or friends and spend holidays with you. That way she would keep all her options open for Uni in either country. A levels travel well to Aus but the year 12 results don't convert as well in return. In addition, if you do return and she has an IB score (which would be better) she will be stung with international fees for Uni even though she's a British citizen.

@QuollJust returning to your point re Uni fees … we are planning to keep our UK home. Do you happen to know if this might help with residency for UK uni?… just thinking if council tax has been covered? Though if we rented it out I guess this wouldn’t work. 

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7 minutes ago, The Gees said:

@InnerVoice many thanks. That makes sense. The uni information above means we are feeling it would have to be a commitment beyond 2028! ( subject to a 191!). 

I am a teacher as well so will be looking for work in Aus. Would be interested to know how you have found it compares to UK in terms of workload, pay etc.  We are hoping that we might get a better standard of living and lifestyle, especially for the kids. My OH will be looking for work in Construction Management but mine is the primary visa.

I am very keen but now and again feel terrible gilt and worry about leaving my mum. My dad passed away a few months ago and despite the frustration and delays caused by borders closing due to covid etc, we were at least able to spend his last few years with him as he was ill with dementia. It’s been a hard few years and we are hopeful that Aus will give us fresh opportunities and reinvigorate us. 

I also lost my father a couple of years before I migrated. It's a very long time ago now, but I too felt guilty about leaving my mum behind, especially as I was an only child, but that's the price you pay as an expat unfortunately. There's no easy way around it, but at least it's easier to stay in touch these days with Skype, WhatsApp, etc. My mum came out a couple of times and when she saw what life was like over here she said I'd made a good choice. If she'd been younger I'm sure she'd have moved over here too!

I'm a little surprised that you're coming over on a 491 because nearly every teacher who has posted recently has got a 190, and then been invited to apply for a 189 almost straight away. Australia is desperate for teachers at the moment, as I'm sure you're aware.

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Australian Citizen since 2007 | Returned to the UK between 2008-2011 | QLD resident for over 20 years

All advice and opinions I provide on PomsInOz are solely my own and are general in nature. I am not a migration agent, accountant, tax expert or financial adviser, and my insights are no substitute for professional advice. I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of qualified professionals for specific concerns. I do not assume any responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided in any of my posts, and if you choose to act on this information then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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@InnerVoice I had done EOI for 190 and for 491  in Jan 2021 - maybe before  things were really looking better for teachers ? Anyway, I was invited to apply for the 491 and not the 190. Perhaps due to my age? I was one month off my 45th birthday when the visa was granted. 

 

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Just now, The Gees said:

@InnerVoice I had done EOI for 190 and for 491  in Jan 2021 - maybe before  things were really looking better for teachers ? Anyway, I was invited to apply for the 491 and not the 190. Perhaps due to my age? I was one month off my 45th birthday when the visa was granted. 

 

Crikes! There's an accomplishment.  Well done, mate.  Hopefully things pan out just swimmingly for you from here on out.

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Software Engineer by trade.  Gardener by heart.

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10 minutes ago, The Gees said:

@InnerVoice I had done EOI for 190 and for 491  in Jan 2021 - maybe before  things were really looking better for teachers ? Anyway, I was invited to apply for the 491 and not the 190. Perhaps due to my age? I was one month off my 45th birthday when the visa was granted. 

Oh, you did well!

43 minutes ago, BendigoBoy said:

What I _will_ say is that TAFE is way beyond anything equivalent in FE in the UK.  If your daughter is more inclined towards vocational studies, the support and investment out here certainly trumps what relatives and friends have experienced in the UK over the last ten years.

100% agree 🎯


Australian Citizen since 2007 | Returned to the UK between 2008-2011 | QLD resident for over 20 years

All advice and opinions I provide on PomsInOz are solely my own and are general in nature. I am not a migration agent, accountant, tax expert or financial adviser, and my insights are no substitute for professional advice. I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of qualified professionals for specific concerns. I do not assume any responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided in any of my posts, and if you choose to act on this information then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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You should try to match your daughter's maturity & intelligence with the school grade.  If she is brighter than the rest of pupils she may initially find the syllabus boring.  It's known for immigrants to be in the top 3 of students for the first year due to better teaching overseas but then drop lower in the next etc.  If in a higher grade she may become more shy due to the more mature students around her.

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48 minutes ago, The Gees said:

@QuollJust returning to your point re Uni fees … we are planning to keep our UK home. Do you happen to know if this might help with residency for UK uni?… just thinking if council tax has been covered? Though if we rented it out I guess this wouldn’t work. 

No, they'll know she wasn't resident because she wont have uk grades. 

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4 hours ago, Quoll said:

No, they'll know she wasn't resident because she wont have uk grades. 

It doesn't apply in this case, but there are many cases in which UK residents didn't have UK grades. Back in the EU days many parents lived in the UK while their children attended school elsewhere in Europe. The children's residency was determined not by where the children went to school, but upon where their parents lived.

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Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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