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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:18 am 
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I've just moved to the Ealing region from Australia (We were in Australia for 12 years). I've been interested in the 11+ for some time and my husband and I both felt there were more opportunities for our children in this country. I'm living with my mother while my husband is still in Australia selling our house. Both children haven't got an offer of a local school yet and are on waiting lists. I'll explain my situation briefly and I pray that I get some good advice. We are not rich people and could someone suggest a good place to live (I'd rent a flat) to give my children a chance at getting a decent education? My older DD is looking at entering at year 4, she is a smart girl and has achieved high distinctions in the state of Victoria for maths, English and science. I have a brother in Southend who wants me to live in that area so that I have some family support. My DD may not pass the 11+ so I'd like to live in an area where I at least have a plan B, such as taking a scholarship exam for a private school. I'm at my wits end and can't even take my DD's to museums during the weekdays because my mother is elderly and demanding and doesn't make me feel comfortable if I take my kids out during the day. My choices on places to live are London (to rent cheaply), or to buy in the Southend region. Could someone please help so that I can at least have more control over my children's dreadful situation and have a plan of action because I don't understand the schooling situation in this country.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:07 am 
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Golly betruetoyourself - difficult situation!

You've asked lots of questions, but I have a few more that may make it easier for people to help you and you to think about your plan:

1) Where is your husband going to be working when he gets here? is it London based or could you move anywhere in the country? Where do you really want to live?

2) Do you really want private school? Scholarships / bursaries are not what they were - a scholarship may get you 10% -20% of the fees and really good bursaries are only if income is really low. Scholarships often assume also that the child gets v high marks (and would be likely to have passed the 11 plus if they took one ... but can vary)

3)Have you looked at areas that are solely comprehensive ie no 11 plus?

4) Are you doing some schooling with the children now? You can home ed while they are waiting for places?

5) How old are the kids now?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:33 am 
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University in Scotland s free if you're a resident so think seriously about living up there if you can. Some may be able to advise you about areas in Scotland too.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:35 am 
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Location: Berkshire
SD - I wouldn't bank on that remaining if Scotland becomes independent. :lol: They will need money from somewhere.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:38 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
SD - I wouldn't bank on that remaining if Scotland becomes independent. :lol: They will need money from somewhere.


Also Scottish government only funding a quota of places at Scottish Universities - not enough for the Scottish students who want them.... at clearing they had two lists: one for scots and EU and the other RUK (rest of UK) ... there were no places for scots


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:06 am 
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thanks, hermanmunster,

I have family links in London and Southend (Essex), so I'd live in these areas. My husband works in the banking industry and will look for work when he gets here. My children are aged 8 and 4, I am currently waiting for spots in reception and year 4 and I am currently home schooling them, albeit very loosely. I would consider an area, say in London or Essex where there are good comprehensive schools, although my first choice would still be zoned grammar school areas.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:52 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
SD - I wouldn't bank on that remaining if Scotland becomes independent. :lol: They will need money from somewhere.


Scotland, vote for independence :lol: :

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:28 pm 
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betruetoyourself wrote:
thanks, hermanmunster,

I have family links in London and Southend (Essex), so I'd live in these areas. My husband works in the banking industry and will look for work when he gets here. My children are aged 8 and 4, I am currently waiting for spots in reception and year 4 and I am currently home schooling them, albeit very loosely. I would consider an area, say in London or Essex where there are good comprehensive schools, although my first choice would still be zoned grammar school areas.


It sounds like you need to have a chat with your brother and look closely at the schools near where he lives -it is the main GS area that you have a connection to. Otherwise the London / SE area is so large with many LEA and school systems and people travelling long distances to get to school that it gets very complicated to suggest areas. It might be worth you posting on locality sections on this forum eg Herts / Slough / Surrey etc to see if people have specific advice about schools in their areas.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Is it too late to go back to Australia? If your main reason for coming here was to improve educational prospects for your children I think you might be disappointed. London is almost ridiculous now for trying to get children into what is considered a 'good school' and other areas can be similar. The education system is dominated by high-stakes testing and pressure. Teacher morale isn't generally great, the exam system is in constant flux and universities are over-subscribed and cost a lot.

I have huge regrets about letting my children be educated here when I had the choice not to a few years back. Sorry to be doom and gloom but if I were faced with your choice I'd be heading back down under. At least it's sunny there.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Thank u very much hermanmunster, I think I've got to use my connections in the Essex region to try and get my children into a reasonably good school. I have to remain positive and use my time productively. I may never get a chance to spend so much time with my beautiful daughters and exploring wonderful London is the most rewarding education. Culturally this country is rich and fascinating. I plan to squeeze out every opportunity this wonderful country has to offer.

Amber, I have dual nationality and my children are Australian so I do have the option of going back to Australia if I choose. Having said that the educational system in Australia is abysmal to say the least, I lived in Victoria which is a huge area and there were only 2 select entry schools to choose from, both miles away, with terrible transport. The teachers were mostly ambivalent and there were exactly the same problems with catchment areas etc.

This country in comparison is bursting to the seams with opportunities, I consider it to be the heart of the world, it truly is an amazing place to live. Living in Australia was like watching paint dry for 12 years. Plus my children won't get an Australian accent! :lol:


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