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Old 02-07-2010, 07:44 AM
 
2 posts, read 13,319 times
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Hi,
I am wanting to relocate to the UK after living in the USA for 20 plus years and I am originally british so no problems with visa etc...however I have 2 kids one is 16yrs old and has only known USA schooling...is this a bad idea for him at this age? My daughter is 12yrs old so somewhat easier for her....but my major concern is my son. I don't know where I can start with him for schools etc....
Any information would be helpful as I know things have changed considerably since I left school in UK so if anyone has any insight as to
what could be available for him or whom I would contact...that would help.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:09 AM
LPI
 
Location: Mount Pleasant
110 posts, read 328,705 times
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Default Uk

Hey,

I am now an expat living in South Carolina.

I would seriously consider letting both children complete there schooling in the USA. Depending on the area you currently live in and the area you are considering moving to, this could be a vast culture shock and potential dangerous, depending on how "streetwise" your children area.

There are some good schools in most areas, but these area usually full, schools with spaces may not be desireable. Living in the correct catchment area for the school is important, but if you can't get in can produce a travel nightmare to a school.

At 16, he is going to have possibly two options, enrolling in a "six form" at a Secondary school or going to a College. Both should give him the necessary to continue to University. I would check and double check your and his eligability for "grants" for University as this could be very expensive otherwise.

From seeing what our 13 and 16 year olds are doing at school in SC compared to the UK, they both may find they are "in front" in some of the subjects (math and English) and way behind in others (sciences).

A lot depends or your finances of course and the areas you are considering.

When was the last time you visited the UK? Thing's are not getting better there in my opinion.

If I can be of further help. please message me.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: England.
1,288 posts, read 2,918,484 times
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A twelve year old still has time to adapt and make GCSE decisions. The sixteen year old is going to have to fight for a place at 6th form college, and specialise academically, more than is the case in the USA. If my teenage move to America was anything to go by, the twelve year old will also find it easier to make new friends. Of course, every child is different.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:25 PM
 
3,367 posts, read 10,054,677 times
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The UK system involves examinations at age 16 (GCSE's) and at 18 (A levels). Most kids who plan to go onto do A levels (at a Sixth Form or College) will be taking 8-10 GCSE's at age 16.

A 17 year old High School graduate from the USA is considered to have the equivelent of around 5 GCSE's, which might make getting a Sixth Form or College place difficult, but not impossible.

We came back to the UK when my daughter was 14, the age when studying for GCSE's starts, because otherwise we'd have been trapped in the US education system until all our kids had gone through High School/College/University.

The best thing to do is call the Admissions Department of the local council for the area you plan to live in the UK.

Some people on this forum love to generalise (negatively) about the UK, but just because there are some bad areas doesn't make it all bad! You have to look at your options and read up on individual areas, just like you would if you were moving towns in the USA!

We moved back because the education here (UK) was better for our kids - meaning our particular situation and area - not everywhere. My kids have gone straight back into very good local schools and found the transition very easy.

You just have to do your research & homework -and the local council's website is a good place to start.

Where are you planning on moving to?
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,319 times
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Lightbulb Thanks for the information

It has been a year since I posted and i'm still in the USA, the reason for me relocating is my parents are getting older and I want to be closer to them and my marriage to the American in my life is not good. I know how hard things are in the UK are right now and I would be looking at moving to the North of England near my parents. I am thinking of letting my son stay and graduate in his US high school and move my daughter over with me. She is really good in school and academically she does great as a straight 'A' student. Life will surely be different but I will have the help of my family. Here in the US I have no-one but friends I have made along the way. I guess I just have to take the leap.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
4,883 posts, read 7,318,323 times
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Changing education systems for a 16 year old who is just two years away from graduating should be avoided if possible. The two systems are just so different I think you'd be doing them both a disservice. Wait for the 12 year old to graduate then make your big move.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Durham UK
2,031 posts, read 4,700,218 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by southdown View Post
The UK system involves examinations at age 16 (GCSE's) and at 18 (A levels). Most kids who plan to go onto do A levels (at a Sixth Form or College) will be taking 8-10 GCSE's at age 16.

A 17 year old High School graduate from the USA is considered to have the equivelent of around 5 GCSE's, which might make getting a Sixth Form or College place difficult, but not impossible.

We came back to the UK when my daughter was 14, the age when studying for GCSE's starts, because otherwise we'd have been trapped in the US education system until all our kids had gone through High School/College/University.

The best thing to do is call the Admissions Department of the local council for the area you plan to live in the UK.

Some people on this forum love to generalise (negatively) about the UK, but just because there are some bad areas doesn't make it all bad! You have to look at your options and read up on individual areas, just like you would if you were moving towns in the USA!

We moved back because the education here (UK) was better for our kids - meaning our particular situation and area - not everywhere. My kids have gone straight back into very good local schools and found the transition very easy.

You just have to do your research & homework -and the local council's website is a good place to start.

Where are you planning on moving to?
How long ago did you move back to UK?
Having moved to the US 2 yrs ago (my son started in first year at high school) I almost find the complete opposite.

He has made more friends here, enjoys his subjects more, is challenged by the level of work, has better relationships with his teachers, learns in a far pleasanter environment (clean, bright) and is coming on in leaps and bounds
There isn't the same streaming system here.
In the UK he was put into one of the lower Maths groups as it was his weakest subject, and no effort made to get him out of it .
When it came to the GCSE the highest grade he could have got was a D because he would have sat an easier paper.
After the first semester here he passed Algebra I (they have exams every semester here, but not all are end of course exams) and it was FAR FAR more advanced than anything he had ever done in the UK.In fact I wouls say it was more advanced than my Cambridge board O level Maths way back in the 70s.

Same with English- more like traditional English-grammar analysis, comprehension etc.

I would thing that a 16 yr old coming form the US could easily take some GCSEs to make it up from 5 (which I'm not sure would be correct as many 16 yr olds will have done Algebra I, Geometry, English I and II plus at least 14 other courses, some of which may be at honors or college level)

My suggestion would be to stay in the US until your son has finished high school.
In fact - I would stay there full stop!

Agree with what someone said about kids needing to be street wise.
I would never have let my son do as much in the UK as he does here without adult supervision.

Here I'm happy for him to go bowling (one of his older friends drives), go for coffee or something to eat afterwards and just keep in touch by cellphone.

He isn't complacent and knows what to look out for etc, but he definitely doesn't qualify as streetwise!

In the UK he wouldn't wear anything different for fear of other kids remarks.
Here (and this could be an age thing too) there isn't the same competition amongst kids and they are far more accepting of individuals style/personality etc
Oh, and it's not seriously uncool to be seen with your parents either, or to acctually have a conversation with your friends parents!

In the UK many kids are restricted in their teenage years due to worries about people hanging around on street corners looking for trouble etc. Plus everywhere is so much more crowded and noisy!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Durham UK
2,031 posts, read 4,700,218 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakofdawn2000 View Post
It has been a year since I posted and i'm still in the USA, the reason for me relocating is my parents are getting older and I want to be closer to them and my marriage to the American in my life is not good. I know how hard things are in the UK are right now and I would be looking at moving to the North of England near my parents. I am thinking of letting my son stay and graduate in his US high school and move my daughter over with me. She is really good in school and academically she does great as a straight 'A' student. Life will surely be different but I will have the help of my family. Here in the US I have no-one but friends I have made along the way. I guess I just have to take the leap.
Where in the North?

I can understand that as my parents are back in the UK and are in their 70s.
I'm an only child and whilst at the moment they are well and come out for 3 months twice a year I'm not sure how I might feel when this isn't possible.

I just cannot imagine ever living in the UK again.
Apart from my parents, there isn't anything I miss about it.

Maybe we could live somewhere in the EU that was closer to UK instead

I love my life here even though things have been tougher than we expected.
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