Moving to London with 2 kids - question on education and school hours

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Moving to London with 2 kids - question on education and school hours


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Old 15th December 2013, 04:19 PM
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Default Moving to London with 2 kids - question on education and school hours

Hello,

I am new to this forum, having just found it in a Google Search. I am a Portuguese 37-year old IT Consultant and I will hopefully be moving to the UK in the following 1 to 2 months to work permanently in the Great London area.

I am married and have 2 kids (3 and 5 years old). The plan is for me to move alone first; my wife and the kids will join as soon as we find work for my wife as well.

What is worrying me more at the moment is education. We want to try to find a public school for the kids. I will be searching for accommodation in an area with good offer of public schools so that we can enlist them. The problem is - with two working parents, how difficult is it to manage having two kids at school? From what I understand, the usual school day finishes early (around 2:30pm?), so what options are usually available if none of the parents are available to pick the kids up from school? And what level of costs should we expect?

Many thanks for your help!

Kind regards,
Bruno
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Old 15th December 2013, 04:35 PM
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Yes it is difficult for both parents to work with school children. School finishes at 3 to 4 depending on their age and the school. Many schools have after school clubs such as dance, football etc or homework clubs but you would pay for them and they would generally be for an hour, 2 at most after school finishing time. Not all schools have them and some bizarrely start later ie pick the kids up then go back an hour later for the club? Dont understand the point of that. But school clubs are generally the cheaper option being a few pound per session.

Otherwise you will need a child minder or play scheme which can pick them up and keep them till 6pm or later. They are costly, especially down south, between 5 - 8 per hour per child. For london the more expensive.
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Old 15th December 2013, 05:20 PM
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If you would like your 3 year old to attend nursery class those are often just half day sessions. Given their ages, I would suggest childminders, however during school holidays this could be quite costly.
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Old 15th December 2013, 05:29 PM
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Tricky! One option is to have an au pair but then you would need an extra room!

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Old 15th December 2013, 06:31 PM
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What many parents do is for one of them - usually the wife - to work part-time, flexi-time or job share so that they can work around school hours. They can either work term-time only, or engage a childminder during the holidays. Alternatively they enlist the help of grandparents, but this wouldn't apply to you.
Do they speak English well?
BTW, non fee-paying schools here are called state or maintained schools. Public schools mean expensive, mainly boarding schools like Eton, Harrow and Westminster.
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Old 15th December 2013, 06:42 PM
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Thank you all for your comments so far, they are quite helpful.
Joppa, thanks for the correction - yes, I meant state schools. I need to get used to the terminology!
The kids are currently in a bilingual (Portuguese and English) school in Lisbon. The youngest one is still too young to "speak English", but the oldest understands basic English and can speak a bit. I think (hope!) that will help them adapt more quickly.

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Old 15th December 2013, 06:46 PM
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They are the best age to adapt, they'll be fluent in both languages quicker than any adult.
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Old 16th December 2013, 08:49 AM
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The schools can vary on the time they finish, some are around 3 others closer to 4, nearly all schools will supply an 'after school club' for an hour or so, or until the child can be collected. Alternatively, you can advertise for a 'tea-timer' a person, who could collect the kids from school and take them back to their home, and look after them, feed them, until you yourself were home, obviously interview these people. A lot of the time it may be young adults, girls who will attend the high school or sixth form of the school your child may also attend so they could meet them directly after school, these girls who are tea-timers can also act as babysitters on weekends, so worth looking into!

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Old 16th December 2013, 10:00 AM
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It's very unwise to entrust your children to unqualified and unvetted teenagers to collect from school (some schools don't allow it) and look after them for several hours every school day until you can collect them. Use childminders (who are all vetted and registered) or adult relatives (if you have them).

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Old 16th December 2013, 11:14 AM
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Hi brainspade, well u have landed at the right place. We will get rightly guided by the experts here.
I am too in your position-living in buckinghamshire, hubby on job, wife looking for a job and also enlisting schools (state schools- I too need to get used to the terminologies :-)) for our 5 yr son and 3 yr old daughter. Nearby schools are Elm tree school and little springs.yet to review them.
I prefer working in schools so thinking of getting a job where my kids get enrolled, so that i don't appoint anyone else to collect or drop my kids anywhere else. Hope this works out for us.
Best of luck


Last edited by juhi; 16th December 2013 at 11:18 AM.
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