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Homeschooling in the UK?

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9/13/2011 11:11 EST

Darling expats, I am in need of Guidance! My husband and I, both born and raised in Texas, are contemplating a move to the UK- his company is branching out overseas etc. The base of operations will be in Slough. The company will be aranging townhouses in Windsor for the folks who move from the states.

We have two children, one in first grade, and one in second grade. The second grader has an Autism spectrum diagnosis and dyslexia. He is able to be in a regular classroom with certain accommodations and he goes to a daily "pull-out" dyslexia reading program at school.

I'm *considering* homeschooling my children while we are in England. (Which may only be a year or so.) My reasons for this are related to my son's special needs, but also due to a desire to have flexible time to explore the country and the city of London.

Can anyone tell me what specific requirements there are in regard to homeschooling in the UK?

How would I explore the public school options in Windsor? Is there are website like "greatschools" with ratings and reviews? I'm also looking for pointers about special education in the UK public schools. I don't yet know if the company would be willing to pay for a private school. Are there any good ones in Windsor?

Forgive my ignorance but is school "free" to all and supported by taxpayers as it is here in the states?

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10/5/2011 16:35 EST


You could try the Mumsnet forum http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk scroll down and look under Education. There are quite a few people on there who does home ed and also many who can tell you about schools in general.

Ofsted http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/ is probably the equivalent to "greatschools".

Good luck!

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10/10/2011 17:18 EST

I have children similar ages in the local state schools and the generous holiday periods of half-term weeks off and two + weeks at Easter have helped with making time to see the country and Europe. From Windsor, you would be quite centrally located to go all over England and not far from Heathrow or Luton for quick flights to the continent!

Regarding your 2nd grader, what I have observed for children with learning disabilities is often a full-time learning assistant dedicated to a particular student in a school. This assistant will do one on one work with the pupil and stay with them in the classroom. I believe the staff person responsible for coordinating services for pupils with learning disabilities in a school is the SENCo (sorry - don't know what it stands for).

Hope this is helpful. Best of luck!

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10/10/2011 17:24 EST

Just reading all of your questions . . .

Yes, state schools are "free" with the main requirement for enrollment being your residence close by and space available at the school. Sometimes a school is associated with a church, and preference is given to members of the church for enrolment. If you want to investigate state schools, start with Ofsted, then call and tour the school itself.

There are scores of independent schools in SE England, so you'll likely have more than a few choices. One interesting thing I found is that Catholic schools are not always private, but can be state funded as well.

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