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The Expat Overview gives advice about moving to and being an expat in that country- not just a Chamber of Commerce white bread description (available in any guide book), but with real info that newcomers need:
- How do you deal with a trip to the grocery store and then learn how to cook the bizarre things for sale there- not only so your family won't starve, but so you can take advantage of these unusual vegetables and mystery meats?
- What weird things are in the markets? Do the stallholders enjoy the sport of cheating the unaware, or can they be trusted to help newcomers figure out the right money from an extended palm-full? Do some stores take credit cards or cheques, or do you always have to have cash?
- How complicated is it to set up your banking arrangements? How hard is it to get a phone, or to hook up to the internet? Can you do it at home, or do you have to find an internet cafe?
- How hard is it to get people to work on your house? How long do you have to wait? Are they trustworthy? How is the plumbing in most houses...ancient?
- What do you do about mobile phones? Pay as you go, or do you have to have a contract?
- Even though people are friendly, are they open to doing play groups, so your children can get to know local children, or are they so family-oriented that they never make real friends outside of that closed circle?
- How hard is it to get childcare? Domestic staff? Arrange carpools? Or do children take school shuttles, or public transportation to school?
- Do most expats mix only with others of their nationality, or with other expats, and how do they meet? Through church, volunteer activities (like what?), school, the Embassy?
- Do neighbours know each other, and how do you meet new local people, if at all?
- Do people live in neighbourhoods mixed with locals, or do they live in gated compounds?
- What about clubs….joining private ones or finding expat woman’s organizations?
- How do you deal with healthcare, from basic doctors to emergencies (local hospitals or must you hop on a flight home).
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Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
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There are currently around 164 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
How to find a state grammar school
Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have 'grammar' in their…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe or Charlotte Church standing. And sometimes, just sometimes, parental pride is justified.
If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer. Read more...
State grammar schools
Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious. Grammar schools are located in 36…