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Sending your twins or more to secondary school 

Twin brother and sister on their way to secondary school

As your children near the end of their primary school life, you need to make decisions about secondary school. Whatever decisions you made over primary schooling, secondary school is a new situation with a new set of circumstances so you have to consider all the options again. The big difference now is that your children are older, so ask them for their opinion. Encourage them to feel involved in the decision without being responsible for it.

 The issue of separation becomes more complex at this stage, for example,  you have boy/girl twins, as single sex schools may become an option. Where  a selection process is in place (the 11+ or entrance examinations, even for  many comprehensive schools), one child might pass the test and another  fail, which highlights academic differences.

 Multiples do need gradually to become independent from each other, so that  by the time they finish their secondary education they will be ready to lead  separate lives, while still being good friends with a strong bond between  them. Tamba’s experience shows that for many multiples, the ideal situation  would be different classes within the same school, so that they would have  the chance to develop as individuals, while supporting each other and  spurring each other on.

Applying for a Selective (Grammar) School

Are you thinking of letting your children take an exam for a grammar school or other selective school? You obviously want them to have the best possible education, but is this the most important criterion in your choice of schools?

What if only one child passes? Some parents contact Tamba to say that they thought it was worth a try just in case they passed, but they hadn't seriously considered the possibility that one may pass and the other(s) not.

If the most important consideration for your children is that they both/all go to the same school, then do think carefully before letting them take an exam. Talk to them (preferably separately) to find out what is most important to each of them.

If the primary school can provide written evidence that your children have had very similar test results for the past 2 or 3 years, then Tamba would be able to help you with an appeal, but there would certainly be no guarantee of success. So do think very carefully before making this decision!

Screenshot of twins video - Become a member of Tamba to view videos

Become a Tamba member today to listen to Tamba's Honorary Consultants for Primary and Secondary Education Diane Galloway discusses the transition from primary to secondary school.  Sadly Diane passed away in April 2016. Diane offered support and advice to hundreds of families over the 20 years she was a Tamba Honorary Consultant for Education. She was also a founder members of the Professional Advisory Forum (TPAF). Keith Reed Tamba’s Chief Executive said “She was an amazing woman who has helped hundreds of families. Her commitment was inspiring


Every family will have a different experience of adolescence, but a few  problems are more likely with multiples. The growing difference between boy  and girl multiples becomes even more noticeable. This can impose a huge  strain on previously very close relationships, as the girls turn into the young  women, while the boys are still giggling boys. For girl multiples, the fact that the beginning of periods can be up to three years apart can also cause strain. Multiples will always compare themselves first and foremost with their fellow multiples, and the nature of physical development at adolescence can make differences hard to deny.


Tamba's guide - Twins, Triplets or more from 7 to 11 - Register for free to downloadThe transition to secondary schools can present unique challenges for parents of multiples. If you feel you need a listening ear, Twinline, our Freephone helpline can provide you with valuable support. Twinline is staffed by trained volunteers who are parents of multiples and is free for all members and non-members.

Twinline is open everyday from 10am to 1pm and from 7pm to 10pm on 0800 138 0509 (freephone).  If you need to speak to someone out of Twinline hours you can email Ask Twinline.

For more information on moving to secondary school, take a look at our Older Multiples Guide (You'll need to be registered with Tamba to view the guide)



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Twinline 0800 138 0509. Free support and advice for people expecting twins or already looking after twins.