AIBU to consider a 19 mile journey for secondary school place?

(118 Posts)
Felicityfarewell Sun 12-Jul-15 16:27:45

Little background -
We rent and will be forever probably
We are practising Catholics
I drive as does my husband
Okay so long story short we live in Horsham, have done since birth of son now approaching year 6.
He is at a catholic primary as is his sister who goes into year 5 come September.
We don't have any catholic schools here, most seem to go onto st Wilfred's in Crawley which I really disliked on the visit, a few to burgess hill ( no idea why, that school is in the middle of nowhere ) or they then leave faith schools behind and go to a non faith one.
I really want a catholic secondary and I've looked at both sir philip howard in barnham, really liked it but personally wouldn't like to go any further away from London ( where I grew up ) than here so seems daft as would never want to live there, but fell in love with St. Andrews in leatherhead.
It's mixed unlike a few other catholic schools in surrey which is important as their age gap is only 1 school year, and my husband grew up in Epsom so very familiar with the area etc.
trouble is that it's 19 miles from our home address, not even half an hour driving as all pretty fast roads or 25 mins on a direct train however only 6 children not living locally got in last year so the safest thing to do would be to move that way when our tenancy expires in September so that we stand a good chance but the downside is then commuting for 2 years ( including son and daughter ) to Horsham as wouldn't want to disrupt them and very doubtful any of the catholic schools would have a place.
We will without a doubt go from a 3 bed house to a 2 bed flat / house maybe for the rental price we can pay ( £1,200 a month ) taking out petrol likely to cost a good £100 a month doing the journey and that's one way as in I'll stay in Horsham for the day, collect daughter and then son on way home kind of thing. Am I being ridiculous considering it? Lots of friends think it's just too far to do for 2 years, husband thinks the cost is too high but agrees in principal and as we are renting it would only cost a few hundred pounds with referencing fees and a van.
What do you all think?

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 16:32:48

I think 2 years of trying to find something to do in Horsham 5 days a week is a lot.

I am not sure what to suggest. If you don't move he won't get in. Even if you do move you need to do it soon as applications open in October (ish).

Moving will also mean you son and daughter will have to share a bedroom which will be difficult when both teens.

I think you would be best looking for a secondary close to where you are

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 12-Jul-15 16:33:38

Can't the Church and you be in charge of religion and the school be for education and social life? DD is going to a local school, partly because I want her to have friends in her area to play with. Be part of her local community.

You sound like you wan to give up time, space and security for this. I wouldn't.

blendedfamilygrinch Sun 12-Jul-15 16:34:57

Well I wouldn't do it OP. Would the downsizing to 2 bed flat be likely to change in near future or would you then be stuck there with 2 opposite sex teenagers for forseeable future?
And you to spend whole day hanging about for school pickup? Dc's moving house, leaving school cohort, sharing rooms, downsizing...how keen are they on the school?
What are the local non-catholic options like?

Mehitabel6 Sun 12-Jul-15 16:35:12

I would settle for a non Catholic school and just go to church. I don't think it worth it.

Mehitabel6 Sun 12-Jul-15 16:36:09

I thought that schools in Horsham were good.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jul-15 16:37:27

I agree with MrsTerry

Although my thoughts might be somewhat skewed by the fact I went to Catholic school, and find them totally unnecessary.

Felicityfarewell Sun 12-Jul-15 16:37:48

Thanks for the replies.
Currently they both share as the third bedroom is tiny, a single bed wouldn't fit in it so we have agreed whether we stayed here or moved that we will buy a corner bed that turns into a sofa for me and husband and they will have their own rooms.
We can't stay in this house as landlord is selling so not security we are giving up, we have to move by 1st September so it's just where that's the issue.
Having something to do wouldn't be a major issue as my mum lives in barnham and is retiring this year and I want ( need ) to join the gym.
Unfortunately friends don't seem to be easily made here to carry through to secondary as so many are going to different places and his 2 best friends are now going to a private school anyway.

mmollytoots Sun 12-Jul-15 16:42:15

I am in a similar position I am.prepared to travel to a different school so that my child can go to a Catholic school.

previous posters have failed to grasp that its not just about going to church. so please go educate ourselfs then come back and add to the thread.

my dc will go to a Catholic school and I want her to make her first holy communion and confirmation etc. Catholic schools will revolve around these events and prepare the childre appropriately for these sacraments. Going to a non catholic school will cause another lot of issues as op will have to source some were for her dc to learn all about these outsize of schools hours

gamerchick Sun 12-Jul-15 16:42:15

You want to spend the day hanging around? In all weathers/when you're ill/when one of your kids is ill and has to stay off?

I probably would rethink that part.

Fluffy40 Sun 12-Jul-15 16:43:52

If your child forgets something they need, you have a 40 mile drive to do. its a lot of driving. I hope it works out for you.

Sidge Sun 12-Jul-15 16:45:37

With the greatest respect I think you'd be barmy to do this.

2 more years of commuting, and then hanging about a town all day? What a waste of time and effort. I can't see that there is any benefit to this. I can't imagine, especially in secondary, that the catholic ethos will be so pervasive as to influence their education so significantly.

And don't underestimate the benefit of going to school locally. There's a lot to be said for it especially in terms of friendships, after school concerts and events, etc.

Icimoi Sun 12-Jul-15 16:46:10

To be honest, it all sounds slightly mad to me, especially downsizing and hanging around in Horsham all day. I'd just look at the nearest decent school irrespective of religious affiliation.

MamaLazarou Sun 12-Jul-15 16:50:14

Is there really no other choice of school? Where do the other local Catholics send their children?

(Btw, if your third bedroom is not big enough to fit a bed in, it's not a bedroom!)

SanityClause Sun 12-Jul-15 16:50:49

Is there a junior school your DC could attend in or near Leatherhead?

I agree with gamerchick. There is no room for flexibility. And I imagine it will be a bit tedious for your mother to have you hanging round at her house, every day.

Felicityfarewell Sun 12-Jul-15 16:51:47

Apologies if incorrect but I'm assuming you are all home owners? Unfortunately as renters we have been forced to move areas ( as houses nearby just haven't come up in the tiny 2 month frame ) 7 times in our 11 years of renting.
Not always as far as 19 miles but half of that sometimes and that has been completely out of our control.
My husband doesn't work Thursdays and Fridays so I would be doing the commute and hanging around 3/5 which I didn't think would be too difficult to fill the days up.
My husband has a work car with petrol paid for so we don't have to contribute to that cost so he could drive home on both days after drop off if he wished too.
Completely agree with the other poster regarding the catholic ceremonies etc, how far will the chosen school be from you?

fourtothedozen Sun 12-Jul-15 16:52:29

Can't your kids still be catholic without attending a catholic school?

AuditAngel Sun 12-Jul-15 16:52:35

Mmolly nowadays the schools are not involved in preparation for first communion and confirmation, this is all done within the parish.

We are really lucky that we have a new Catholic secondary and DS will be in the third cohort. Having had an arduous school commute myself, I would not choose that for my children.

OddBoots Sun 12-Jul-15 16:52:58

What does your ds want to do?

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 16:52:58

mmolly why the attitude?

I am Catholic and had a catholic education from 4 to 18. My confirmation wasn't dealt with at school at all, it was in church I know a lot about Catholic education. So don't assume people don't.

OP some areas expect to be moved a for a certain period. Especially areas where people move in for catcent then move back out. Sign at least a 12 month contract, longer if possible.

chanie44 Sun 12-Jul-15 16:53:55

Molly - I went to a catholic schools and the schools said it that sacrements were parental responsibilities and preparations were done outside of school hours (eg Saturday mornings).

OP, I feel for you. Going to a catholic school isn't the be all and end all (as a catholic myself). Personally, I think that hanging around for 6 hours a day in Horsham is too much.

Could you not move and let the children finish school in your new area. I know they may not like moving, but they will both soon be in secondary school and I think it's more important to get the right secondary school than primary.

Felicityfarewell Sun 12-Jul-15 16:54:40

I was thinking once a week we would meet up as that's how much I see her now!
The nearest catholic school is 9 miles away in Crawley which I didn't like at all and certainly wouldn't be somewhere I would work towards living to make it easier for the kids to travel home on their own etc.

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 16:55:07

I am now a home owner. After renting for 10 years. I am fully aware of the problems with renting

mmollytoots Sun 12-Jul-15 16:55:11

it's a 30 minute drive depending on traffic could take 40 minutes if bad traffic.

But I will just drive straight back or go to work.

I wouldn't move house especially when different ended teenagers are involved

Fredmitten Sun 12-Jul-15 16:55:39

As I understand it St Paul's in Burgess Hill is outstanding - might be worth a look as other kids may be going from Horsham so some familiarity, and I would think BH is better value to rent than Leatherhead - but I could be wrong. It's mixed too.

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