To discount buying a house because of secondary schools (DC only 2!)?

(48 Posts)
SweetSuz Fri 29-Jan-16 09:52:15

Would love some advice. We viewing 3 houses tomorrow.
2 are catchment for a lovely primary that is a feeder into an amazing secondary school (top 50 in country) so pretty much guaranteeing DCs (2 years and another on way) would have an amazing education.
However 3rd house is probably my favourite, quite street, amazing garden with already build in kids swings/climbing frame at bottom, no work needed, perfect family house. Its catchment for a lovely primary that is actually Ofsted rated 1, while other 2 are rated 2. However, its not (currently) a feeder into this amazing secondary, and though its ages 5-11, means we would then have pain of finding another decent school in area when they aren't many.

Its likely we would stay for around 8 years anyway until DS finishes primary and then move again. But would you sacrifice the perfect house to almost guarantee your kids have a great education in primary and secondary schools? Or take slight risk in perfect house, with fantastic primary and then deal with secondary issue nearer the time? Surely so much could change in 10 years re. new schools etc anyway? Other 2 houses are lovely too, but just not quite as amazing as the other.
I'm so new to this all confused so would appreciate any thoughts, thanks.

redskybynight Fri 29-Jan-16 09:57:10

Your DC is far too young for you to be basing a move on secondary schools. The "perfect" school might become awful, the admission rules might change, you will find out more about your DC's strengths and weaknesses and not think the "perfect" school is right for her.

On what are you basing your definition of perfect anyway? Top 50 in the country does not mean it's perfect for your DC.

Topsy34 Fri 29-Jan-16 10:01:30

Agree with redsky, you can't pick a secondary now.....you have no idea what your child will need education wise

Ridingthegravytrain Fri 29-Jan-16 10:03:31

If it's likely you will be moving when he is going to secondary school I don't see the problem

Muskateersmummy Fri 29-Jan-16 10:05:26

The secondary school (dd is 3) was one of the factors in buying our house but not the deciding factor. I would base buying the house on the feel of the house. So much can change between now and then.

howabout Fri 29-Jan-16 10:10:04

I decided against overpriced house in catchment for best school in the country - never had cause to regret it. I would say don't necessarily assume you will move again though as it becomes trickier as DC get older. Also worth researching the options which would be available in the area for your favourite house even though it is in the future.

Technoremix Fri 29-Jan-16 10:11:14

I would buy the house you love now and you can always move in 8 years if the secondary school situation hasn't improved!

SweetSuz Fri 29-Jan-16 10:14:44

thanks all for great advice ..its 2 friends I know who have moved to area (1 who is specifically moving to get into the secondary) who are definitely swaying my opinions on this.

Thanks for helping me feel less guilty about considering our dream house!

steppemum Fri 29-Jan-16 10:20:19

if it is really a concern, have a quick look at what other options there are. For example, where do the kids at this school go for secondary? They must go somewhere. What is that school like?

That might reassure you.
I am going to go against the grain a bit. If you love the house, and would imagine yourselves staying longer than primary age, then secondary school does have to be a factor.

DadOnIce Fri 29-Jan-16 10:20:28

When I first read your title I thought it meant you were asking the buyers for a "discount" price because the house is in the catchment for a bad secondary! I get it now.

Agree with those who say not to worry about secondary school catchments now - they can change geographically, plus nine years is an awfully long time away. School reputations can plummet/ rocket in that time, and there could have been two changes of government by then and the whole system might be totally different!

maryann1975 Fri 29-Jan-16 10:23:21

Definitely don't discount a house based on secondary schools when your child is so young.
Schools are IMO only as good as their senior leadership team. By the time you are looking at secondary education, the whole slt could have changed, new head teacher, the school could and probably will have changed completly. Ofsted reports are not the only thing to look at when picking a school for your child, there are so many other things that make a good school than just what ofsted think.

TessDurbeyfield Fri 29-Jan-16 10:23:29

We were really, really careful re schools when buying a house and I was pg. Found a house in the catchment of a lovely village primary. Strong reputation, excellent OFSTED, league table topping results, supportive community etc. 5 years later DC1 started there. In the meantime a new head had started just after we had bought the house, lots of new teachers had arrived and old ones left, the school had expanded and the catchment had changed. It had gone downhill pretty rapidly. DC was completely miserable, there was terrible behaviour and (later) bullying. The results had dived and the police were called to deal with behaviour of older children and parents at least 4 times in the first term we were there. The school went into special measures within 6 months of us starting there with 4s on every count and we ended up leaving 2 years later.

TessDurbeyfield Fri 29-Jan-16 10:25:25

Sorry meant to say, so I would look at the schools but I wouldn't place too much weight on it as who knows what the secondary will look like in 9-15 years time. Happily our catchment secondary has gone from being a 'bit dubious' to very highly sought after at the same time.

Mughalswife Fri 29-Jan-16 10:31:33

Although I agree that schools change and your DC is only 2, I don't think it's as simple as just saying you'll move for secondary school. Your DC will have made friends, you'll still have another child at primary school, and it can be very hard to match up moving dates with school admission dates. It is all way in the future, but we had similar thoughts about moving for secondary school, but left it too late to be sure of getting into a good secondary.

Mughalswife Fri 29-Jan-16 10:38:41

Agree with previous posters about how fast schools can change. Luckily for us our failing catchment area secondary has had a complete turn around just in time for DS1. If we had moved I might be regretting it now.

BumpTheElephant Fri 29-Jan-16 10:48:00

Go for the house you like best. A lot can change in 10yrs. I left school approx ten years ago. It was "good". It's now in special measures.
The last village I lived in had a secondary school that went from outstanding to special measures in one inspection (change of headteacher).
You just have to deal with the secondary issue near the time.
Ofsted scores aren't everything anyway.

Radicalrooster Fri 29-Jan-16 11:19:30

Plus the fact that your kids may well be as thick as mince, and no matter what school you send them to it won't make much difference.

This was the unfortunate reality encountered by my own parents.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 29-Jan-16 11:28:15

Another one saying secondary admissions can change dramatically. I bought my current house when DD was 2.5years old there were feeder primaries and a the primary I am in catchment for was feeder for the top performing secondary in the area.
When DD was 6 the LA removed feeder primaries from admissions criteria, we were no longer in catchment for best secondary and now fell into catchment for worst.
Come round to secondary applications last year previously good secondary it's exam results had dropped off and it's ofsted had dropped from outstanding to requires improvement and on observation discipline has dramatically declined,
Previously bad secondary dramatically improved now Ofsted good, good exam results and best value added scores in area.
8 years is for schools a very long time and everything can change.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:41:12

Please don't base any decision on the situation in 9 or 11 years time. So many things could change and you could find yourself dissatisfied with the house if you don't choose the one you like best, particularly if the schools change radically over the years.

Go with what pleases you now.

SweetSuz Fri 29-Jan-16 11:46:30

Can't thankyou all enough for this advice, you honestly have helped balance my thinking hugely! To me it also sounded slight madness but with my friends being so set and sure on this I thought I must be seriously deluded/bad parent for not thinking ahead to a decade and basing all decisions on this.

Babyroobs Fri 29-Jan-16 12:25:08

As others have said schools can change so rapidly there is no point thinking that a school will be the same in ten years time when your child will go there. My kids secondary school was in special measures a couple of years ago and we nearly sent my ds1 to a different school. Now the school has turned around and is getting some of the best A level results in the county, wheras the other school is ging downhill.

MimiSunshine Fri 29-Jan-16 12:31:37

Don't be daft. A lot can change in the next 10years (or so).

I have two family members who went to the same secondary school. The younger one went about 10-12years after the older one and in that time the school has gone from most sought after / best in the area with outstanding reports to it being widely criticised pupils and staff leaving and very poor reports.

Pick the best house, and decide on schools at the time, your son may not even want to go to the one you currently prefer

trixymalixy Fri 29-Jan-16 12:35:01

We bought a house in a good area for primary, but terrible for secondary.

We are looking to move soon for schools and bitterly regret not choosing a house in a good secondary catchment. We don't want to move, we love our house and neighbours and it's a constant source of stress for me.

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 22-Apr-16 10:14:26

Argh this is exact dilemma we are facing. House is way beyond anything we ever thought we could afford - prob precisely because its secondary catchment is a notorious sink secondary.

Thing is, whilst at one time that secondary was beyond awful, it's now ofsted good (more than some in this area) with a brand spanking new building and very good teaching team. The big issue is that 70% of the student intake are in v early stages of learning English...But that's never going to change if everyone keeps appealing rather than going there. Its catchment has recently been extended to included some good areas so I think they're really pushing to give the place a chance.

4 years until DS starts secondary. Feels heartbreaking to turn down this house based on catchment. But a stupid risk to buy it. The only other vaguely feasible option would be a 1 hour bus journey away that he'd have to do alone, from yr 7.

Therealyellowwiggle Fri 22-Apr-16 10:43:11

I would not like to move my children away from friendship groups between primary and secondary, if I had a choice.
Currently facing similar problems and we are definitely putting school at the top of the priorities list, ahead of everything else,

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