Moving to England - Which area to live in..?? Which School To Choose...?

(132 Posts)
NewBee2011 Tue 12-Apr-11 16:54:19

Hi Everyone, We are planning to move to England from Thailand in 3/4 mths, but very confused as to where to live, as we want to live in a good and safe place, not too much fond of city live but not too rural as well and not going too far away from london..But we dont want the place to be too expensive either...Prefer newly built estate...My kids have to join in Son (Yr6) n Daughter(Yr8), they will join private school but which one to choose as I want a good school with good results over the past years n with good reputation. Every suggestion will be of gr8 help.

LIZS Thu 14-Apr-11 18:07:16

Roedean used to be boarding only and I'd heard the Junior department ( a site they took over only a few years ago ) may be closing. Alternatively Brighton and Hove High takes day pupils (used to take boarders too, may still).

NewBee2011 Fri 15-Apr-11 12:57:40

Ohh Goshhh I am so so so confused now....
I cannot decide where to start from...
A good school + a decent place to live not too rural not too big city..
I think Stamford is not the place I wnat to be, but then where...?
Nottingham has no school to match my requirement...
Can I please request you all to please advice me with the place name..If you say South Lincolnshire..Its a big place n I would have no idea which place in there is good n which r not...
I choose Brighton Stenier School n then I was reading Blogs about Stenier schools in UK and was shocked, as I had no clue whats Stenier school..For me it was a normal school like any other....
Frankly speaking now I am getting more scared than confused, as I am worried I might end up taking a wrong decision..
Oh God, please help me here..

LIZS Fri 15-Apr-11 13:11:42

Do you know the UK well at all ? It sounds like you need to visit asap to get an idea of what areas might suit you , then narrow down schools from there. South Lincs (Grantham, Stamford, Rutland - with Oakham School) is still a good hour and half by train from London , is that close enough for you ? Also it has a flat landscape rather than rolling hills etc. Brighton/Hove itself is urban but there are some areas along the coast(Worthing, Seaford) or inland (Haywards Heath, Lewes) which are easily commutable for secondary aged school kids and more residential.

NewBee2011 Fri 15-Apr-11 13:41:39

Thanks LIZS, I am not much concerned about the distance from London as thats going to be ocassionally, but my main worry is to pick up a good school and then a good/safe place to live where my kids are happy enough in terms that they wont be able to adjust in too rural atmosphere..a plane or a landscape is not a bother for us at all as far as I get the best suitable school and a decent place to live, not too expensive..Thanks again everyone..Please posting your opinions/suggestions

isthismadness Fri 15-Apr-11 13:53:25

Oxfordshire is gorgeous. Oxford is an hour from both London and Birmingham. Abingdon just south of Oxford is a smaller very attractive Market town. Schools in Oxford are some of the best in the country (eg magdalen boys, Oxford high for girls and headington for girls)

Abingdon also has great private schools - Abingdon for boys and at Helens &st katharines for girls

cantspel Fri 15-Apr-11 13:57:20

as is lancing college.

Both really good private schools and lots of choice of areas to live close by.

LIZS Fri 15-Apr-11 14:04:48

Just to throw another factor into the mix - what curriculum have your dc been educated in until now ? Do you want a traditional British curriculum or one which works towards the International Bacclaureate instead of A levels ? Private secondaries (and many preps) are often academically selective , but the standard required and level of competition can vary hugely. Many kids get specifically tutored to achieve a place at the one of their choice.

Flowerduet Fri 15-Apr-11 14:11:38

Hi
just a thought but is living in a multicultural place important to you? I'm asking because some parts of U.K are very multicultural and others aren't.

I personally like a cosmopolitan place where you have interesting mix of shops/restaurants etc. I want my dear child to grow up in a place experiencing different cultures.

I live in a village and I miss that aspect of living in/near larger city.

Just something to bear in mind.

isthismadness Fri 15-Apr-11 14:25:37

What sort of budget had you for for a house?

NewBee2011 Fri 15-Apr-11 15:58:44

Hi Flowerduet, Yes I would prefer a multicultural environment if possible, please suggest such places...
Hi Isthismadness, For the moment, we will just be renting to start with n then buy at a later stage, but for the rental too, I would say not too high..
Back to LIZS: At the moment my kids are following American Curriculum, which is very low n I am not happy with that, so I assume any curriculum in UK would be far far better than here..
Please keep suggesting as this is making my confidence stronger n would definately help to make the right decision of our life.
Thanks Everyone

isthismadness Fri 15-Apr-11 16:15:44

Yes but what do you mean not too high? High to one person is not high to another
How much per month?
And when you eventually come to buy?

mebaasmum Fri 15-Apr-11 16:37:28

A colleage of my other half moved to Bracknell from overseas which he found suited him and his family well. It is a modern city./town but stll leafy. Not too far from london. a school in the area to look at is Licenced vistulers school (might be spelt wrong) Goes from age 4-18. Certainly cheaper than West london but not far out .

LIZS Fri 15-Apr-11 16:42:20

"Not too high" in Thailand will be very different in UK. Agree about American curriculum btw and you may find it hard for your dc to get into many schools without some sort of academic preparation. How much can you afford in fees btw - senior schools vary from £10k pa up to 25k+, day plus uniform and extras.

MABS Fri 15-Apr-11 19:07:58

lancing, hurst,brighton, ardingly are all good. year 9 for day puils around 19kp/a and prep schools are around 13/14k for day pupils.

Clary Sat 16-Apr-11 00:54:05

OP I agree with others, to offer any meaningful advice we need to know how much you are prepared to pay.

For example, in the pleasant suburb of small city (Derby) where I live, renting a well maintained 4-bed detached house would cost about £800-£1,500 a month. Buying similar house would be about £300,000 to £400,000. That any good to you?

I am no expert but I would imagine you could double those figures in Oxfordshire, for example. But in South Lincs it could be a lot less.

Equally private school fees can vary so much. What are you expecting to pay? <trying to be helpful, not nosy, here!>

NewBee2011 Sat 16-Apr-11 04:09:10

Hi Everyone, Thanks for your posts.
I was looking to pay an yearly school fees of abt 10-15K and the rental budget I have is abt 700pm. The figures can move little bit up n down, but thats the base line I would like to work on.
So far I haven't found a suitable school.......)):
I have actually contacted many schools, some dont have place for this year n some are too expensive or are in too remote area...
Its not easy for sure..

lljkk Sat 16-Apr-11 05:53:33

700 pounds per month for renting a house? Too low, I fear. But you'll be okay if you can raise that to closer to 1k/month.

What about Loughborough? Very multi-cultural, very good private grammar school (highly thought of locally), with private school feeder for the Yr6 child (although some of the state schools are highly rated there, too). Medium size town with most local amenities people want; good access to some of the best of English (and Welsh) countryside. Direct train lines to London. And you could probably get rent a house there for the price you want.

NewBee2011 Sat 16-Apr-11 07:19:20

Oops...may be then I would have to go up to 800-900/pm for rent.

Can you please suggest any school name in Loughborough...?

Is this place considered as a rural area...or as a small township.? As I heard that Wales is too backward..in every aspect...May be I got wrong information.

lljkk Sat 16-Apr-11 09:08:11

Egads, my links in last message totally failed.

Loughborough Grammar for the Yr8 child:
http://www.lesgrammar.org/

Fairfield for the y6 child:
http://www.lesfairfield.org/

Loughborough (Lboro) is a town of about 60,000 residents, it is 15 miles roughly away from Nottingham or Leicester (small cities)

Loughborough is bang in the centre of southern half of England, about 1hr 20min. from London on the train. I would NOT ever plan to drive from Lboro to London, though, M1 is a killer motorway for terrible traffic (but then most UK motorways are bad that way).

LIZS Sat 16-Apr-11 09:36:07

Sorry but you won't find even a small 3 bed for 700pcm in much of the South East or near a major city in UK = £900-1000+ might be a better starting point, £1200-1500+ for a small 4 bed. I hope that is £10-15k fees per child otherwise a private education is pretty unrealistic I'm afraid. When you say you haven't yet found a school , have you spoken to any direct (many will be on holiday now until after Easter/May day) or are you still at the googling stage ? What have you ruled out and on what basis, to give us a better steer as to what you might find suitable ?

LIZS Sat 16-Apr-11 09:40:14

oh and bear in mind places may still come up for September if parents give their term's notice on the first day back of the Summer term. So any you have ruled out soley on that basis might be worth a call again in early May.

meditrina Sat 16-Apr-11 09:49:20

Newbee: have you had a chance to look at the link minipie posted?

If so, what schools in your price range do you think might be a good fit for the DCs? This might help with either suggestions for other schools like them, and places to live within easy reach.

Word of warning about hiw they quote school fees in the Guide though, it's based on information the schools make readily available - it doesn't necessarily include uniform, lunches, trips, equipment etc, so always allow a bit above the price unless it's clear it's inclusive.

NewBee2011 Sat 16-Apr-11 11:30:55

Hi There, Yes I did look at the link mimipie posted and I have actually contacted many schools directly, although on easter break, but still I did get response from most of them just waiting for few more to reply.
The problem is that my kids are presently going to a very big school with big school area and all modern facilities, you know all show off stuff, and if I put them in a small school though may be private then I beleive they will get a set back, so it has to be like Stamford Schl, but I am sure they wont love to stay in Stamford as it seems not to be of our types, so I am trying to get a catch of both good school + right place..
Please suggest more.

omniscrambles Sat 16-Apr-11 11:43:39

What about here its co-ed from 7 and not as expensive as some.

But you would need to stretch the rental to 1300 because you are commutable to London which obviously you dont need but it was one of the first co-ed to 18 schools that sprung to mind.

LIZS Sat 16-Apr-11 14:24:53

I think you may be better employing a relocation agent to narrow things down a bit, combining your different requirements. What works for someone on here may not work for you and you can't move half way around the world on the basis of website opinions. Even "good" results are subjective - you can look at the league tables for gcse and A level results but these won't take everything into account.

clfs is a good school with Ashtead, Leatherhead and Dorking provincial towns within a reasonable driving area but definitely not cheap places to live. UK is not a cheap place to live atm, can you realistically fund this move and lifestyle while your dh sets himself up. However anywhere close to M25 will be similar I'm afraid so you may need to look further afield.

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