Hackney - rent in an outstanding area or buy in a satisfactory?

(24 Posts)
MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 21-Jan-13 17:22:55

My friend's parents came to Hackney in their late 60s and are enjoying their retirement here! So nothing's irreversible. If you move back when the DCs have finished school they'll love you for it and your sofa will always have one of their friends asleep on it whey they miss the last train home. grin

racingheart Mon 21-Jan-13 13:18:54

Isn't that the way with most places though? We now live in a very genteel and 'friendly' area but I long for a bit of life and alternative culture, for someone to step out of line and say something that wouldn't meet with Daily Mail approval. I miss Hackney. (But moved for schools. hmm )

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 20-Jan-13 14:44:35

I can see why such an experience would leave a lasting impression.

We have a love/hate relationship with this area. The people are generally very friendly, open minded 'get on with it' types, but parts of the locality are still hard to enjoy! I'm unsure if we're in for the long haul. But we did say that 10 years ago, and we're still here! grin

racingheart Sat 19-Jan-13 22:12:20

Betsey, it's true, my sister's experiences really put me off, and they are out of date now. Places change. I love Hackney btw. Lived on Tower Hamlets/hackney borders for years and years. Just generally, I'd never put house purchase over a safe, strong education, wherever that would be.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 19-Jan-13 21:05:09

The demographic in Hackney has changed hugely in the last 10 years racingheart. I'm not saying it doesn't have issues but most of the primary schools do well now. I've worked in education here and in Tower Hamlets since 2001 and would be happy to send my DCs to most of the schools here bar one or two. But that's the same for most LAs I'd say.

It's all about what suits your DCs. One of mine has SN. The type of SN he has is very well supported at our local (less 'desirable') Hackney primary, largely because of the high level of social need. He's made good progress since he's been there.

Go and see them. Go to the Xmas/Summer fairs, or even meet with the head if you can.

And if you feel uneasy about what you see at the 'satisfactory' school? Just stay renting. You can live in the best house in the world but if you feel miserable sending the DCs to school each day because you don't like where they're going, it'll eat at you.

Good luck! It's a nice choice to have. smile

scooterchik Wed 09-Jan-13 20:40:51

Thank you for all your responses. I am prioritising school viewing and have started to make phone calls...I will let you all know how it goes and hopefully i will be pleasantly surprised smile

pinkdelight Mon 07-Jan-13 11:45:19

Agree with Smee. Get on the phone and go to view the schools asap. That's the only way to put your mind at ease. If you get a bad feeling about the one near the place you're buying, then it's simple. Don't buy it. Renting is fine. In fact in terms of the London schools madness, it puts you in a better, flexible position. But if the school seems fine to you and you'd be happy to send your child there, that's fine too. Stop worrying and go and see the reality, then you can decide.

smee Sun 06-Jan-13 18:28:40

My DS goes to a Hackney school with high proportion of kids with English as a second language, deprived families, etc, etc. It's a lovely kind school which he's incredibly happy at. Lots of differentiation for differing abilities and just for info. the two kids in his class who are always top at everything couldn't speak English at all in Reception. I've always seen diversity and different languages as a plus and it definitely works well in his school.

Ring up the potential new school and ask if you can be shown round. I'd bet it's fine though, as Yellow so rightly says schools in Hackney are pretty good these days.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 06-Jan-13 10:16:15

Extrapolating from your sister's experience from years ago to talk about 'deprived and disturbed families', and 'a bad school in a rough area' (have you been to Hackney lately? do you know exactly which schools OP is talking about?) is making assumptions.

OP isn't talking about a 'poor school' either - she freely admits she knows next to nothing about it.

racingheart Sat 05-Jan-13 20:27:20

Not assumptions, Yellow. Facts based on close experience. And the OP is asking for opinions. I don't think it would be helpful to murmur platitudes. I wouldn't put buying a flat in an area with poor schools above renting in an area with good ones. She asked for opinions. That's mine.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 05-Jan-13 09:08:46

I don't think the assumptions about 'fantastic schools' and 'bad schools in a rough area' are helpful to OP.

Hackney schools used to be poor, but they're generally not now.

It's the detail that's important in situations like this, not sweeping generalisations about a whole borough's schools.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 05-Jan-13 09:02:19

I don't think the assumptions about 'fantastic schools' and 'bad schools in a rough area' are helpful to OP.

Hackney schools used to be poor, but they're generally not now.

It's the detail that's important in situations like this, not sweeping generalisations about a whole borough's schools.

racingheart Fri 04-Jan-13 20:03:25

I'd stay put. Schools can't get that great if they are struggling with an intake of children from deprived and disturbed families, or families where English isn't spoken. Whilst I think what happens at home is also crucial in education, I think it's one of the biggest and unwisest myths touted that a bright child flourishes anywhere. Not if they endure five hours of crowd control instead of bullying.

My sis lived in Hackney. They moved. She claims her first born has suffered all his life from having spent too many years in failing schools there, whereas the second child arrived at his new school and was classed as SEN, he was so below par, but by secondary at the new school he was top set and has now gone onto a good uni to do science. His older bro works in a call centre.

Nothing would induce me to send my DC to a bad school in a rough area, just for the sake of buying a flat.

loveroflife Fri 04-Jan-13 15:55:11

I would stay where you are. Yes, renting is 'dead' money but your son will attend a fantastic school and hopefully be very happy and that's what will matter long term - his happiness, progress and potential nutured rather than paying off 3/5 years of mortgage payments. Sit tight with your deposit etc and the situation will change - you may find that it financially pays for you to sit still.

Do you have to rent though for the whole time he is at the school? Can you not get him from your current address and stay for a couple of years then buy where you want to? I'm sure this is acceptable as many families move do they not?

Good luck.

yellowsubmarine53 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:13:25

It's very likely that the children from affluent families go to their local schools.

If this is a factor for you, I would check out the facts before jumping to conclusions tbh

chiken Thu 03-Jan-13 22:30:30

Unfortunately i cant do that as it a shared ownership...

titchy Thu 03-Jan-13 21:59:47

Do both - rent out the flat you're about to buy, get your ds into a decent school, then give your tenants notice and move!

chiken Thu 03-Jan-13 21:13:15

YS you are very right - i am pretty sure the children in the local school are coming from families with a lot of support but also having read the ofstead it appears to have a very nurturing set of staff, however with regards to the housing benefit changing and areas becoming more 'upmarket' i do think you are spot on with families being forced out of area but in reality where do these families go?? I think the area where i may move to will continue to be very mixed socially as there is a lot of temporary housing - thing is there a fair amount of affluence too so my mind boggles at where these children are going? Private i guess...Also the area is in a less 'family' part of Hackney therefore probably many of the residents do not have children.

Tricot39 - moving further east is not really an option as my family are outside London and i would only be moving further away from them. I have ummed and ahhed about moving out of Hackney but i really feel at home here and job, nursery, friends - connections have been made and there is many things i love it - just not the school lottery sad

tricot39 Thu 03-Jan-13 14:58:49

Do you have to be in hackney? A few stops up on the train line to chingford (at highams park) and you would get outstanding primary and secondary....... Worth thinking long term if you only have one shot at buying......

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 03-Jan-13 13:31:15

I know Hackney very well and tbh there isn't much if any of it I wouldn't live in.

If the school that you're now near is in a prosperous area, I would expect it to be outstanding as those children have so much support from home, extra curricular activities etc. Probably tutoring for SATS too...

On the other hand, social housing having been sold off to council tenants is now rapidly being sold off to private buyers. Areas in London change quickly. The changes in Housing Benefit are unfortunately going to force alot of families out of areas like Hackney where they've built their lives, so things will change rapidly over the next few years. The other school's intake has probably changed over the last few years and will continue to do so.

If this is your only chance to buy, then I would still go for it. Plenty of children, my own included, do very well at schools with high levels of mobility etc.

chiken Wed 02-Jan-13 22:22:33

Thank you so much for your replies - it sounds crazy, i have not actually been to the schools but there is such a clear divide on the areas in terms of population - the area i live now is very in demand due the school and the of stead has been outstanding for a few years now. The new area is still good but has a lot of social housing (im sorry I'm not being snobby when i say that) and there is a lot of migrant families therefore high turn over in schools due to temporary housing and hostels in the area. This worries me as it could potentially affect ds progress at school. The answer to your question yellow submarine is yes i love the flat but would it be at the expense of ds schooling?? :-(

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 02-Jan-13 22:12:17

If you think that this your only chance of buying, then I would probably do that to be honest.

You're absolutely right - schools do change and the biggest contributor to academic success remains what happens at home. In a couple of years the outstanding school may not be.

I can understand your worries, though, although another 2+ years of renting is a lot of possible deposit cash down the drain.

Do you like the flat that you're planning to buy?

kilmuir Wed 02-Jan-13 22:10:24

have you looked around the schools. get a feeling for the schools
May be outstanding at last inspection but things can and do change.

chiken Wed 02-Jan-13 22:06:21

Hello - i would really appreciate some advice on schools. I currently rent in an area which has an school of outstanding ofstead but am about to exchange contracts on a flat which is in an area of which the schools are satisfactory but from what i hear not that great at all. I know (for financial reasons and the cost of the property i am buying) i will not be in a position to buy again. My ds is 2.5 years so potentially the schools could get better but generally progress has been poor in these schools. I feel really torn as i feel i need to make a decision between the stability of our own home (there is just me and my ds) or continuing to rent so that he goes to a good school. I am wondering do i not buy for the sake of a good school or is financial security better?? Im really in a conundrum....

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