Glasgow and Surrounding areas(50 Posts)
I have lived in the West End of Glasgow my entire life, tenement living, near parks, social life etc..
My husband and I have a toddler and another on the way so the time has come that we sell our first flat for something bigger.
With this has come the complicated decisions of where we should move, given that the cost of buying/selling is fairly high we are likely to be in the next place for a good long while and as such have to consider things like schools..
We are torn between living in a larger tenement (which arguably has more floor space than some houses!) and moving to the suburbs for a garden and garage..
My husband works in Ayr, as such our 'potential' living area could be anything from Ayrshire/East Renfrewshire to Milngavie/Bearsden (the only non west end area I know well..)
Can anyone advise on suitable areas or even just supply an opinion as to whether you think tenement living is a bad idea?...
My mind is boggled.
Thank you, and apologies its so long..
I'm in Edinburgh so can't give too much specific advice on schools but we did live in a tenament in Morningside at exactly the same stage as you. When number 2 was on the way it was the consideration of trailing buggies, bags of shopping and two little ones up the stairs of a tenament as well as issues around parking, and noisy neighbours that prompted us to move to the suburbs. Also the reality of life as a family was realy dawning and we just didn't have the time or money to use all the resaurants/ pubs/ shopping / entertainment which had attracted us to the area in the first place as a young couple. The benefits of a garden, other kids in the neighbourhood, sense of community and lots of local clubs such as brownies, tennis club, gymnastics etc as they have grown older has meant that absolutely we made the right move out to the suburbs.
In terms of education, East Renfrewshire has the best results in Scotland so the schools are very attractive but be very careful about catchment areas as one street the wrong direction and you would lose out. Unfortunately this does mean that house prices match the catchment areas and they will be more expensive accordingly.
My dd1's 3 best friends (they've been a wee clique since p4) all live in West End Tenements, while we live in a 4-bed detached new build on the edge of Castlemilk.
My dd2's 2 best friends - one in Knightwood, one in Castlemilk.
My ds - Anniesland, Newton Mearns, Shawlands.
Our school choice explains this! Our dc are in p6 (dd2), p7 (ds) and s2 (dd1) at Sgoil Ghaidlig Glaschu - Glasgow Gaelic School. It's a fab place, I'm always singing its praises. At the top end has fab results (tend to vary a bit as current exam classes are fairly small, but growing all the time), all the way through great education, enthusiastic committed staff (after 3 going through the primary dept we've encountered most of them!), some great opportunities in music and performance, and through it all a real commitment to the concept of bilingualism - though dh and I speak no Gaelic, our children are all regarded as "native speakers". There's also no worry about secondary - they are automatically approved for Ardsgoil (High School).
There are loads of benefits to learning another language young that, no matter what the language is, translate into everyday life - the next language is easier to learn, musical ability increased, maths is better.
If you'd like to know more please ask. I'm delighted with my dc education, and can't say dd1's friends have suffered from living in W. End tenements. They're all lovely girls and we're friends with their parents.
Thanks for the replies.
Although I do worry about buggies and tenement stairs, it isn't a deal breaker as i don't drive so moving further out adds public transport into the mix.
There are also alot of groups for babies/toddlers and school age children within a 15 minute walk of our current flat so I doubt we'd have trouble keeping the DC's entertained.
Garden is a good reason to move although there are good communal gardens within some of the sought after locals in the west end so again.. not a deal breaker.
Weegiemum - -
I have heard great things about the Gaelic schools and have friends who's son ( and soon daughter) go there.. It hadn't really been a consideration, though I will add it to my list of things to check out and discuss with DH. (may come back to you for some info)
I'm certain that I didn't suffer growing up in tenements, its more outside influence suggesting that we are sticking around here for ourselves..
Now my dd1 and her friends are teenagers, living in the West End is awesome for them. Dd1 spends about 1 weekend a month over there - but then her friends love coming here with more room etc .... All get on in different spaces fine!
Yeah, i loved the West End as a teenager and I'm certain I got into less trouble than people I know who lived in more rural settings..
I lived in the Paisley area for a number of years, although I am originally from Edinburgh. You might like to look at 'burb living in the Bridge of Weir and Houston areas? Good schools and nice communities and not too far from Glasgow.
thanks for your reply, that's certainly an area that's coming up a lot during our searches, will have to go and have a look I think...
We had young children when we lived in Paisley, and we weren't keen on our kids going to the local schools, particularly the High schools. If we hadn't moved to the East Coast, we would most certainly have moved to the BOW area and put our DC into Gryffe High School, it has a good reputation.
Yeah I'm aware that it's not cheap but neither is the West End and its certainly money better spent than paying for private education.. IMO.
Just to add that Pollokshields and Newlands would also be options - where you would also still have a choice between tenement living and houses - at a lower cost to the West End. Plus your dh would have easy access to the M77 for going down to Ayr.
Langside, Battlefield, Shawlands and Glendale Primary all seem to be good. The first 4 are all catchment schools for Shawlands Acedemy (Glendale goes to Bellahouston but there are quite a few placing requests for Shawlands, all of which, so far, seem to be accepted). Tinto also seems to be reasonable but I can't remember which secondary it goes to.
Ds is now in S2 at Shawlands and I am very happy with the school and its academic (and sporting) aspirations.
Thanks prettybird, I had wondered what Shawlands academy was like (irl) I'm not sure that league charts are particularly accurate depictions on schools..
What I like about the school is that although it has a very wide demographic (literally from millionaires to kids who don't know where their next meal is coming from), multiple languages and social and ethnic backgrounds, it works hard to include ALL pupils.
The exam results are good - plenty of kids get 5As at Highers.
It offers 14 Advance Highers - which is a lot for a state school. Ds is doing well academically, sportingly and socially - I can't ask for more.
And yes, we are pushy parents who expect him to go to whatever Uni he wants to go to
Thanks, that's good to hear. I have friends that went there and they all did very well..
We used to live in Houston - Houston Primary is fabulous; we moved away when DD was in P5, and I don't hear great things about Gryffe High these days.
I'm from East Renfrewshire - Clarkston/Netherlee/Stamperland are other options too, with easy access to M77. I used to commute from Clarkston to Ayr & it took about. 40 mins.
If you're used to amenities & lots to do, go for Giffnock/Orchard Park - ensuring Woodfarm catchment - easy access into Shawlands/town as well as M77.
I'm in Edinburgh & would go back in a heartbeat for good state schools, transport links & better house prices.
I think it's harder as we have few restrictions in where to go so are in the position of too much choice. Having read the Times top 50 state schools in Scotland it would seem I've gained nothing as I was already aware that East Ren and Bearsden are the best schools... It's just a case of finding a house we like in one of the many places that would feed in to a (preferably top 20) good high school!
I wish I wasn't having to think this far in advance, a lot can change in schools (and life) in the next ten years until my kids are actually in high school!
Personally, I wouldn't want to commute from Bearsden/Milngavie to Ayr - that would be at least 1.5 hours each way in rush hour traffic.
Or Jordanhill is close to the west end with great schools & you still might be able to find a tenement within catchment?
School does creep up fast - I've got a pre-schooler & the considerations are mind-boggling!
Yeah, thankfully the commute is rarely rush hour and his colleague who lives in Torrance doesn't seem to find it too bad...
Jordanhill would be ideal and has an incredible reputation but there are rarely properties within the catchment because this and I'm told you 'should' join the wait list the day you pick up the birth certificate!
Glad I'm not the only one thinking about a ten year plan...
I would advise you to look more broadly than just the Times' Top 20 State Schools. League tables have their limitations and don't always reflect the "added value" that schools achieve with their pupils.
Have a look at HMI Reports, try and talk to parents at schools that you are considering. Visit the schools if you can. You get a lot from feeling the atmosphere of the school for yourself.
Thanks prettybird, as I mentioned above I agree that league charts aren't a great depiction of what a school is actually like.
I'm hoping that once we have a shortlist of areas/houses we like I can come back on here and find real life experience from parents...
Hillhead High school for example (where I went) does quite poorly in charts but myself and my peer group all did well on our highers and also have fond memories and friendships from that time..
A good school can only do so much there are lots of other factors.
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