Schools in Scotland (Stirling area)

(88 Posts)
Jo121Cambridge Sat 01-Feb-14 19:00:39

Hi all

We are hoping to move to Scotland this year, my husband will be transferring to Stirling. Ideally we would like to live in a village, but as we have 2 young schools - this is our priority!

So if any Scottish mums can help out in recommending nice areas with good schools that would be great. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old (due to start school next year).

I have no knowledge at all of Scotland (i'm in England) and would really appreciate any help at all!

Thanks, Jo

cjg4 Mon 07-Apr-14 14:52:05

Sorry to jump on this thread so late on - We have moved up to Stirling from down south. We have been here nearly 3 weeks now. I am a qualified secondary school teacher but due to the timing of our move (due my to husband's job) and the registration process to teach in Scotland I am now a stay at home mum. I was hoping someone on here would be able to point me in the right direction for a friendly toddler group I can take my little ones to?
My daughter is due to turn 4 in June and my son will turn 2 in the same week. Unfortunately there is very limited nursery school places at the state nurseries so come August I still cannot get them both in full time. It would be good to try and establish a friendship base with some local mums as until they both reach Primary School age it looks like I won't be able to go back to work with private nursery fees coming in at nearly £1400 per month for the pair of them full time!!
Like I said sorry to jump on board but many of you seem to have really good local knowledge.
Any advice on good groups would be very much appreciated.

lol wiggly - yes, I think there were real issues before the change of head. The only issue I currently have is the assumption that everyone is a practising Christian but don't get me started on that one!

High school comes round so quickly though and you don't want to leave yourself in an awkward position for a few years hence. I think the Dollar bus goes near me too. Previous occupants of my house went there.

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 18:26:10

Must stop talking about high schools the OPs DD is only three!

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 18:21:25

You would have to change buses in causewayhead I think, plenty going the other way taking kids from Dunblane to dollar academy!

I think I got the deputy head on a bad day when I visited Dunblane high! she was very negative! it was before the new head mind you. it really put me off, which is a shame as it's my old school.

My boys are all at Kinross now, which is fairly similar anyway.

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 18:16:24

Another thing to bear in mind is if you move somewhere attractive and accessible it's easier to get people to visit you!

Jo121Cambridge Tue 18-Mar-14 18:12:09

Soontobeslendergirl - thank you that would be great if you could pm some houses so I can get a more "real" idea of what I would be looking at.

Jo121Cambridge Tue 18-Mar-14 18:11:05

It seems to me my budget isn't enough for the areas and size house I want lol. If this goes ahead and they offer my husband a lot more money then perhaps we will need to review the budget!

Thanks for all your input it's very helpful!

wiggly, yes, it used to be hard to get into but falling school rolls etc has put it in the situation of needing more pupils in order to be able to keep funding for staff and the timetable running. There are only 6 classes in one of my son's years and only 5 in the other ones year. I think about 160 in one year and 140 in the other.

We applied for eldest with fingers desperately crossed and got a place no bother and didn't worry about the younger one at all.

Council website is misleading as it still says that places are hard to come by. Driving there is no bother at all though and actually Dollar might be on the public bus route through BofA though it doesn't go right up to the school anymore afaik.

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 17:55:57

Yes, I would, the only thing that puts me off is my sister 's slight smugness about her choice, she likes it even though she was living in New York before she moved there, her English DH likes it too. ( my house is more interesting than hers though!)

I contemplated moving from Dollar at one point, to solve the high school issues but didn't want to leave my good friends and lovely neighbours so found a workable compromise.

I know someone from Dollar who has just got her son into Dunblane on a placing request, I told her they had been very negative about the idea when I suggested it a few years before, implying places were like hens's teeth but there seems to have been a big change.

Nothingtosay Tue 18-Mar-14 17:35:33

Yes of course, South Queensferry!

I agree with Wiggily Beezer's comments wholeheartedly. A very good assessment.

Slender is right IMO too about Alloa - I lived there from the ages of 4 -10 years and I hardly ever choose to revisit.

Wiggily you haven't said much about Linlithgow. Wouldn't you put that high up on Jo's list? My nomadic parents lived there for ten years up until 2005 and they should never have left.

Jo it can't be easy for you being 350 miles away and not being able to check these locations for yourself with lots of randomers like me coming up with place names...

For what it's worth, I vote 1) Linlithgow and 2) Dunblane. Linlithgow is my top choice because it is so accessible for Edinburgh, has a nice vibe and has highly rated schools, and importantly lots of incomers. I would rent for a bit first even if it meant a smaller home.

Tabby1963 Tue 18-Mar-14 17:28:20

I am biased in favour of Polmont area, OP. We moved here nearly 20 years ago, brought our kids up here, and love it. Ten minute walk from train station, and right by fab canal system, a bit rural but close to lots of amenities. Stunning view of Ochil Hills from our house (and from many others). The Kelpies are here too! Cheaper house prices than Linlithgow, which is just about five miles walk along the canal path, great walk with kids, dogs or cycling.

Dunblane High which is in the top 5 or 6 state schools in the country is actively encouraging placing requests from out of area children. Rubbish for public transport now though you can get the train from BofA or Stirling stations. I drive, takes about 10 minutes.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:47:56

South Queensferry!

Groovee Tue 18-Mar-14 16:40:28

A lot of people we know are moving or have moved to Milnathort. Seems to be the new in place to go.

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 16:40:25

Dunning is nice.

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 16:37:17

Out of catchment high school places are relatively easy to sort out in this area at the moment so if you like one town but prefer the school next door! it can be straightforward to change, this can have transport implications though, I have to drive mine three miles to a bus stop everyday!

wigglybeezer Tue 18-Mar-14 16:33:16

I always end up on these threads as I have direct experience of all your short listed places. I was brought up in Dunblane, married DH who is from bridge of Allan, have lived in dollar for fifteen years, in laws live in auchterarder and sister lives in Linlithgow.

by the way, Kingaelfred Dollar I'd definitely NOT drier that BofA!

Dollar is the most villages of your choices, really good for preschoolers and primary age kids, a bit rubbish for teens as secondary school choices are not straightforward. You would not be unusual being English.

Alloa is cheap for a reason, it is much more working class than your other choices! harder to fit in as a non-local.

Dunblane is the sensible choice, good for all ages, teens and little ones, good community spirit, quite expensive, good transport links.

Auchterarder has some nice bits and a good school and high street but is worse for transport, gets more snow in the winter, when the A9 can be dodgy.

BofA, is very pleasant and has a nice primary school, residents can be a bit more " materialistic" than in your other choices ( in- laws sold two houses to footballers!). The catchment high school is not as well regarded though.

Large character properties are at a premium in all these places and you would struggle on your budget, seventies and eighties houses on estates could be found in all places for around your budget as long as you are not too fussy about architecture!

basically, if you see a lovely Victorian villa with four bedrooms in Central Scotland on your budget it will be in a rougher town or a remoter area.

Scotland is generally better at small towns than villages, many of the villages near Stirling are ex mining or mill villages.

Have you tried Gargunnock or Doune?

Never lived there but it's not that far from me. Like most places it has it's good and bad bits. Two huge supermarkets, a pool/leisure centre, a train service into Stirling. You definitely get more for your money, but then again there is usually a reason for that. It comes under Clackmannanshire council (known as the wee county) rather than Stirling but they are merging more and more services together. Definitely not in the same league as BofA I would say, but not awful - the town centre for what it is could do with a bit of a facelift. They have a good beer festival. That's me about done smile

There are a few houses for sale in budget near where I am in Stirling - I could PM you. It is right on border with BofA has a nice primary locally but some kids do go up to BofA primary which isn't far and then most go on to Wallace High but mine go to Dunblane. There is also access to Catholic High School too in Stirling.

I could PM you details of the houses if you are interested.

Jo121Cambridge Tue 18-Mar-14 16:00:18

Does anyone know if Alloa is an ok area? Seeing some nice properties on rightmove, and I can see it's not far from dollar and other places I like?!

Jo121Cambridge Sat 15-Mar-14 09:42:17

Thanks all, I will look into all the options. Yes I think to buy a property we only want to spend about £250k really. Limekilns was nice but it felt too quaint for us as I have to do things with the children. We briefly saw culross and looked nice, but by that point we had over done it I think and too tired to explore anymore lol. I will google dunning and see where that is.

Yes my youngest would start next year, she doesn't turn 4 til this November. I believe that means she would start school next year in August I'm scotland?!

Picking the right area is so difficult when I'm so far away. I expect I will need to visit again and see couple of new areas and re visit the areas I liked from last time.

I'm a bit of a latecomer to this thread, but I live in Stirling (just on the border with BofA and have children at Dunblane High. I'm originally from Edinburgh and briefly lived in Denny. I've lived various places in Edinburgh and also in Penicuik just to the South. We moved into the area when the children were toddlers. Looked right across the area including the Hillfoots villages, moved to Denny, didn't settle at all, then looked at every available property in the North half of Stirling City, BofA and Dunblane!

Dunblane High is academically the best rated in the area you are looking at, living in the catchment for it is not completely necessary. Academic achievement tho is not always the only measure of a school but it does mean that there is a premium to be paid for housing there.

So, if you want any local info, just give me a shout smile

I would also point out that from your OP you said you have a 3 year old about to start school? When is their birthday? It may be that you have another year to wait as the cut of dates in Scotland are not the same as those in England.

DreamingAlice Wed 12-Mar-14 11:02:21

I think the OP said her budget was about �250,000? Is that still right?

Twighlightsparkle Wed 12-Mar-14 10:58:26

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-40169119.html

Twighlightsparkle Wed 12-Mar-14 10:56:22

It would just be commutable to Edinburgh as well. Lots df groups in dunning and a lovely pub and restaurant, village shop etc.

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