Moving to Manchester - can you help me with advice on schools in Trafford?

(88 Posts)
Ohforfoxsake Sat 12-Dec-09 16:20:22

Following on from my original thread on where to live, we are on the market and relocating within the next 6 months. We've seen some great houses in Sale, Altrincham and Hale.

Education is really the key to moving to this area. The children are of Primary age, but we are thinking about secondary too.

There's so many schools, many of which look good on paper and OFSTED, but I'd really appreciate your honest opinions, good and bad.

We're relocating from London so its really hard to get up to do viewings, let alone school visits during the week, so your advice would really count.

Thank you, in advance.

ChloeHandbag Wed 06-Jan-10 09:53:55

Gingee - do children from Didsbury get into Alty Girls? or is it too far.

Ohforfoxsake Wed 06-Jan-10 10:13:50

Didsbury is nice, but the local school is quite big I think. We can't afford to go private. We really liked it on our initial visit, but its all about the schools isn't it?

But I will look at Urmston, thanks for that Gingee. That had fallen off the radar. Thanks for your offer of help too, its very much appreciated, I've got the info already smile Infact, I have all the secondary prospectuses and am in regular contact with the LEA. Obsessive? Moi? wink

I'm also keeping my eye on Wilmslow. We started our search there, but swayed to Trafford. Wilmslow High, from what we saw, had really impressive sports facilities.

Chloe, can I ask what's prompted your move? Don't answer if you don't want to, but if you want to contact me let me know. We can bang our heads against brick walls together! wink

ChloeHandbag Wed 06-Jan-10 12:38:13

Offs - not sure how the CAT thing works, I'll look into it - but yes sounds like we could help each other out.

Ohforfoxsake Wed 06-Jan-10 13:29:17

laineyjbe at hotmail dot co dot uk if that helps [fsmile]

Ohforfoxsake Wed 06-Jan-10 14:46:38

Can anyone tell me more about Urmston?

Gingee is right, from what I can see (looking at Rightmove, Ofsted and DFES websites) it looks like there are some great houses, good value for money and good schools. Bit closer to the City than I wanted to be - but I am only making assumptions as I haven't actually been there.

Any opinions, views, experience of the place?

Thanks smile

selby Wed 06-Jan-10 22:30:33

Manchester Grammar & Withington Girls are both independent schools and are even harder to get in than the the Altrincham Grammar Schools which are free and incidentally in Bowden rather than Altrincham (I know since I live approximately bang in the middle between the two). I have no doubt that the fact that there is so much excellent schooling in such a relatively small area (both state and private) has greatly contributed to the house prices. I know people who haved to Hale/Bowden from Didsbury/Chorlton(i.e not very far) just for the choice of schools. As someone who relocated from the south, I can truly say that Urmston cannot compare! My priority was good schools when we moved - basically, the housing is cheaper the more north you go up the tram line in Trafford - for obvious reasons. I initially house hunted as far as Sale (never even considered Urmston) but quickly backtracked down to the Hale/Bowden area. Location definitely matters (no offence to anyone living in Urmston)

Ohforfoxsake Thu 07-Jan-10 08:06:31

Thanks Selby. I think you are right about the tram line thing.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 07-Jan-10 08:27:07

Selby - if you found the most fabulous house but it was in Sale, what would you do?

selby Thu 07-Jan-10 23:02:36

We did find a house that we liked in Sale on Avenue Rd but decided that we didn't want to compromise on location for the bigger house. We compromised on the house size and obviously got far less for our money in Hale/Bowden. Not regretted it yet and we've been here for nearly 2 yrs. It's nice to walk everywhere on wide tree lined roads - leafy but with plenty of restaurants & shops just down the road - Hale Village in one direction & Altrincham town centre in the other. However, it's horses for courses - this is a personal choice only you/your family can make. I'm fairly sure that if you ask the 'locals', the majority would plump for Hale over Sale.

Ohforfoxsake Fri 08-Jan-10 14:43:25

Thanks for that Selby.

We would have to majorily compromise on size to live in Hale. There just aren't any 5/6 beds in our price range. You do get more for your money further up the tram line, and I'm a bit of a stickler for value for money. I will keep looking in Hale though. If I had more money it would be my first choice.

Am off to buy my Euromillions ticket.

myredcardigan Sat 09-Jan-10 14:03:35

I wouldn't live in Urmston. It just doesn't compare. There is always a reason you get more for your money.

In Trafford I would go for Hale/Bowden or certain parts of Altrincham.

For us, location really mattered. Not just schools (though these were very important) but local feel. I wanted to be able to walk to nice cafe bars and Waitrose etc. So when we factored in schools and local area it really came down to either Hale, Bramhall or Wilmslow.

As you know we opted for Wilmslow but I'd say between those three it really is personal preference and the right feel for your family. One of the reasons we chose Wilmslow was because personally we prefer the 1930s white rendered detached with half acre to the smaller plots in Hale with their beautiful Victorian stock.

If Trafford fits best for commute and you like the housing stock I'd say buy the smaller house in Hale over the bigger one in Sale and most certainly the one in Urmston. smile

selby Sat 09-Jan-10 15:06:34

Totally agree with you, myredcardigan. Wilmslow was a close 2nd choice for us because there is more housing stock to choose from plus it's also better value for money but the added commute was the deal breaker. Definitely prefer Wilmslow over Sale though. We house hunted aroud the Pownall Park area which I particularly liked.

myredcardigan Sat 09-Jan-10 18:36:54

Hi Selby, that's where we are. We back onto the Carrs so as well as having the town centre within 10min walk, we also have beautiful open countryside at the back of the house and styal country park up the road.

But...it was a close run thing with Hale and I do sometimes crave the beauty of the Victorian architecture. Our last house was Edwardian and I miss the homely feel you get from Vic/Edw houses.

It's not cheap here either but you do get more square footage for your money. The A34 into Manchester can be a horrific some days and a deal breaker though.

OFFS, Wilmslow High is an excellent school. Some 'sporting academies' are naff but it's not the case here.
My kids are at independent primaries at the moment but we have looked around it and I will seriously consider it when the time comes as it had such a good vibe.

Ohforfoxsake Sat 09-Jan-10 18:43:54

Thanks for your honest opinions everyone. We started our search in Wilmslow, and Hale would be my top choice if we could afford it. We're a large family, and that has its own restrictions.

There's a couple of houses in Hale I've been desperately trying to see, but it seems the agents are no longer trading and haven't taken them off any websites. Grrrr.

I'm feeling a bit despondent about my own house sale today. I just want to get on with it!!!

myredcardigan Sat 09-Jan-10 19:16:03

OFFS, can I just say that Sale is not a bad area by any means. In fact it's a perfectly respectable middle class family area. It has good schools and is close to good amenities.

Ok, it doesn't have the swanky cafe bar culture and trendy boutiques that Hale offers but please don't feel like if you buy in Sale you're buying in a grotty area because you wouldn't be.

So please don't be dispondent if Sale's the right choice for your family. It's still an area nicer than about three quarters of Greater Manchester. smile smile

thesecondcoming Sat 09-Jan-10 20:10:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

myredcardigan Sat 09-Jan-10 20:23:13

hmm
Happily married, teeth and tits all my own but still keen on Hale.

thesecondcoming Sat 09-Jan-10 21:21:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

selby Sat 09-Jan-10 21:29:36

The demographic of mums at my child's school is definitely my age (late thirties with Y1 child - pretty sure that I'm the average age mum on the school run round here). More of the naff Boden/North Face anoraks type rather than the Fake Orange variety though. grin. BTW, am within walking distance to Loreto Grammar too!

thesecondcoming Sat 09-Jan-10 21:37:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

selby Sat 09-Jan-10 22:15:56

As someone who actually relocated from the south and had much the same criteria as OFFS when considering where to move to in south Manchester, I'm merely stating my preference and I had no preconceptions before we moved. Having lived in the area for nearly 2 yrs, I still like it. It's an affluent area so yes, there are footballers/soap actors who live in the area but it's not like Alderley Edge is it? Now, if I had serious dosh, I wouldn't mind living there! Let's be honest, Hale/Bowden is surburban - just expensive surbuban - like many other areas of the country. As I said before, I moved here for the number of good schools within walking distance from my house. The restaurants are a plus - I don't care whether I spot the odd Orangey bimbo climbing out of a 4x4!

myredcardigan Sun 10-Jan-10 09:00:08

To be honest, we have more of that in Wilmslow than Ive ever seen in Hale. grin

carocaro Sun 10-Jan-10 09:06:19

Knutsford is fab, all school great Bexton is the best am biased as DS's go there, very happy indeed.

carocaro Sun 10-Jan-10 09:10:12

Sorry meant to add we moved from London 4 years ago to Knutsford in Cheshire, 20 mins from Hale, Sale etc.

Think Wimbledon/Barnes village, but bigger.

Really love it here, life is good.

Please do contact me for a chat anytime.

thesecondcoming Sun 10-Jan-10 09:18:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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