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I am planning to move from Chiswick to St Margarets before the end of this year and would really appreciate some advice from anyone who lives in the area about local schools. I have one child who would be going applying for a reception place in Jan for the following Sept and an older one who'd need to be an in year admission into Year 1. I understand that Orleans Infants and St Stephen's are both to be full primaries from now on. Both of those and St Mary's CE seem excellent according to Ofsted but I know from my experiences around here that what Ofsted says and what local parents think is not always the same. Does anyone have any opinions about the 3 of them? General vibe, friendliness etc. I've seen from the info on the council's website that the catchment area for Orleans primary is very small and likely to shrink further. Does anyone know how far you can live from St Mary's to get one of the non-church going and non-sibling places? That info isn't on the council's website. I'd like my children to go to a state senior school as well. Do the majority of children from those 3 schools go on to state secondaries or do a lot of them go private? Orleans Park looks very good on paper - does anyone have any views on this too? It seems that my oldest might turn out to be pretty academic, does anyone have an opinion as to whether Orleans senior stretches bright kids enough? Many thanks in advance for taking the time to advise! Jess
Hi there, not sure whether this is a bit late. Both our kids go to Orleans infant/primary. We've been really pleased with it - very good teachers. They are doing a refurb at the moment (you may know they have turned it into a 5-11 primary school). Heard good things about St Stephens and St Marys as well. For "catchment area" get yourself down to Richmond Councils offices (it might be York house?), and speak to the Education department. No need to have an appointment. THey can show you on a map where the kids have come from.
Orleans park is the state secondary - people we know have been pleased with it (pleasant site near the river). THey have changed the linked school policy which means that distance from the school (after SEN etc) will be main criteria. Previously primary schools which were further afield also had links (including those from outside the Richmond Borough). Two arguments to that I suppose - in some ways good in some ways bad I guess. I think the "catchment areas" for all 3 will be larger than for the Bedfont school!