Moving to London in three weeks. Looking for a good primary school.

(63 Posts)
confusedmum1 Wed 16-Oct-13 15:44:49

We are looking to move to London in about 3 weeks. DH will be working in Moorgate in one of the banks. I am very confused about where to look for houses in the catchment of good/outstanding primary schools that wont make life too difficult with commute etc. Please suggest.

temporary Wed 16-Oct-13 16:40:13

Tower Hamlets have a few outstanding schools, look at 'good' schools too.
I know Hackney less, but have heard of a couple up there. Both areas are good for commuting to the city.

LIZS Wed 16-Oct-13 16:43:58

Do you have anywhere lined up to live in ? 3 weeks seems a very short time to arrange it if not. Moorgate is easily commutable from most of London and suburbs but do you need a school place now, in which you will have to consider wherever is offered , or longer term.

enderwoman Wed 16-Oct-13 16:50:44

What is your house budget, how many bedrooms do you need and how long for the commute?

enderwoman Wed 16-Oct-13 16:51:56

Also do you need state or private schools and are the places needed now or next Sept?

Btfly Wed 16-Oct-13 19:28:24

If you plan to live in an area which is close to chealsea , I can suggest you Marlborough Primary School (draycott avenue ) it is a really very good school... Class teachers are amazing... Security is really good... Students and parents are really very nice... As an option you should consider it...

confusedmum1 Wed 16-Oct-13 19:34:57

Thanks for your responses.
@temporary: thanks
@LIZS: we have been looking at few places such as Kingston, Richmond etc. mostly in South West London. shortlist is just because of good schools around. One of the friends mentioned East Finchley as well.
@enderwoman: we are looking for a 3 bedroom house and abt 45-50 minutes maximum of commute.

Elibean Wed 16-Oct-13 19:48:27

Barnes has great primaries, and good transport links into the City.

How old is/are your dc?

confusedmum1 Wed 16-Oct-13 19:54:54

thanks Elibean: she is 6

2468Motorway Wed 16-Oct-13 19:55:53

If you're only tie is to Morgate I would try to stay towards North London/Herts/Essex. Why make life hard? The commute to Richmond or South London not as quick.

How old are your children?

tricot39 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:04:08

Redbridge has good primary and secondary schools. They operate a catchment system which you can read about in a booklet on their website. Friends moved there and were able to get primary places within a few weeks. Call up the local authority education department and ask which schools have spaces or very short waiting lists. Central line into the city - Wanstead is lovely - similar to west london but much cheaper and lot less flight path noise!

MarthasHarbour Wed 16-Oct-13 20:06:03

if she is 6 I would imagine you would struggle to get her in any decent state schools particularly in London.

is private an option?

2468Motorway Wed 16-Oct-13 20:08:07

I would be looking for somewhere on the train line to Moorgate or on the change at Finsbury Pk. So Harringay, Hornsey, Alexandra Palace etc. Oakleigh Pk, New Barnet etc. But I don't know your budget, if it's high you could consider the Barbican and close areas.

I would call the relevant councils and find out which schools if any have space. You may have to take a school you are less fond of and stay on waiting lists and then move her when a space is free.

confusedmum1 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:13:23

How much does the private school cost?
my budget for house is approx £1500.
I called up councils as well, have been told there is no space. Richmond Council actually have a voice message saying that there is no space, hence they wont even take a call sad

LIZS Wed 16-Oct-13 20:17:15

There is no given that you will get a place at any private school either , at short notice and mid year, and many have waiting lists sorry. At 6 you're probably looking at 2.5k -3k + per term.

LIZS Wed 16-Oct-13 20:43:03

LA won't be able to give you an informed response until you are in situ with an address, so to an extent it is a gamble but maybe best avoid Richmond. There may even be some movement at half term but no one can yet anticipate what the situation will be in 3 weeks' time.

mumplus Wed 16-Oct-13 20:43:39

Would definitely call local authorities to find out where there are spaces. There are VERY few. You may need to consider 'requires improvement' schools as well. Some of these schools are on the up and worth considering. You might get a 3 bed property for £1500 in the Haringey or Hornsey areas (mentioned above) although many 3 beds go for more. Both nice areas to live. They are in London Borough of Haringey.

Mintyy Wed 16-Oct-13 20:51:35

Can you just clarify where you are going to be staying when you arrive in 3 weeks time? Is it a hotel, a short term let, staying with friends? Whereabouts will you actually be?

CelticPromise Wed 16-Oct-13 21:31:39

SW London will be further than your max commute as others have said. You might get more for your money in Enfield or out of London altogether but then you have to factor in cost of commute.

Blu Wed 16-Oct-13 21:38:59

Where do you live now? It does seem quite a project to be moving in 3 weeks.

Teddyking1 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:40:22

RE Richmond borough
You will be lucky to get a house for £1500 more likely a 1/2 bedroom flat.
Due to the outstanding nature of the majority of Richmond's schools there are all oversubscribed even the ones that are seem less desirable.However these would be seen as good in other areas.
I would suggest choose a school and then move opposite and i mean literally opposite to stand any chance of a place.You will then also have to accept any place that is offered.If you refuse this the council do not have to provide you with an alternative.
This applies for all local authorities.
email the admissions office this seems to work better.
Sorry don't want to be doom and gloom merchant but this is the reality.
private school at least £3500 per tem

difficultpickle Wed 16-Oct-13 21:48:39

Do you mean £1500 per week as a house budget? £1500 per month won't get you much. Doesn't your dh's bank use a relocation agent?

Michaelahpurple Wed 16-Oct-13 22:27:43

For what it is worth, primary fees near me (chelsea ) are over £5k

Herisson Wed 16-Oct-13 22:36:58

I can't understand how Richmond Council have a message saying there is no space when no KS1 class at my daughter's unpopular (but good) school is at full capacity.

Try It's like Google maps but you can apply filters to show a) OFSTED rated outstanding school and b) property nearby with eg 3 beds and £1500.

I think you'll have to go South East for that budget. Can recommend St Margaret's C of E in Lee Green (catchment covers parts of Lewisham/Hither Green/Blackheath). DP could get a 20 min train to London Bridge and walk - thus avoiding the Tube, which would be a bonus!

NynaevesSister Thu 17-Oct-13 07:18:36

Trains go through that way from Wimbledon too. Have you looked there?

There are a number of outstanding schools in Crystal Palace/Dulwich areas. Dulwich Infants, Rosendale, Elm Wood, Herne Hill, Kingswood, Paxton.

You do not need to move to SW and despite what was said above London has stacks of outstanding primaries. Find an area you like, check the schools you like, see if they have vacancies. But London is so varied you do need to come visit. £1500 a month won't get you a house in Dulwich either but easily get something for £1500 a week. Prob not in the village though.

horsemadmom Thu 17-Oct-13 07:41:52

Also have a look at St Albans on your budget. Fast train to Moorgate takes about 20 mins and you can position yourselves for Dame Alice Owen catchment.

LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 08:19:35

It is very common to live outside London and commute to the city for work. Relatively few of your dh's colleagues, especially those with families , will live in Central or even Outer London. Property tends to be cheaper so 1500pcm becomes more realistic, lifestyle less urban but obviously travel time - an hour to an hour and a half door to door gets you outside M25 -and cost rises. You need to focus less on individual schools and ore on the overall package when looking for a place to live . Even areas with apparently "good" schools may only have places to offer at more so-so ones. Infant class sizes will restrict much movement between now and Year3. Look at a map together and depending on where you come from or have relatives to visit etc and access to London Bridge or Liverpool Street stations should help you decide which areas to look at

bamboostalks Thu 17-Oct-13 08:28:40

There's so much scare mongering re scarcity of London school places. There are lots of schools with capacity in year 1. Richmond has some itself, that message is incorrect and bizarre. You need to ring the LA and get a list, school census has just been done so the info shoud be accurate. You need to have far clearer idea of your area.

LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 08:43:32

London itself is so diverse - culturally, socially, politically, pace of life, range of facilities etc - that emphasising education as your primary criteria may end up with you living in an area that doesn't really suit. Do you work or intend to do so , what type of area are you used to and what are you hoping to find in your new one.

GillyBillyWilly Thu 17-Oct-13 08:52:21

I think someone up thread has already mentioned it but try looking in hither green.

It takes 9 mins to get to London bridge (sometimes longer depending on the train you get) and then your DH could walk to Moorgate.
Or get a quick bus/tube if he can't be bothered to walk...! Depends on the weather as well I suppose!

House prices are good in hither green... Good schools... Close to blackheath/Greenwich... Big Sainsburys nearby at lee green.

Also only 10-15 mins walk to lewisham if your DH wanted to get the dlr to bank instead.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 17-Oct-13 08:58:09

So your DD will have a gap in her schooling continuity?

nicename Thu 17-Oct-13 09:00:04

I haven't read the whole thread (off to work). But if working at moorgate check homes with links to Bank and Liverpool st stations. Commuting can really suck and banks are still moving out to canary wharf, which can be a real sod to get to!even Cannon st isn't too bad.

nicename Thu 17-Oct-13 09:03:32

Where are you relocating from? Will your husbands firm help with advice?

confusedmum1 Thu 17-Oct-13 12:08:52

Thanks all for the replies. They're a great help. We are in Dublin, so wont be too hard to move, I think. we will be visiting there often before the final move for viewings etc.

nicename Thu 17-Oct-13 12:13:56

At least there won't be a language barrier!

Moominmammacat Thu 17-Oct-13 13:57:51

Or south Herts ... cheaper and good trains to Moorgate

juniper9 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:51:05

Our 2 bed flat in Wimbledon was £1400 a month. You're incredibly unlikely to find a 3 bedroom house for £1500 in that part of London. Balham, clapham, earlsfield and wandsworth are similar.

There are good schools in most areas, but they're highly sought after and house prices near by will be even higher than the norm.

For £1500 a month I think you'll really struggle. Sorry- I don't mean to be doom and gloom about it. Have you looked on rightmove for an idea of prices?

LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 16:04:52

You could get a 3 bed for about 1200 further out, with commuting costs 250-300 pcm.

idril Thu 17-Oct-13 16:19:33

I second the redbridge suggestion. In particular look at South Woodford. Really easy commute to the city, a few outstanding and lots of good schools and places are likely to come up quickly because the schools are quite big and there is quite a lot of movement so places come up even in the outstanding schools.

You could definitely get a 3 bedroom house for £1500 per month.

Elibean Thu 17-Oct-13 17:00:53

It's nonsense that there are no KS1 places in Richmond primaries.

But it is true that rental prices are high in this borough, so have a look at house agencies before deciding!

I have a 6 year old dd, and my went to school in Dublin. Good luck with the decisions, and the move, confusedmum smile

Try places on the new East London line like Forest Hill/Honor Oak in SE23, or Sydenham in SE26. ABout 13 minutes into London Bridge from FH and then walk, or take the Overground and change onto the Northern.

Plenty of 3 bed places for 1500 a month. A selection:

Forest Hill

Honor Oak

Forest Hill



I only know primaries in Forest Hill, but Horniman, Fairlawn, Eliot Bank, Dalmain, Kilmorie are all very good, some excellent, and sought after by thsoe from neighbouring SE22 where the catchments are often smaller because of the dense population/nappy valley syndrome.

missinglalaland Thu 17-Oct-13 19:48:41

Try the far northeast end of the central line. Either Redbridge, or Epping Forest areas. Housing is cheaper, it's still leafy, the commute the City is a breeze and there are plenty of good primaries.

Here are the postcodes and best schools along the line, that I know through word of mouth. You can use the post codes to search Rightmove for properties.

Southwoodford, E18 - I don't know the good school there!
Woodford, IG8 - Churchfields School
Buckhurst Hill, IG9 - St John's CE or Buckhurst Hill Primary
Loughton, IG10 - Staples Road

If you are Catholic you can try St Anthony's in Woodford (catchment of woodford and Buckhurst Hill) or St John Fisher in Loughton.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Fri 18-Oct-13 00:07:48

Enfield? But one station is more convenient to moorgate than the other.

confusedmum1 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:30

Thanks much guys. I have been looking at St. albans and Werwyn/ Werwyn garden city. I can see good schools and affordable properties. any ideas around these areas. We prefer quiet location suitable for families.

horsemadmom Fri 18-Oct-13 11:48:00

Really do look at Potters Bar /Dame Alice Owen catchment. It's worth it's weight in gold for secondary school admissions. Super transport links to Moorgate.

tricot39 Fri 18-Oct-13 18:57:48

I heard that St Albans was very tricky for secondary catchments.... Don't know the details but you can search old mumsnet threads if no one with more detailed information comes along.

AbiRoad Fri 18-Oct-13 19:07:24

I think if you are trying to get mid year admission, there is no poitn researching to find your ideal area/school as if the school is good it will noy have space. You need to start by working out which schools have places (whether state or private if that is feasible) and work around what is available. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for huge disappointment.

Herisson Fri 18-Oct-13 20:56:53

>> if the school is good it will noy have space

This really isn't necessarily the case. My DD's school has been recently unpopular in the local area (probably due to Satisfactory rating dating back quite some time with no inspections in between) but was recently rated Good by Ofsted and a couple of the other nearby schools which had been wildly popular (maybe still are, who knows) were downrated from Outstanding to Good. So my DD's school has spaces in KS1 classes and KS2 classes and is a good school (I would actually say a wonderful school and I far preferred it to the others when I looked round them all) but still isn't popular. We are kind of spoilt for choice round here though (Richmond). There really aren't any actually bad primary schools.

pyrrah Fri 18-Oct-13 21:07:41

Don't discount places in SE London. Southwark has some amazing schools and it's lovely area - greenest borough in London in terms of parks and outside spaces. You can get to Moorgate from the London Overground via a quick switch at Whitechapel. Otherwise straight up on the Northern line.

cityangel Sat 19-Oct-13 23:50:15

another vote for East Finchley here. If there are no tubes or you miss the last tube it is on the bus/ night bus route that follows the Northern Line. In the summer you have the Muswell Hill/ Crouch End pub life not so far away.
Between Moorgate and East Finchley are the restaurants of Upper Street Islington if you want to meet half way babysitters permitting.

Example catchment road Creighton Avenue, N2 (split between borough of Barnet & Haringay)

nicename Sun 20-Oct-13 11:01:38

Are you catholic? There are some good RC schools around wimbledon.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 20-Oct-13 11:06:19

I don't want to be gloomy, but it is very unlikely that that there are any (Ofsted rated) "good" primary schools in London with spaces, at the KS1 end at least

nicename Sun 20-Oct-13 11:26:34

A friend moved mid-year and got spaces for her two children (year 7 and year 5). Do the councils advise on space availability?

Artandco Sun 20-Oct-13 11:50:50

For moorgate I def wouldn't look at Richmond area etc as that's a really long commute ( and expensive). I would look north east/ east/ south east

In comparison we are central/ west and £1500 gets us a 1 bed flat.

nicename Sun 20-Oct-13 11:56:21

Richmond is a bear to travel in/out of. The roads are a nightmare! When communting in london you need to have two+ half decent routes!

I always need an hours walk at worst.

SavoyCabbage Sun 20-Oct-13 12:18:10

My friend just moved to Richmond during the summer holidays and got her dds into school straight away. Year one and year five. She didn't know it was a possibility that it would be hard as she's not British.

singersgirl Sun 20-Oct-13 13:17:56

There is huge movement of pupils in London so plenty of excellent schools do have places as families move away. Our Richmond primary is oversubscribed every year in reception and took a bulge last year, but here are now a couple of spaces in Y 1 as families have moved. They will almost certainly get filled but not always immediately.

tricot39 Sun 20-Oct-13 20:15:27

free spaces depend on the school and its area. speak to the schools and the lea to get a clear picture. there are threads on mumsnet where families are still waiting after 2 years...... a school that i looked into which was only 2 miles from us said that their local population was very stable and places rarely come up! so check the local conditions rather than what is said here as there are big differences across london depending on the area.

Herisson Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:44

>> I don't want to be gloomy, but it is very unlikely that that there are any (Ofsted rated) "good" primary schools in London with spaces, at the KS1 end at least

As I said before, there are no full KS1 classes in my daughter's school, rated good very recently under the new tougher guidelines. It is less popular than other schools in the area because it was only rated satisfactory until last year. This is in Richmond. For commutes, Richmond isn't bad, although the journey may be longish because for the tube you are the start of the line so get a seat and for the train it's not always too full by the Richmond area. DH generally gets a seat at North Sheen. However £1500 for a three bed house does sound a bit optimistic!

confusedmum, PM me if you want to know the name of the school so you can draw your own conclusions. You could try calling schools direct if the council are no help.

singersgirl Sun 20-Oct-13 23:04:16

Last week I know there were 3 spaces in Y1 in an 'outstanding' rated Richmond primary. They may have gone by now... But in our part of Richmond, there are lots of expat families who move back to their home countries and locals who get posted abroad as well as people who just want to move somewhere else.

Herisson Mon 21-Oct-13 21:14:29

Yes, there is lots of expat movement in our school, too. I know there will be children leaving in Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5 by the end of term (all going back to the US).

cassgate Mon 21-Oct-13 22:01:14

Look at cuffley in hertfordshire. Trains go into moorgate i think. Cheshunt as well ,Trains go into Liverpool street. We live in cheshunt and Dh works in Fenchurch street and if u time it right with the fast trains he can do it in 40 mins door to door. 3 bed houses in cheshunt rent for around £1300 p/m.

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