Hastings - shall we move there?

(97 Posts)
migratingsouth Wed 04-Jan-12 23:44:06

DP has been offered a job in Hastings (we live in London and want to move out).

Does anyone know anything about the place?

We've visited and I loved the Old Town, the coffee shops in the centre of town and being by the sea. I'd love us to be near to DP's work as they work strange / unsocial hours in his industry, and it would be really nice if he could easily pop home during the day. Also I'm very keen on the fact we could actually afford a house there.

However I'm aware that Hastings / St Leonards has a bad reputation for having social problems (as has the bit of London we're moving from, mind you!)

We two pre-school DCs.

If it was just for me, I could happily live in a place labelled "socially deprived" - I have done all my life. However is this fair on our DCs? We're leaving London precisely because we feel it's not fair to bring the DCs up in our bit of it (and can't afford the "nice" bits). Would a move to Hastings be out of the frying pan, into the fire?

Can anyone tell me, what are Hastings / St Leonards like really?

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 22:30:47

Great to get some local info, thanks smile

How about these?

St Helens Road near Blacklands primary

Marina, St Leonards - maybe West St Leonards at a push?

Ingles2 Thu 05-Jan-12 22:38:50

How about St Leonards? I know a couple of people who have moved there from London, so can pick their brains if you want?
and you're welcome for coffee and cake too grin

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 22:44:44

Thanks (mmmm, cake) grin

We're considering St Leonards too, sorry I should have said!

iFailedTheTuringTest Thu 05-Jan-12 22:45:41

Opened this in case you were asking about Hastings, New Zealand. It's lovley there, but alas can't help you with the UK one !

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 22:56:40

iFailedTheTuringTest I couldn't help having a look

this would be feasible

or this

Forget the UK, I'm sold! grin

(If only it were that easy!)

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 23:03:38

I think what I'm coming round to thinking is that Hastings / St Leonards are definitely places DP and I would feel happy, I'd love living there.

I grew up in a deprived area, so I have my eyes open on that score I think. However the arty / alternative side to the place really appeals and the sea too.

But ... the only thing holding me back is I'm really not sure if it's the right thing for the DCs. None of the schools are really leaping out at me (at least not in the areas we can afford / want to live). I appreciate I need to do more research on the schools front before making my mind up though!

I'm pretty sure we'll move again before secondary, so it's really primaries I'm looking at.

Does anyone know about any good schools in Hastings / St Leonards?

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 23:06:46
TuftyFinch Thu 05-Jan-12 23:26:11

We moved from South London last year. Initially we were looking at Hastings/St Leonards. Our budget was a bit bigger at £180,000 but still not massive. Our primary reason was for schools but also space, different way of life etc. We discounted Hastings/St Leonards in the end because we didn't know enough about the different areas and having lived in Brixton/ Catford for 20 years didn't want to move and find it was all too familiar. We bought a house in a lovely village 15 mins away from Hastings, we are surrounded by countryside, have a local shop and pub and a lovely village school.
I really like St Leonards but you would need to go down and look around to get a feel for it.

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 23:29:41

"We bought a house in a lovely village 15 mins away from Hastings, we are surrounded by countryside, have a local shop and pub and a lovely village school." Sounds lovely!

"having lived in Brixton/ Catford for 20 years didn't want to move and find it was all too familiar" I feel exactly the same.

We'll be going for a visit soon. It's all very exciting grin

TuftyFinch Thu 05-Jan-12 23:30:02

I couldn't find a school I was happy with. Ultimately that was why we came a bit further inland. There is nothing to stop you applying to schools in the villages a bit further inland and getting the bus. There's very little traffic outside of Hastings and journeys are quite quick (compared to London). if your DC like being outside they would love it. We go to the beach in all weathers.It's lovely especially in winter.

TuftyFinch Thu 05-Jan-12 23:31:06

It is exciting. I am so,so glad we moved. smile

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 23:41:27

"I couldn't find a school I was happy with." This is where we're getting to I think sad

Did you look at Blacklands / West St Leonards / Little Ridge / Churchwood or Robsack (I think that's all the schools rated Ofsted 2 or 1)?

Eastbourne is another option I suppose. It's nice, and a choice of really nice primaries, but I'm not excited about it in the same way.

migratingsouth Thu 05-Jan-12 23:42:38

"There is nothing to stop you applying to schools in the villages a bit further inland and getting the bus." That's an interesting idea.

Would be nerve-wracking putting a school so far away down on the form though! I wonder what our chances would be?

TuftyFinch Thu 05-Jan-12 23:53:47

Eastbourne is nice, in a nice way. Bromleyish nice? It'slovely but Iknow exactly what you mean. I didn't physically look at any of the schools because this house came up, the school was lovely and that's what made our minds up. Looking at Ofsted reports was getting me in such a tangle. I'm a teacher (although adults) and I wouldn't go by the grade. A grade 1 school can still be crap in someone else's opinion.Our local school in south London was Grade 1 and I really couldn't see why. We didn't want DCs to go there. It was quite SAT focused. When looking at Ofsted reports I would look at what it says about 'pastoral care'. I want my DC to be happy at school. and think if they are happy and included they will learn. The school DS goes was a grade 3 when we moved here. It is a lovely, happy, inclusive school.
Go and look at the schools because I think that's the only way to get a feeling for their ethos. I would also hang a fair amount on the initial phone call when you ask to visit.Are they helpful, happy etc or grumpy and rude?

Sorry, this is all just my opinion! You're very welcome to PM me.

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 00:02:28

grin I'll forever think of Eastbourne as Bromley-by-sea now!

Interesting what you say about Ofsted grades. I wouldn't assume a 1 graded school was better for my DCs just because of the number, but I had assumed that schools rated 3 were really not that great, but I'm aware I'm totally out of touch on this stuff! So I was just guessing really.

Perhaps I should take another look at the grade 3 ones then.

Thanks very much for your opinion, I really appreciate it! smile

StickyProblem Fri 06-Jan-12 18:02:26

Hi Migrating
St Pauls C of E Primary in St Leonards just had its Ofsted and was awarded a 2, the report may not be up yet.
We moved to St Leonards, near Warrior Square, 4 years ago from Brockley and we really like it. We are in a nice quiet road off the rough roads smile Totally agree with FortiesCromarty about preferring Hastings roughness! Having been in London for ages I wouldn't fancy a village, particularly if you don't drive.

PaigeTurner Fri 06-Jan-12 18:54:35

Sounds like you have made up your mind but I'm in the 'no' camp. My family moved there when I was a teenager - it's too easy to get into a wrong crowd - probably worse than London as there are no other distractions. The place is so, so depressing as well. IMO Hastings should be raised to the ground!

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 19:05:58

Thanks Sticky, I'll have a look at it - is your DC at the school?

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 19:08:47

Paige, thanks for the reply. I've not made my mind up yet - it depends on whether it feel right for our DC too.

I think we'll most likely move out of town by the time our DCs are teenagers - I doubt we'll be looking at secondary schools there.

Hypothetical I know, but do you think you would have liked it as a younger child?

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 19:15:47

Does anyone know anything about West St Leonards school by any chance?

reup Fri 06-Jan-12 19:42:42

My friends boys go to Dudley infants just outside the old town towards ore and then the linked juniors. She had been v happy with them both. She can walk to the old town and beach.

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 22:14:13

I just found this site, which gives you a really easy way to compare highlights from OFSTED rerports - it's great [http://schooloscope.com/results/845/primary/happiness schooloscope]]

... but about to shut down, unfortunately.

migratingsouth Fri 06-Jan-12 22:14:46

Thanks for that reup, I'll check it out smile

TeamEdward Fri 06-Jan-12 22:32:01

Haven't read the whole thread yet (I'll check out your links in a mo!) but we live in Hastings, have two young children and absolutely LOVE our town.
Loads of stuff for young children, a beautiful park, the Old Town & beach is great, and the deprivation can actually be a bonus (!) because there has been lots of extra funding given to the town. There are lots of free or subsidised playgroups, sports activities etc.

Avoid Hollington (although we lived there for a couple of years and it was fine) but agree with a previous poster that the nice and less-nice areas of town are often quite close.

TeamEdward Fri 06-Jan-12 22:33:32

West St Leonards is a good school, but has a big catchment with some rough areas. Has a great SEN unit attached to the school.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now