Do your dcs attend a happy and decent mixed comp? Can you buy a 4 bed house for £300,000 within walking distance?

(172 Posts)
SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:31:00

Hi, name changer here so I dont out myself and fuel local (smallminded here!) gossip.

We have decided to move away and after months of discussion we know exactly what we want but are not sure where we can find it.

We would like dcs to attend a decent HAPPY properly comprehensive school - so preferably a grammar-free area. DS12, is so unhappy at his current school sad. We are really disappointed with the lack of provision (mild SEN) and lack of care (that's a whole different thread).

We want to move from the snooty area we currently live where the neighbours are so up their own arses noone speaks to anyone else! We run an internet-based business and dh works 16 hour days and more to meet mortgage payments on our house. I want us to be mortgage free so we can actually spend some money enjoying life. We can move ANYWHERE but would like to be in a friendly neighbourhood with a sense of community. Maybe in a market town? Our budget would be around £300,000.

Ideally I would like dcs to be in walking distance of school - its healthy , sociable and good for independence.

Any ideas?

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 11-Jan-13 09:34:42

Good luck and well done for considering such a big move for very good reasons. Could you start by searching offsted reports?

You can just get a one bed flat here for that money and no good comp school either <helpful>

RillaBlythe Fri 11-Jan-13 09:35:12

I'm interested to see responses. I live in a grammar area myself & dd is only in Rrcrption so not my dept myself.

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:40:41

Sunshines smile. I lost a very close relative last year and it made me evaluate exactly what things I want from life. Being broke every month cos of the mortgage isnt one of them!

Rilla, I live in a grammar area and can see how polarised the school system becomes! Ds is currently at a private school because the non-grammar schools here are awful (or single sex or Catholic). Lets hope we get some answers!

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 11-Jan-13 09:46:22

I think your search is also a bit broad. You say you can move anywhere, but do you really want to - Northumberland? Shropshire? Do you have any family you need to be near to rather than the other end of the country?

veryworried29 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:49:30

Interesting thread! You'd need to pay £850,000 for a 4 bed in the catchment of our closest "happy" co-ed comprehensive school. Poxy system.

7to25 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:52:24

East Dumbartonshire.
Would you move that far?

ISeeSmallPeople Fri 11-Jan-13 09:53:14

Yes, market town.
Mine smile

But you'd probably have to get a 3 bed for just under your budget & convert the loft or the garage.

Oreocrumbs Fri 11-Jan-13 09:53:24

Yes up here - North East - a whole host of areas that meet the criteria.

You will be able to get a nice 4 bed in most areas around here for that price. So you could start by looking at the schools, see which ones you like the sound of and work from there.

PeskyPiskie Fri 11-Jan-13 09:56:49

Yes in my area,not the town I actually live in, - because the school is not that good - but in a nearby small town, Soham Village College.

ISeeSmallPeople Fri 11-Jan-13 09:57:27

Walking distance to everything.
Excellent outstanding school.
Free parking everywhere
Good commute to major cities
Excellent cycle routes
lovely people, me included

Negatives are tiny small minded town
Gossip
The countryside
Lack of public transport, only nfrequent buses or expensive train a short drive away.
Lack of facilities. Lovely pool open to the public every third Wednesday, with cold showers as the boiler is broken, again.
No where to buy tights!

Goodwordguide Fri 11-Jan-13 09:58:15

I was going to say north-east as well - eg, east Newcastle or Hexham if you want a market town.

Alternately, east of Edinburgh eg, north Berwick - beautiful and good schools.

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:59:01

It is a broad search I agree! That's because we have nothing holding us where we currently are. Family not close, work portable, friends spread around the UK and further. Our plan is to spend the next couple of months visiting any areas that might tick all our boxes. I quite fancy somewhere North of England or Midlands.

Veryworried shock at £850,000, bloody hell! . The system is so flawed. Expensive catchments, grammars and faith schools leave collectively exclude so many children (including mine arghh).

7to25 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:00:20

Bearsden Academy.
Excellent school, friendly and community minded place, and plenty of lovely 4 beds within easy walking distance.
Ignore "offers over" if looking at rightmove.

rubyrubyruby Fri 11-Jan-13 10:06:31

Yes
Mine go to a brilliant secondary - recent outstanding ofsted in all 5 areas.
We have brilliant facilities all within walking distance and a bus every 30 mins into a beautiful city (30 min journey). We are also near to a fantastic hospital.

You can buy my 4 bed detached for £300,000. We are moving (but staying local) wink

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:08:46

Crossed posts then with lots of people. Thank you.

North East is such a massive area, I dont know where to start. A decent school will be key (not necessarily one with an outstanding ofsted, just one where dcs will be happy). I will look at Hexham and Newcastle on Rightmove. Oreo, can you name any schools?

Iseesmallpeople, where do teenagers go? What do they do? That worries me with many small towns.

I am visiting Scotland for the first time at Easter blush. I am ashamed to admit never travelling that far. In fact, I havent really been far north of bristol, how crap is that?! I want to show my dcs there is a whole world to explore outside our provincial little town.

NightLark Fri 11-Jan-13 10:10:21

South West Sheffield. It would have to be a fairly characterless house to fit the price criteria, but excellent secondaries, no grammars, on the doorstep of gorgeous peak-district countryside and a stable and friendly community ticked all our boxes.

plantsitter Fri 11-Jan-13 10:12:48

Have a look at Ilkley.

Mrskbpw Fri 11-Jan-13 10:13:26

My children are small but I do know the schools locally very well as I grew up in the area.

We live in a suburb of SE London - we paid £290,000 for our house, but it's 3 bedroom with an extra bedroom/playroom downstairs. Lots of the houses locally have different extensions though so there are many 4 beds around for just a bit more.

There are no secondaries within walking distance, but many just a short bus ride away. One is a mixed comprehensive, or there are two really good single-sex schools. There are also two single-sex selective schools (not grammars - they have an exam but you only take it if you want to) nearby. I went to the girls' selective school and hated it, but it's a very good school.

It's very friendly. Our neighbours are lovely. There's lots to do. Countryside is not far, there is lots of green space. And it's zone 5, so London Bridge is 21 minutes on the train, slightly longer into the West End.

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:04

ruby where are you? Sounds great!

7to25, that looks perfect! just looking at a map now. I know this is probably a very stupid question but would we fit in as southerners? (Im embaressed to ask blush sorry)

Cheeseswept Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:43

I'm in a Midlands market town with good schools (some outstanding) and on Rightmove there are loads of 4 bed houses under £300k. Lovely countryside and good transport links. I've also had relatively good experiences with SEN support.

rubyrubyruby Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:55

I will PM you wink

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:20:17

Mrskbpw, can you give me an idea of area? Maybe the nearest station?

plantsitter, can you think of a specific school? I know they have a grammar there which can have a negative impact on other nearby schools.

Nightlark, can you be more specific about SW Sheffiled? I am not sure where to look on the map!

SusieP40 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:21:36

ruby, thanmk you smile

Cheeses, sounds ideal. Which town re SEN support?

Oreocrumbs Fri 11-Jan-13 10:23:08

The school my dsd is in is a cathotlic mixed sex 'comp'. She isn't catholic (we are), and there is not much emphasis on studying religon, of course it is taught though.

The school's pastoral care is excellent. Dsd is a very shy and quiet child and has really flourished there. Only downside to this school is that I wouldn't want to live in walking distance (I am being a snob about that).

There are some nice enough areas in walking distance. Dsd's mother lives in the town that the school is in, and we live about 10 mins drive away. There are excellent bus links.

All of the comps I am personally familiar with are catholic, but are very much like a fab, happy comp rather than a 'catholic' education.

I'll PM you the name of DSD's school, but I would also really recomend (and will probably be sending my DD to) strobertofnewminster.co.uk/. I went to that school, and it still has an excellent reputation for meeting needs across the board.

Washington will give you easy access to the main roads in the region making Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland all about 20 mins away.

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