EDINBURGH MUMSNETTERS - HELP!!

(129 Posts)

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Raptorrethy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:34:52

A few months ago I started a thread about living near Edinburgh - specifically within 30 mins of the airport. Moving to that area was on the cards and it is again - but the thread, of course, has disappeared as it was in Chat!! It was over 100 posts of great, friendly advice and I NEED IT AGAIN!! You lot were soooo lovely and I hope you will perhaps take a minute or two to post your advice again as a move is even more imminent now. THANK YOU thanks thanks in advance.

So - we would like to be semi-rural, preferably in a village, but must be 30-40 mins from Edinburgh Airport. Schools are a crucial factor - we have DD8 and DS6. We want, as does everyone, a lovely and successful primary school and then caring and thriving secondary - good state or private. DD very academic, DS more into being as noisy as possible as befits a 6yo boy grin. I am a teacher so would be looking for a job, too, but not crucial straight away. I'm also interested in the weather and midges - are they a nightmare?!

Let's go - can we make over 100 posts from unbelievably brilliant Scottish people again???

thanks and here's a brew for good measure.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Nov-13 17:21:37

Hello there

We've moved this to Property/DIY at the OP's request.

SunnyL Mon 11-Nov-13 12:47:24

Hi Fishy. I live 2 miles from Rosewell. It's a small village with a reasonably strong community but it isn't a very rich area and the village is looking a little run down these days. I looked very closely at buying a house there because of how cheap it was but I'm quite glad I didn't in the end as where I ended up has more amenities and is better organised.

Close by but nice villages with good primary schools are Howgate, Carrington, Temple and Roslin.

motherstongue Sun 10-Nov-13 22:07:52

Hello Fishy - Composite classes can work well and you shouldn't be afraid of them as long as the ethos of the school is that each child works to their ability. You would think if it is a wee school that this might be more achievable if the class sizes are small. However, just because it is a small school doesn't mean the class sizes will be small because the local authorities allocate teachers to schools on the basis of the whole school role, it is then up to the head teacher to distribute the kids accordingly. Saying that, I think the maximum kids allowed in a composite class is 25. I stand to be corrected!!!!

With regards extra activities at school, from my own experience in my home town, the extra activities after school are very few. Nearly all the kids do extra curricular stuff with outside organisations like dancing, football, swimming etc. if you want lots of extra curricular activities incorporated into school life you would probably need to look at private school. Hope that helps

fishyscott Sun 10-Nov-13 20:39:47

What a fantastic thread this is.... lots of info...just what I need as our move from NZ is imminent. We too are after a 30min commute to the aiport. To date I have not found a school with 3 places for my kids (P1,P3,P6) so we are now looking at Midlothian - any info on Rosewell and local schools would be appreciated. Apparently the local school has spaces - it's a small school with lots of composite classes - what's the general opinion on those - my kids currently attend a large primary school (500+) which offers lots of extra activities, clubs etc - will going to a small school be too much of a change for them (and me)!

Raptorrethy Sun 10-Nov-13 18:17:22

Thank you...I am overwhelmed by the great advice on this thread, all the links and carefully considered comments.

We have a lot to think about and I may well be PMing some of you over the next few months...thank you, thank you!

PrimalLass Sun 10-Nov-13 10:46:13

Cramond well and the plane noise really isn't a big deal

Have to disagree on that one. It was a deal breaker for me. There was a particular one around 6am that always woke me up.

SunnyL Sun 10-Nov-13 10:22:56

The option of living outside Edinburgh and getting a cheaper house while sending kids to private school in Edinburgh is very common. I grew up in a very popular area for that (Eskbank, Midlothian) It's a naice area with big Victorian, georgian and Edwardian houses and lots of professionals live there and commute into Edinburgh. It's also very good for the airport. However we used to feel sorry for the private school kids as they'd be getting the bus to school at 7.30am and wouldn't get home til at least 5pm (later often if they had sports and prep). This might change when the borders railway gets built but as most of the good private schools are another bus journey away from the train station it's still a very long day for kids.

lurkerspeaks Sun 10-Nov-13 08:46:05

Firstly you have to know I'm a city girl. The thought of moving back to suburbia or even worse, a rural idyll, makes me itchy.

I think the first thing you need to consider is the kids education. There are places on this thread (primarily Linlithgow) which have excellent state schools. Move a bit closer in and you start seeing the Edinburgh private school effect (more independent school places per head of population than any other uk town, I think) ergo many many middle class/involved parents send their kids privately which has a detrimental effect on the state schools. They aren't terrible but can be lacking bright motivated kids with PYmtA parents. So if you fall into that camp as a family IMO you either need to live somewhere everyone (or almost everyone) goes to state school or pony up the cash for private.

Primary is fine many many kids transition at secondary level. When I was growing up eyebrows would be raised about kids going private earlier than secondary "too thick to get in later" was usually the view. However the independent schools have realized thAt child are is their USP and lots of my friends use them at primary for that reason.

Secondly do you really want to be 30-40minutes from the airport at all times of day? If so I would avoid anything g over the bridge in Fife or East Lothian.

I think based entirely on value judgements you should look at Linlithgow (if you want state school a go go) and Cramond (if private secondary is an option). Maybe Balerno and Ratho too.

I'm potentially outing myself but I know Cramond well and the plane noise really isn't a big deal and the primary is good. 400k will get you a large but ugly 70s villa. If you want pretty you will have to go much smaller...

If the commuting time to airport is less important at rush hour (remember Scottish roads aren't that busy) and a drive home isn't always a chore then E. Lothian is good - North Berwick High catchment would be my suggestion so Aberlady, Gullane or NB itself.

Feel free to PM me if you want more info.

motherstongue Sun 10-Nov-13 08:29:57

Something else that came to mind. Is the move to Scotland going to be long term in as much as the DC will finish schooling in Scotland or are you likely to move again prior to that? If the DC need to move whilst at secondary school the different systems could make the transition elsewhere a lot more difficult. Some of the Private schools follow the English curriculum which would perhaps give you more options, if they are affordable. I am not, however, advocating that private is always better than state it is just that it is another option that could be a security blanket, if needed.

Sleepyfergus Sun 10-Nov-13 07:59:01

Teacake - that's prob about right kids going private. We have a disproportionate no of private schools in Edinburgh! Will be interested to know the stats on this too.

TeacakeEater Sat 09-Nov-13 23:37:33

Yes to phoning schools re places, then maybe you can visit potential schools on your trip.

How serious are you about private? It would mean you could buy cheaper housing outside of expensive catchment areas such as Linlithgow.

Others may put me right on this but don't 25% of Edinburgh children attend privates?

PrimalLass Sat 09-Nov-13 09:00:32

Aberdour kids often quite often get a placing request to Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy which is a pretty good school.

The results are much of a muchness but I agree. Quite a few people I know are going to do that.

Sleepyfergus Sat 09-Nov-13 05:54:14

Something else that should maybe be in your radar is that applications to private schools are usually by the end Nov in the year previous to when you want them to start, ie. now for next year. They do consider applications outwith these times though, but smaller amt of places.

wigglybeezer Fri 08-Nov-13 21:23:36

I second anyone suggesting Linlithgow, my sister moved there after being an expat and she loves it, they are a very busy family as there is so much on offer and good schools. Two of my kids go to Kinross High, I think it is very good, Kinross has good Motorway links and has more attractive countryside than Linlithgow IMO.

kaumana Fri 08-Nov-13 21:22:54

mother good post. I was getting concerned that the OP would look at areas, not understanding how the catchment areas work/ access to independent schools etc

I'll say it again, OP, as you really have no idea of where you want to be I would highly suggest renting a property for a short term in areas that have spaces for your children.

I have seen that you are planning to come and have a look at areas in the new year. To narrow those areas down I would start making phone calls to state/independents to see where places may exist.

motherstongue Fri 08-Nov-13 21:10:29

Many of the towns and villages mentioned are great but you should seriously consider the secondary school options and factor that into your decision even if it seems a long way away. Schools like Linlithgow Academy (which is nearly always in the top 10 state schools in Scotland) can only be attended if you live in the catchment area. So, in Scotland, that normally means 1 high school per small town and no choice. If you are too far from Edinburgh to do a daily commute into the centre of the city for the Private schools or in an area where the private schools offer a bus service or have a train station on your doorstep, your only choice is the local high school. As regards a great education in Scotland, I couldn't agree more, in the past we have had a great education system however myself and many other parents are yet to be convinced by the curriculum for excellence. This is the first year for pupils sitting the Nationals and many parents feel that the breadth of the education has narrowed considerably. At primary, the perception is that curriculum for excellence is working better than at secondary. There have been threads on education that you could no doubt look into.

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Fri 08-Nov-13 20:46:40

Aberdour kids often quite often get a placing request to Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy which is a pretty good school.

PrimalLass Fri 08-Nov-13 17:11:55

If you do end up in Aberdour let me know. We'd have a child in the same class grin

Raptorrethy Fri 08-Nov-13 13:51:04

WHAT A BLOODY BRILLIANT THREAD!!!!!

I can't thank all the contributors enough. DH and I have been plotitng places on a map and we are planning to fly up early next year to visit a shortlist.

I am going to ask for this thread to be moved as, although I have it on paper, I think it's too awesome to slip away after 30 days!

thanks and brew and wine to ALL OF YOU.

SunnyL Fri 08-Nov-13 11:47:23

I've not read the whole thread but I'm in Roslin, Midlothian. It's a smallish village (500 houses) but has all the amenities of a larger town, shop, post office, doctors, dentist, pub etc. it has a great community feel with good opportunities to socialise. Even better it's 20 mins from the airport and 30 mins from Edinburgh city centre. It's getting a lot of attention since they filmed the Davinci Code here so some places are getting spruced up as well.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 08-Nov-13 11:39:10

I personally would not want DC educated anywhere other than in Scotland, because I love the education system here. Many local authorities are also looking to increase the preschool hours for 3 and 4 year olds too in the not so distant future.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 08-Nov-13 11:37:33

There are pros and cons to whatever city or town you end up buying property in, really. It just depends what you are after as a family growing up long term. What are your interests, and that sort of thing. We can all favour one town over another til the cows come home, but it really is up to you OP!

cazzyg Fri 08-Nov-13 11:32:44

Yes I find there is a reasonable sense of community. I currently live in Falkirk which is one of the larger towns in the central belt and I know all my neighbours. The school playground at pick up time isnt cliquey. There's a lot going on for children and families and it's been quite easy to make friends.

I grew up in Linlithgow and my Family still live there. Again I find it a friendly place. It's quite small and again there is a lot of community activity to get involved in eg am dram groups, sports clubs etc.

We moved back from London when we wanted to have children. Personally I think this is a great part of the world to grow up. Decent cities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, easy access to beautiful countryside eg east neuk of fife, highlands, Loch Lomond etc. there are also good universities nearby, festivals such as the Edinburgh festival, science festival etc. I also like the education system. The emphasis is on breadth, so pupils generally study more subjects before specialising at university level. I think it makes for a more rounded knowledge and leaves options open until later.

oldclothcat Fri 08-Nov-13 11:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrimalLass Fri 08-Nov-13 11:19:28

Also, the festival every year is brilliant.

www.aberdourfestival.org.uk

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