Moving to Manchester - and I have no idea where to go. HELP ME PLEEEEAAAASE

(490 Posts)
Ohforfoxsake Fri 30-Jan-09 21:10:35

So, we are going to Manchester, DP has a job in Salford.

So far I have investigated Altrincham but the LEA have told us that its highly unlikely the children would get into the same school. Its really important to me that they do as they are upping sticks and leaving all their friends behind. I don't mind home educating until places come up, but not as a long term solution.

Or, we could move further out and move out from the city (currently in London so that appeals). If DP can do a maximum one hours commute, its possible.

We have 4 DCs so want to base our search around good schools - they are in primary at the moment, but will soon be in Secondary and we don't really want to move twice, so we'd like to get it right first time round.

I am stumped and have no idea where to look. Any suggestions, words of wisdom or pointers would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you smile

Lilyloo Fri 30-Jan-09 21:15:30

Have fab secondary grammar near us Rossendale Lancs 'BRGS'.
When working my commute to Manchester was 45 min!

Maybe bit too far though to Salford ?? hmm

Have you looked at Chorlton , Didsbury , Heaton Chapel ??

Lilyloo Fri 30-Jan-09 21:16:10

BRGS Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School

Ohforfoxsake Fri 30-Jan-09 21:18:55

Brilliant start Lilyloo! Thanks.

I have looked at some property in Didsbury, on property websites as it goes. I'll check out the other places you've suggested.

ZZMum Fri 30-Jan-09 21:21:44

there are some great schools round south manchester - didsbury and chorlton for both primary and secondary..

But it really depends on what type of school you are looking for.. and environment you want to bring kids up in .. 1 hour out of manchester can take you to north wales! I live in manchester and find it varies wildly within very short distances.. both in terms of culture, schooling house prices etc..

I moved from London to manchester and found it quite hard to start with so let me know what you are looking for - wish I had had that info before I moved!

Ohforfoxsake Fri 30-Jan-09 21:33:44

Thanks ZZMum! That is very kind of you smile

I've got absolutely no idea at the moment. My older children love school and are quite academic, but also love sport. I initially was looking at Trafford because of the 6 grammer schools. I'd rather keep them in state schools, especially at Primary school.

Open space is quite important to us, somewhere to run about. We could spend up to £400k on a house I think.

I suspect that it will be similar to London insomuch there are deprived inner-city areas up against more well-to-do areas. We can't really decide whether to go for this as we are now, or make a move to the country. But that's because we don't know anywhere.

Lucycat Fri 30-Jan-09 21:45:36

You could even head out into Cheshire....Poynton has an excellent school and is on the train line to Manchester.

GivePeasAChance Fri 30-Jan-09 21:46:47

Just go south

Ohforfoxsake Fri 30-Jan-09 21:55:54

Is that go South Manchester, or stay south of the Country wink

Cheshire is a definate possibility too.

Thank you.

ZZMum Sat 31-Jan-09 09:58:12

OK I would agree with Trafford for good grammar schools.. Some places I would look at are Hale which has some lovely restaurants and bars - quite close to country but backs onto the city.. Also Bowden but you might not get a big enough house for £400K there as it is quite expensive. Try Sale or Altrincham - they are nice and get you close to the grammar schools. I would personally stay in south manchester or cheshire - it has more similarities with London and the south east.. cheshire is very much like surrey..

Knutsford is another option - nice town centre but lots of countryside..

The one thing to think about moving out too far is that transport links are not as good as london - you do not want to land up having to drive everywhere..

Mmmm quite a tricky one to advise on as I found when I moved from london, manchester seemed quite small and did not have half of what i was used to in London - this is not true anymore but most of the good stuff is in the centre of manchester so I would not recommend being too far away from it all - but guess that depends on what you want to spend free time doing...

Lucewheel Sat 31-Jan-09 10:07:01

Ohforfoxsake
I relocated to the area 7 weeks ago and also have 4 dcs.
We chose a village about 40mins south of manchester.
The schools in the village are excellent (both primary and secondary).
I love the area and the people have been really friendly and welcoming.

What type of area are you looking for?
We were advised to contact the schools of our choice and find out where had places before we looked at any properties.

TotalChaos Sat 31-Jan-09 10:13:52

there are some pretty decent state non-selectives in greater manchester area - bury secondary schools tend to be good.

manchester has a good tram system - running between altrincham and manchester and bury and manchester.

ohnoherewego Sat 31-Jan-09 10:24:46

If working in Salford would definately go for North Manchester. Bolton has good primaries and for secondary independents Bolton School and Bury Grammar. Personally I'd go for the Bury side and B Grammar relatively a bargain

ohdearwhatamess Sat 31-Jan-09 10:37:44

BGS is a good school (I went there grin), and Bury and its environs are fine, but South Manchester and Cheshire are much nicer places to live, imho. I grew up in North Manchester and most of it is pretty grim.

AccidentalMum Sat 31-Jan-09 10:40:25

Are your children all Secondary? Chorlton is a very nice place to live but the Secondary Schools are not that good.

AccidentalMum Sat 31-Jan-09 10:43:30

Arrgh....hadn't finished! Stertford Grammar is practically in Chorlton though. Old Trafford / Streford and Chorlton much much easier than Didsbury to commute to Salford.

There is a City Academy in Whalley Range called William Hulme that used to be a private school until recently but I think you have to live within 500m to get in on distance grounds.

Surely relying on them all getting into a Grammar school is a big risk?

AccidentalMum Sat 31-Jan-09 10:47:06

Sorry, should have read OP. Right, definitely live near Longford Park in Chorlton, primaries are good and the kids can go to Stretford Grammar ... sorted grin.

Ohforfoxsake Sat 31-Jan-09 12:45:55

Just got back from football and logged in, thanks so much for all your messages and wisdom!

Lulumama Sat 31-Jan-09 12:57:58

there are some lovely areas of north manchester, which are not as pricey as south

e.g prestwich and whitefield which are near salford and also good transport links.. metrolink and buses, trains etc

Ohforfoxsake Sat 31-Jan-09 12:58:04

LOL Accidental Mum! Job done then!

Yes, it is a big risk thinking they could all get into grammer school, but I'm staying positive. So far they've done really well at school. Of course that could change, a big move could disrupt them for instance. That's why I want to get this right.

I hadn't considered Bolton. Its quite important to me to live in a 'nice' area, with some open space.

Although we're in London the part we live in is quite green, and to be honest I don't venture out of it much blush It's got quite a community feel and the kind of place you know your neighbours. That's ideally what I'm looking for.

Lucewheel, how are you finding it so far? Did you have any knowledge of Manchester before your move?

Ohforfoxsake Sat 31-Jan-09 13:34:26

Should I be looking at areas first and foremost, or schools? I know that the school thing is a gamble.

Is Chester too far?

What about somewhere on the coast? Or is that madness?

I don't really know if I want City or Country. Having lived in big cities all my life, its more natural to me, but the thought of bringing the children up somewhere more countryfied appeals. But not in a tiny village where everyone knows your business, and there is only a pub and a post box. I do know that much grin

Lucewheel Sat 31-Jan-09 13:35:29

Ohfox
I had never been to either Manchester or Cheshire before DH was offered his job here.
We came on a scoping visit to look around the region and found that areas are all very different. We were also told that getting the dcs into the school of our choice and even being able to get them all into the same school would be very difficult.
We found a village and schools that we were happy with and had no problem getting the children in thankfully.
I miss my friends but am otherwise very happy here. The children have settled in better than I could ever have hoped.
Will you be able to go and have a look at the North West before you make any decisions?

Ohforfoxsake Sat 31-Jan-09 13:42:03

Yes, in April we are going up.

Lucewheel, that is really good to know. Comforting infact. I'm dreading it if I'm honest. I love where we live now. I can walk to the shops and will see someone I know, schools are great, and there's lots of green space. Its a good move for the family as a whole, but personally it makes me sad. sad

WilfSell Sat 31-Jan-09 13:42:19

One of the brilliant bits about Chorlton, Sale, Stretford, Didsbury etc is closeness to the Mersey Valley park land (Chorlton Ees/Meadows) lots of open space to walk and play, lots of wildlife. Makes it a brilliant place to bring up kids. I grew up there and miss it a lot.

Parts of Stockport (Heatons especially but also Bramhall etc) good also (and I think still a direct train to Salford...?) and Stockport Grammar (though a private school not an actual grammar in the old style) is very academic.

Not completely up to date but as far as I know the state schools in South Manchester are not awful - it is not like London at all.

If a commute to Salford is important, you either need to be on the trainline, the Metro or close to the M60. But TBH that is most of South Manchester!

Cheshire towns/villages all lovely but longer commute. Knutsford, Alderley Edge, Prestbury, Wilmslow all upmarket and expensive in places. Dunno about schools though doubtless loads of private ones. Macclesfield centre on train route but not quite as posh.

Chester a bit far for a quick commute though places in between - Round Tarporley etc with good access to M56 are lovely.

Ohforfoxsake Sat 31-Jan-09 13:42:52

So how did you find your village?

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