Hi everyone, I'm a mother to 3 kids girl 14yrs and 2boys 11yrs and 2.7yrs. We will be moving to London in 3months and I'm searching for the best place with state schools. My work will be in Piccadilly and I don't mind living in the suburbs as long as there are good schools. I also need to know the difference between comprehensive, grammar and independent schools.
Here is a link to the latest Secondary League tables; you can browse by "local authority" which means London borough or county or city. I've put Sutton (south London) in as an example as it has grammar schools, comprehensives and an independent school. You can sort the tables to compare results in different categories, GCSEs etc. They give explanations for what they all mean! Good luck. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/education/school_tables/secondary/12/html/eng_maths_319.stm?compare=
Just to emphasise again - you won't get a place for your eldest at a grammar school because you have missed the application round and exams.
You probably won't get a place at any other very oversubscribed schools at this point either, because your application will be considered only after all the on-time applications have been received AND you don't have an address yet so your application will be REALLY late.
Best plan is probably to focus on a single, non-grammar school that is very good, and move in literally next door. That should put you top of the waiting list (as waiting lists are in priority order based on e.g, distance, not on when applied) and then you hope for movement before the start of the new academic year.
In the meantime, if there has been no movement, you take whatever place is offered, however bad the school, and keep on the waiting list for your preferred school.
OR you apply to a private (fee paying) school BUT you may well have missed application deadlines there too.
Sory, just realised it's your middle who is in the 'too late' band. You MIGHT get the 14 year old into a grammar as an in-year applicant sometime in the next couple of years IF they are brilliant AND you are prepared to sit on a waiting list for a long time (rules for in-year applicants to grammars vary from school to school - usually you take the exam and then sit in the waiting list at the priority given to youy by your test result, hence the need to be brilliant in order to come top of the waiting list and thus be able to take the next vacancy that arises). Again, living right next to a good comp (and I mean 20 yards away, not 0.5 miles) will maximise your admission-from-the-waiting-list changes.
And on a completely different note, are you really only looking for a two bed apartment? Are you going to share with your 14 year old? And your 11 and 2 year olds are going to share a room? It doesn't seem a happy mix.