We may be moving back to the uk from living abroad for the last few years. Two daughters age 8 and 6 so am more concerned about secondary schooling. We do have a house in the uk but we will simply sell and move anywhere in the south of England as we have family there. Any advice/opinions would be gratefully received.
Having grown up in Surrey, I can't think of a single good reason to live there over Hampshire. The people are so rude, stressed and obsessed with house prices. I wouldn't move back even if I won the Lottery tbh. <runs and hides>
If the eight year old is very academic and likely to do well in an 11+ type test then you could look at SW Herts. Several partially selective comprehensives which are among the best state schools in the country; if the first child gets an academic place then the second gets in on the sibling rule.
According to the Guardian this is the best place to buy in Britain. At secondary level there are grammars but good comprehensives as well. And a large surplus of secondary school places (with more being opened - free schools). Depends on your age group but certainly at the moment you're pretty much guaranteed your first choice non-grammar school whether you live on the doorstep or not.
Mendi Farnham is in Surrey! - in Waverley Borough to be precise. There are no sixth forms in schools in Waverley, so sixth formers go to Godalming College, Farnham College and Farnborough College (over the border in Hants)
Good question jenaimorris..... As a teacher myself i do not determine a school as excellent through exam results and ofsted reports..... Having been through lots of inspections in my time I know they are most certainly not a true indicator. So I suppose in posting here I was looking for other parent perspectives....the parent voice is an important one...... I can look at data and reports but wanted ideas/opinions from parents who are currently living in these different locations from around the country. Many of the places that have been suggested i know nothing about. Added value is a good indicator but local reputation is important in terms of reports of bullying, students hanging around outside schools etc......I have subscribed to the goodschoolsguide.com but felt it was very data driven and rather like a needle in a haystack. Thank you again to everyone.....
There are a couple of schools near us that ds could have got into who look far better on paper - but I didn't like the atmosphere when we visited. I'm happier with his Good-rated school and its OK-ish GCSE results than I would have been with those (although obviously it's impossible to know for sure).
I agree re local reputation, but often it's out of date unless you're talking to people with children at those schools currently. And even then, I can't think of a single local school that someone I know hasn't either loved or loathed!
I'm from Cambridgeshire - it's a lovely place to live. Schools are variable but mostly well above average - I taught in one which was really good - I think its now good to outstanding according to ofsted. Impington and Comberton are two really good village colleges and i'm sure many of the others are at least good. Hills Road sixth form college has extremely impressive A level results. It's commutable to London and there's lots of things to do in the local area. Like anywhere there are good areas and bad areas and good schools and less good schools so you'd have to do your research. The villages to the north of Cambridge (Girton, Histon, Impington, Oakington) are nice if you don't want to be in a town and in general, the north side is cheaper than the villages to the south.
KitandKat , I agree about the secondary schools around Cambridge, most are excellent. Comberton VC just got rated (again) as "outstanding" in it's Ofsted, and Swavesey VC is also very good. Hills Road 6th form is one of the best in the country. Cambridge has loads of excellent facilities, and is less than an hour by train to London. Loads of great village primaries as well.