Where to live in the uk that has excellent state schooling?

(63 Posts)
Shark74 Tue 26-Mar-13 06:54:34

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.

MrsGrowbag Sat 30-Mar-13 17:36:12

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.

KatAndKit Thu 28-Mar-13 09:54:42

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.

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 09:31:49

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I agree re local reputation, but often it's out of date unless you're talking to people with children at those schools currently.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!

Shark74 Thu 28-Mar-13 09:13:44

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.....

Nailsea, North Somerset has 2 excellent secondary schools and Bristol on the doorstep...

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 08:04:26

Another point - how are you defining 'Excellent'?

The problem is that there aren't whole areas which have only good schools really. Much depends on the very specific spot where you buy a house within that area.

malinois Wed 27-Mar-13 14:20:29

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)

mummytime Wed 27-Mar-13 10:14:36

Chicaguapa having not grown up in Surrey, I find the people welcoming and friendly. smile

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.

Might be too out on a limb though.

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.

chicaguapa Wed 27-Mar-13 07:20:27

Having grown up in Surrey, I can't think of a single good reason to live there over Hampshire. confused 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>

mummytime Tue 26-Mar-13 22:57:13

Farnham schools are Surrey. Godalming schools also go to 16. I think most Woking schools are also11-16.

twooter Tue 26-Mar-13 20:45:05

Solihull

TCOB Tue 26-Mar-13 20:39:20

North Cotswolds - three outstanding primaries and two outstanding secondaries I. about a fifteen-mile radius. It's the only reason we pay through the nose to be here smile

daisydoodoo Tue 26-Mar-13 20:31:50

Wokingham borough. Mostly very good/excellent schools. A good choice of secondary as well.

Mendi Tue 26-Mar-13 20:27:46

Just to point out re the Surrey 11-16 thing: Farnham is in Hampshire hence follows the Hampshire protocol of 11-16 then separate sixth form. Farnborough is also in Hampshire rather than Surrey.

All the schools I know in Surrey go through to 18 but then I only know about Guildford schools.

mumsneedwine Tue 26-Mar-13 18:09:17

Ascot. All good primarys and a great secondary. It's not all silly expensive. Forests, space and good transport links. Well, I like it !

mummytime Tue 26-Mar-13 16:51:15

Not all of Surrey is 11-16, Waverley (Godalming Farnham is), Guildford isn't, neither is Reigate I think.

Horsham has an amazing girls secondary, Millais. And a great mixed school, Tanbridge House.

I'm a bit perplexed about the Ealing comment. Drayton is good, but not sure where else would be considered 'excellent'?

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Mar-13 16:33:15

And as mal says there's nothing wrong with sixth form colleges.

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Mar-13 16:31:56

I know bugger all about Surrey but I do know that an awful lots can change in 8 years, befuzz so I wouldn't even begin to start thinking about sixth forms!

re Bath secondaries, there were four single sex but now one each of the boys and girls schools have become co-ed, so there are now (at last) 3 co-ed non-denominationals, one boys, one girls, one co-ed RC and one co-ed CofE (these two have recently come together and will share a brand new sixth form - this was finalised ever so recently just to add weight to my opening comment re a lot changing in a few years).

malinois Tue 26-Mar-13 16:25:07

befuzzledagain A lack of sixth form is nothing to worry about. Godalming, Farnham and Farnborough Colleges are excellent and seem to produce more mature and independent students than many school sixth forms.

ISingSoprano Tue 26-Mar-13 16:10:43

sigh ok - most Surrey schools do not have sixth forms but some do.

holidaysrcoming Tue 26-Mar-13 16:01:16

That is not correct about Surrey schools having separate sixth form colleges. There are a few but most are schools. George Abbot, Howard, St Peter's Gford, St Bede's Rehill all have sixth forms.

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