Surrey vs Bromley for high schools? Getting first choice?

(19 Posts)
wineoclocktimeyet Sun 30-Jun-13 20:12:08

You really need to visit and see for yourself alembaye. Only you know your son and what will suit him. OFSTED reports are only a very small part of a school.

Also, if the property is really near to Ravensbourne, it may also be in the Ravenswood catchment.

alembaye1234 Sat 29-Jun-13 23:15:57

Am looking a secondary school for my boy at bROMLEY area,which i saw(to buy) a property very near to the ravensbourne school,buy not sure after reading the OFSTD report.I want someone send their kids to this school,i need to decide urgently . please help,am thinking to move out from dulwich.

Gilnahirk Sat 29-Jun-13 13:02:30

I also know several families happy with Bishop Justus. Its GCSE results were better than Ravenswood's last year, so I can't see why it should be so much less desirable (though I know GCSE results aren't everything).

Dominodonkey Thu 27-Jun-13 15:49:51

twistlethant yes, a good summary of why BJ is an interesting case. It took students who didn't have a school and then took a large group from All Saints/Rigby when they closed. All of those students are long gone. Most students do well there but if a child has a tendency to stray from the correct path I would not be sure that BJ would be the best choice for them.

Preezie Thu 27-Jun-13 12:59:20

Thanks wineoclocktimeyet & Twistlethant...appreciate the time taken to comment!

wineoclocktimeyet Wed 26-Jun-13 21:35:07

Preezie - I've PM'ed you

Twistlethant Wed 26-Jun-13 17:27:12

Oops!
I know several parents with children there who are very happy. I also know that it's very much second or third choice in this area. I think the problem is twofold: firstly, BJ is quite close in terms of catchment to Ravens Wood and Bullers Wood (highly regarded boys and girls respectively) and Ravensbourne, which has been around much longer than BJ and tends to be the mixed secondary to go for in the area. Also BJ didn't have the best of starts when it was founded (about 10 years ago?) as it didn't have a home initially ( now in fab new building) and was the place you were allocated if you couldn't get in anywhere else.
As I said, I do know parents who are very happy with it, so any negative reputation may be unjustified.

Twistlethant Wed 26-Jun-13 17:15:28

I might be able to shed some light on this one.
Bishop Justus (not Justice!) has rather a mixed reputation in the area. I know several parents with ch

Preezie Wed 26-Jun-13 13:30:52

Thanks wineoclocktimeyet...will PM you if I need more info. Any idea why nobody applied to Bishop Justice? From what I recall, the ofsted report was fairly positive. I'm a bit concerned that BJ seems to be the only school that will be in our catchment area apart from Ravensbourne. I always like to have a few options. An affordable boys private school would been lovely as well. Decisions, decisions, decisions!!! confused

wineoclocktimeyet Tue 25-Jun-13 15:40:11

I realised I had forgotten Bishops Justice and that was because, allthough it is nearly the closest secondary school to our primary, not a single child in this year's Year 6 applied to it.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any further queries.

Copthallresident Tue 25-Jun-13 12:33:49

preezie the last two years have been the calm before the storm in terms of pupil numbers. Catchments in our borough had been shrinking for years but have been stable for the last two years. However our current Year 5 has 200 more pupils than the current Year 6 and year 4 300 more, a 15% jump in pupil numbers and that figure is pretty similar in all the outer London boroughs. This is a London wide issue and the Free School programme is the only way of getting new schools. We have one 150 pupil school approved but with no room to expand existing schools clearly there is going to be a rapid shrinking of existing catchments.

Preezie Tue 25-Jun-13 09:21:12

Came across this fabulous article which has data regarding the percentage of people that get their first choice of secondary schools. Thought I'd share! Its seems that Sutton & Bromley are almost the same with approx 65% getting their first preference in Bromley & 67% getting their first preference in Sutton....interesting info (although stats are from 2011 if I'm not mistaken!)

www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/17/secondary-schools-schooladmissions

Preezie Mon 24-Jun-13 22:34:13

Hi Wineoclocktimeyet....thank you for the info on Bromley. To be honest, I love the property we saw in Bromley Common, & yes the outstanding school I was referring to is Hayes...I called the school up and they confirmed that no places were issued beyond 1.09 miles from the school in the past 3 years. The property I am looking at purchasing is 1.3 miles from both Hayes AND Ravenswood boys....I didn't call up Ravenswood boys as yet, but will do so tomorrow. I expect I will have the same issue....just fall short of their catchmentsad The closest high school to us (if we go ahead & purchase property) would be Bishop Justice. If my son gets into that school I would be fine with it. Ravensbourne is the next closest & the one that I am not happy with. Read their Ofsted report in detail & not comfortable with sending my kids there at this point, even though it appears to be improving as you have pointed out. I'm soooo exhausted from all the researching! It's a really difficult decision to make....let's hope we end up making the right one! (At this point I'm even beginning to consider forgetting about buying a property and just trying to rent one closer to the schools I want! confused)

wineoclocktimeyet Mon 24-Jun-13 21:00:30

If you were referring to Hayes, their catchment didnt reach Bromley Common this year as far as I know.

Also, meant to add, our primary school is on Bromley Common and with the exception of those who took and didnt pass the selective school exams, everyone I know got their first choice of school, although I know this wasnt the case in other parts of the borough.

wineoclocktimeyet Mon 24-Jun-13 20:57:46

Bromley Common is (currently) in the catchment for Ravenswood boys, which is highly thought of, Ravensbourne (mixed) which is less academic but up and coming. The Bromley end is in the Bullers Wood (girls) catchment and that is very well thought of.

If the outstanding one you mentioned is Darrick Wood, you would have to be right up at the Locksbottom end of Bromley Common to be within catchment.

St Olaves (boys) and Newstead Woods (girls) are the super selectives and they are both in Orpington which is only one bus ride away from B Common. Also, the Bexley Grammar schools are also only 1 - if you are in the Bickley area or otherwise 2 buses away.

Please feel free to ask (or PM me) if you have any questions.

Preezie Mon 24-Jun-13 17:10:07

Thanks for taking the time to respond Copthallresident....much appreciated. I actually did manage to find a private girls school very close to the property for just over 13k per annum. There is also a mixed prep school for just over 3k per term. I have taken into consideration the additional costs that you've mentioned such as trips, etc and this should not be a problem provided we stick to the 13k budget for fees only. I also came across an article that states that Sutton is one of the areas where you are most likely to get your first choice of high school....apparently approx 80% of people get their first choice of school. I have yet to research Bromley....lets see how that goes! Sutton's looking good so far! Like you said...its not about the house of our choice (we had to walk away from several stunning homes due to lack of appropriate schools in the area!)....it's proximity of the property to the school of preference, which really does complicate things!

Copthallresident Mon 24-Jun-13 13:10:36

You will be very lucky to get away with a max of 13k for a private school. Even the Girls' Day School Trust whose schools, Bromley, Croydon and Streatham High in your area, tend to charge the most affordable fees, charge 4.5k per term. Then you have to factor in the trips, extra curricular, music lessons etc. Those rarely fail to add in a few hundred and it would be a shame to deny your child a chance to develop a talent or be included in the same activities as their friends.

Otherwise I know that in Bromley and the area of Surrey you are thinking of, the existence of Grammar Schools means that if you want to get your child into a Grammar then you are signing up to a serious tutoring culture. Living on Bromley Common i have friends who put their DCs in for the exams to get into the Sutton and Eltham Grammars as well as the very selective St Olaves in Orpington and Newstead Woods in Beckenham. You would need to understand where your DCs had the potential to get in and whether as a family you want to persue that course, the commitment in terms of either tutoring yourself or finding a tutor and then the time and work and pressure. There are no end of threads on here on making that decision and what it entails.

Getting into an outstanding non selective state school is more a matter of finding a house in the right place than finding a house of your choice. If you have not bought a house that is safely within the catchment distance, bearing in mind that the current year 5s and 4s are part of a huge pupil bulge that is going to hit London secondary's in the next few years and put a severe pressure on school places so that catchments will shrink, then you may well be faced with being allocated a far away school you didn't even include in your preferences. We are in another part of Surrey and that is already happening. I would ring the local authority and get information on current catchments and then make sure that the house you buy is well within catchment for the school(s) you want. Again you will often find threads on here that will access you local knowledge, there have certainly been ones on Bromley on here.

Preezie Mon 24-Jun-13 12:19:29

Oops....I meant SUTTON versus Bromley....

Preezie Mon 24-Jun-13 12:14:15

Hi there. We have been scouting around for property to buy for a while now, and have found 2 we like in Cheam, Surrey and 1 in Bromley Commons. Our priority is getting our children (son: currently year 5 & daughter: currently year 4) into a good high school. Our first choice would be a state high/grammar, although we will also consider independent schools with fees around 12-13k a year. It seems that the properties I like in Cheam are about 0.2 miles from an outstanding high (Cheam high) and have a few schools rated good just over a mile away. There is also a girls grammar school close by which is great. The Bromley prop has a school rated good about 0.6 miles from property, another about 0.8 miles away which is rated good as well, but has a report that I am not pleased with, so will not consider, and an outstanding high about 1.3 miles from the property. I am trying to decide between which property to purchase purely based on which area would be easier to get my children into my first choice of school....Of course safety is another priority, and while Sutton has a higher crime rate than Bromley, it also has a far greater choice of schools. Has anyone in these areas had an experience where you did not get your first or second choice and had to settle for a school you are unhappy with? I'm highly stressed about this, as I've called the outstanding state school in Bromley & they said the furthest place allocated over the past 3 years has been 1.09 milessad The Cheam school on the other hand is a quick walk from the property, but of course there is no guarantee we will get a place there. Experiences/advice to share anyone??? If you know of good private schools in these areas within our budget, that would also be great! Thanks in advance!

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