Could anyone recommend a secondary school in Hertfordshire please?

(18 Posts)
TessBob Mon 23-Sep-13 14:16:30

We've just found out that my husband's office is moving (gah!). Hertfordshire looks like it might be the location for us to move house to, but we need to make sure we get secondaries right.

I don't know the area at all. I've looked on league tables and Ofsted, but firstly it's impossible to tell easily which are the fee paying (out of our budget) versus state schools, and a chart is nothing like a real human being saying that their kids (we've got boys) are happy and achieving.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts at all. Or even thoughts on family friendly areas to live.

Many thanks Mumsnetters.

Passthecake30 Mon 23-Sep-13 14:22:56

I live in Ware, my kids are not 3 and 5, so I'm not really there yet. But a good mixed school is Chauncy (Ware) and the boys school that gets rated is Richard Hale (Hertford). There's also John Warner in hoddesdon, but Ware and Hertford are nicer areas to live in imo

newgirl Mon 23-Sep-13 14:25:16

There is a local mumsnet thread about Herts schools

I'm in St Albans and all sec schools are outstanding/good with small Catchments in St a and harpenden with property prices to reflex that! Plenty of good private options too costs 14k a year

magicstars Mon 23-Sep-13 14:28:09

If you have a look on the local board there is quite a lot of info about good places to live in herts. Depends a lot on your budget, if you want to be In a town, city or rural. Near a train station etc. pretty much everywhere in herts has good London links, Stevenage is about 30mins to kings cross I think, St. Albans more like 25 mins.
To give you an idea, Popular towns for families are hertford, St. Albans and welwyn garden but there are plenty of nice areas. Good luck.

newgirl Mon 23-Sep-13 14:33:57

If you favour a boys school Verulam is the state boys school - high achieving and two private options St columbas and St Albans school (I see you say not private so you can skip those sites!)

Moominmammacat Mon 23-Sep-13 14:34:37

Where in London does your husband need to get to? You can go v. north London/Barnet and still gets Herts or London schools + benefit of being on the Tube.

Wigeon Mon 23-Sep-13 14:44:26

Erm, doesn't Ofsted only inspect state schools? So if you do a search on their website they will all be state. The Independent Schools Inspectorate does private schools.

Watford has a number of semi selective state schools which get v good results. They admit a small proportion on academic or musical ability, and the rest on the usual rules (siblings, distance etc). Parmiter's, Watford Boys Grammar, Watford Girls Grammar get v good results. They are in a small consortium of other local good schools who administer the test all together. More info here. Children come from St Albans, north London etc to go to them. But they are v over subscribed.

Watford property prices are a lot cheaper than some other places in Herts, but that's because the town isn't very inspiring. Although perfectly decent, with lots of good amenities (good leisure centres / swimming pools, a lovely park, a cinema, shopping centre with a John Lewis etc). St Albans property prices are ££££, but it's a v nice, pretty, historic market town.

How old are your children? What is your budget for a house and what do you expect to get for that money (eg how many bedrooms)? Also, where exactly does your DH need to get to - that will determine surely where you live, partly.

TessBob Mon 23-Sep-13 15:14:37

Thank you everybody. We need to get to Kings X. We have loved London living, but are ready for a change. We would ideally like a bigger garden. We'd like to feel more large village or town than too rural, and we work in media and music, so I guess we are modest income creative types rather than City salaried types. Guardian readers! That probably says it all!

newgirl Mon 23-Sep-13 15:20:56

A 4 bed house near a secondary school in harp/St a (both direct to kx) price would start 600? And go ever upwards. Near the train stations too add 200.

Watford train goes to paddington I think? Not 100% sure.

magicstars Mon 23-Sep-13 17:51:08

You sound like Hitchin folk, plenty of creatives There & has a good rep for schools. Letchworth is more affordable & tries to be arty (I believe it has a chunk of arts funding to attract people to live there in coming years) it can be a bit dull though, as can WGC.

Wigeon Mon 23-Sep-13 18:15:41

You need this website which tells you where you need to live if you want to commute into London.

Watford line goes into Euston in 20 mins (sometimes 17 mins), which is a short walk from Kings Cross. St Albans line goes into Kings Cross in 20 mins. We are modest income Guardian readers (secondary school teacher and civil servant), would love to live in St Albans, but the house we have in Watford (15 mins drive from St Albans) would be literally hundreds of thousands of pounds more in St Albans, so Watford it is!

There are loads of threads on "where to live in Herts" if you search the archive, because it's such a popular commuter-into-London county.

elvisola Mon 23-Sep-13 18:44:08

Hemel Hempstead is good value for Herts although you need to be on the Boxmoor side, the station is close by and takes you into Euston and you should be in the catchment for Hemel school which has a good solid reputation.

orangepudding Mon 23-Sep-13 18:48:03

Harpenden and St Albans are good for secondary schools, nice places to live and there are fast trains to Kings Cross.

Welwyn Garden City is only 25 mins to Kings Cross but secondary schools aren't great and houses cost ££££'s!

DS1 and DS2 are both at Watford Boys. We are very impressed with it.

newgirl Mon 23-Sep-13 20:56:26

Watford has fab park close to pretty villages, the grove, fab schools, good shops. Some busy roads and not the character of St a but lots of pluses too

newgirl Mon 23-Sep-13 21:05:08

Just remembered - it's school visit time so you can go and look at some!

Watford Boys open morning is Sat 5 Oct from 9.30am. The school is right next to the tube station.

fuckwittery Mon 23-Sep-13 21:20:52

Oh yes, Hitchin would suit you lots of guardian reading types there! 30 minutes to kings cross, excellent train line. Have look at Hitchin boys school, I'm not v hot on boys schools as I have girls.

Or two stops north on the train line, baldock, Knights Templar is excellent. Not so many trains from baldock, as the line splits to peterborough/cambridge north of hitchin, so baldock doesnt get the same number of trains as hitchin, which is on two main lines rather than 1 if that makes sense.

Richard Hale in Hertford is v good, but Hertford North to Kings Cross is not such a great train line, its geographically closer to London than Hitchin but slower trains (more stops).

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