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Moving to England - Which area to live in..?? Which School To Choose...?

(132 Posts)
NewBee2011 Tue 12-Apr-11 16:54:19

Hi Everyone, We are planning to move to England from Thailand in 3/4 mths, but very confused as to where to live, as we want to live in a good and safe place, not too much fond of city live but not too rural as well and not going too far away from london..But we dont want the place to be too expensive either...Prefer newly built estate...My kids have to join in Son (Yr6) n Daughter(Yr8), they will join private school but which one to choose as I want a good school with good results over the past years n with good reputation. Every suggestion will be of gr8 help.

diabolo Tue 12-Apr-11 19:19:32

North Essex / South Suffolk? London just over an hour away via train from Sudbury. Very safe, gorgeous countryside, pretty towns etc.

Plenty of good Independent Senior schools in Ipswich (Ipswich School, Royal Hospital), Culford in Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham School, Woodbridge etc.

Mine is at prep which is only up to Year 8, but there are many good ones in Suffolk/North Essex.

Paul88 Wed 13-Apr-11 12:59:24

You say every suggestion will be of help...

I don't know if you need to live near London for work reasons, but if not, I would suggest living outside of the SE. It seems to be just in SE England that there are these problems getting into schools and the apparent need for private education. There are excellent state secondaries elsewhere in the country that aren't hard to get into. Choose somewhere with good rail links to London if you want - lots of places 2-3 hours away by train.

Save yourself a fortune.

meditrina Wed 13-Apr-11 13:01:08

Are there any places in UK you want to be near for work or family reasons?

NewBee2011 Wed 13-Apr-11 17:40:48

Thanks evreyone, No there is no place that we need to be near for work reasons as my DH will be working from home and also we prefer kids going to private school only. But I would still prefer staying not too far from London as my DH might have to travel there for work but occasionally. Please suggest good school names and good n safe place to live. I have no clue about England so every suggestion would help...Thanks

meditrina Wed 13-Apr-11 18:21:25

Try living in the middle of England then. Your DH could get to London in under an hour from Peterborough, and you might like to look in the area to the northwest of it. Leicester, Nottingham and Derby are all nearby, but the smaller market towns might suit you better.

There are some good boarding and day schools in the area in Uppingham and Oakham, Stamford, Loughborough, Oundle and Leicester. If you go over into Lincolnshire, there are also grammar schools.

Clary Wed 13-Apr-11 22:45:30

Yes I agree if you go for the East Midlands property prices are a lot cheaper than anywhere "near" London ie Kent, Sussex, Hertfordshire, and yet an easy day trip to London.

I live in Derby for example and the train takes about 90 mins on a good run. You would never want to do it ona daily basis but occasionally it would be fine.

Other towns/cities hereabouts are even nearer but houses etc still relatively cheap. Plenty of new building all over the place.

Wrt schools, I am not an expert on private sector, but do you want a big "name" like Repton (near Derby) or Winchester (in Hampshire, a lot more expensive), or do you just want the local private school IYSWIM, in which case there is one in most cities/towns?

cantspel Thu 14-Apr-11 00:52:57

How about the south coast, either east or west sussex. A little over an hour from london but not to rural but surrounded by the sussex downs.

For private schools you have Lancing College or Brighton College both co-ed and both rated outstanding this year by ofsted.

My son has a friend at Brighton College and his family cannot rate it highly enough.

NewBee2011 Thu 14-Apr-11 11:07:08

I liked Stamford Endowed School, looks quite nice from website, can anyone please advice about this school, also how is the place Lincolnshire/Stamford...Is it a nice n safe place to live. I hope its not a very rural types of place...How about shopping n all in this area...R there any shopping centres etc... Please pass your opinions about this. Thanks So Much for all of yours support here..

grovel Thu 14-Apr-11 14:38:50

OK. Winkfield Row. Carnation Estate. Lambrook School.
Get Googling, gal!

grovel Thu 14-Apr-11 14:40:17

After Lambrook your DCs can go to Wellington College (DS) and St George's Ascot (DD).

grovel Thu 14-Apr-11 14:43:37

And you can shop in Windsor. Or Camberley. The Thai restaurant in Egham is good.

LIZS Thu 14-Apr-11 14:45:21

Even with a private school you may struggle to find spaces for September now. Are they currently yr6/8 or is that what they would be then ?

minipie Thu 14-Apr-11 14:58:30

this book should help with schools - at least as a starting point.

NewBee2011 Thu 14-Apr-11 16:33:54

Thanks grovel, but I would prefer them to take admission in the school which goes upto age18yrs, as changing school again n agian effects kids devlopment.
LIZS: My kids will be joing there in sept. in Yr6 n Yr8...I understand some schools wld have no place but I must keep trying.
Thanks again everyone, please keep posting your opinons n suggestions.

meditrina Thu 14-Apr-11 16:54:09

I think what grovel means is that some schools start at yr8, so your yr6 child might have to go somewhere else until yr8. That said, there are also many schools which start at yr6 and have yr8 entry too.

The timing will be difficult though - schools have just made their yr6 offers, and although there are bound to be some vacancies they may be hard to track down. Yr8 entrance is often (but not absolutely always) by Common Entrance exam which will be sat this summer. Schools will already have a good idea about their likely numbers (it's a qualifying, not a competitive exam). I'm not saying this tom depress you, but to give you some idea about where you will be joining in the process.

The Good Schools Guide - as linked by minipie - is a very good starting place.

Stamford, btw, is a small rather pretty market town. It has a good range of shops, many of them small independents (and also a new Waitrose). If you want a shopping mall and the bigger multiples, you'd have to to Peterborough - an easy drive or short train journey away.

sugarfoot Thu 14-Apr-11 17:06:00

Surely most senior schools start in year 7 - and will just have made their offers - with many having a year 9 entry too, not years 6 and 8.

WMDinthekitchen Thu 14-Apr-11 17:09:44

I'm with cantspel - try Brighton and surrounding area - great schools, great countryside, good train service to London

NewBee2011 Thu 14-Apr-11 17:10:08

Hi Meditrina, Sorry I was bit confused...
You said that stamford is a very small is it good or bad..? I chose that as I liked the school there, but how about housing, r the houses too old there or...?
Can you suggest any other nice schools n/or good places to live thats safe n has something for kids to keep busy...

meditrina Thu 14-Apr-11 17:19:46

Sugarfoot - you' completely right. I am so* sorry! I must have been thinking of year 6 and 8 *leavers (for 7 and 9 which are the main entry points).

Newbee - there are a handful of schools which start at 10+. The Good School Guide might help you find them. Or you could look for a school which has a junior/prep department or a prep which feeds the senior school you want. Starting with a prep school might seem as if you are adding an additional move of school, but kept all their UK friends are making the same move, it won't seem so bad. Also, a year's exposure to the Uk system might help refine your thoughts on where you do want them to end up for the rest of their schooling. A location with a few reachable schools might be handy, in case you do end up doing that.

meditrina Thu 14-Apr-11 17:24:48

I don't know what went wrong with the bold, either!

Here's a link to the local newspaper, the Stamford Mercury which might help give you a feel for what the town is like and properties currently for sale.

LIZS Thu 14-Apr-11 17:45:36

Agree you'd probably ideally find one with a Junior/Prep (up to Year 6) and Senior school together to give them more continuity and avoid the need for CE. Trying to cover the material for CE in just one year could be really difficult (there are ongoing projects and much of Year 8 is revision and practice papers rather than teaching anything new). Many senior schools with a 11+ and 13+ intake now have their own assessment papers taken in Autumn term/January but aren't as stringent with their junior/prep candidates whose potential they would already know.

NewBee2011 Thu 14-Apr-11 17:51:11

Roedean school in Brighton seems to be very good, but its only girsl, so can anyone suggest any nice boys school in the area..?

Clary Thu 14-Apr-11 18:02:47

Newbee I know Stamford area pretty well, I wouldcall it semi-rural. No big cities nearby at all, OTOH you are not far from Peterboroguh which has OK shops.

Stamford itself is a lovely Georgian stone town witha nice community feel if you like that sort of thing (I do) but of course facilities etc (eg swimming pools, sports centres) will not be as good as in a bigger city like Nottingham.

Safety-wise, well most places in the UK are fine as long as you steer clear of certain parts of big cities. South Lincolnshire is fine. Not sure quite what you mean tho - thinking of DC walking home alone? Sure that's totally fine in Stamford, as in most places tbh. Is this somethign you have to be very aware of in Thailand?

LIZS Thu 14-Apr-11 18:02:52

Brighton College is co-ed.

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