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Moving to west Yorkshire - recommended schools pleasr

(38 Posts)
Limpetsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 22:12:21

I'm Looking to move somewhere in west Yorkshire. Thinking either north Leeds/ Harrogate/ wetherby area.
Areas with Links to A1 would be ideal.

We're wondering which areas have good state primary and more importantly for us good secondary schools. Academic achievement and schools with well behaved nice kids are what we are after (if that exists!).
We know of Leeds grammar but that being private isnt really what we' want.

For my husband and I, we want an area with good local amenities, bit of countryside nearby (can be a short drive) and close to the A1. We probably have a budget of about £500,000 and would like at least a four bedroom, character-ish house with gardens- Harrogate doesn't seem to offer much in terms of gardens from what I've come across..?
Any recommendations where to even begin looking?!

INeedALieIn Wed 18-Dec-13 22:23:37

Boston spa area, to go for Tadcaster Grammar?

Limpetsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 22:47:48

I've heard tadcaster grammar is no longer selective in terms of 11+ and standards gone down..... is that right?

Sharpkat Wed 18-Dec-13 22:55:21

There was an article in the daily fail the other day that said that house prices in wetherby are 90% higher on average than the rest of West Yorkshire. I know it is a big county with a lot of diverse areas, but it really isn't worth that much more. £500k does not go far in Harrogate or Wetherby these days.

Cannot help with schools but will ask my mum as she lives in wetherby.

CyberMenStrual Wed 18-Dec-13 22:55:49

Tad Grammar hasn't been selective for years - standards are still high. Many in the area are sniffy about Boston Spa school, but IMHO it's a good school. Harrogate has St Aidans & St John Fisher (one C of E; one Catholic, with a joined up sixth form) which are both great. Wetherby has Wetherby High, which is smaller than may other local schools.

Ouchiebum Wed 18-Dec-13 22:59:50

What about ermysteds in skipton? Really good results and realistic house prices. Is about an hour commute to leeds.

Limpetsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 23:05:50

Husband Commuting to pontefract - so access to a1 ideal. My commute is to either Leeds or Harrogate -tbc
So don't think skipton is ideally placed.
Will check out the two Harrogate schools - what's wetherby high like? Good?

Will 500k not get us much in the area?!
Any other nice areas more reasonably priced but close by?
thanks for advise so far!

CyberMenStrual Wed 18-Dec-13 23:22:23

League tables for North Yorks are here, and for leeds here Wetherby High get reasonably good results, although I preferred both Tad Grammar and Boston Spa when we were looking round a few years ago. You will find that Tadcaster is cheaper than Wetherby, but the whole area is well above the avg for the rest of yorkshire.

Limpetsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 23:48:31

That's perfect thank you! Thankfully our kids are catholic so good to see that the catholic schools are doing well in both north Yorkshire and Leeds!

MM5 Thu 19-Dec-13 05:52:58

Ease for A1... Colton, castleford and Garforth are good options.

Blueberrypots Thu 19-Dec-13 08:48:31

For catholic children living in the catchment of St John the Fisher there is also preference given to children who attend the local catholic primaries, check this out carefully before you make the move.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 19-Dec-13 10:21:55

The issue will be whether your children are Catholic enough. Certainly the families seeking to earn the necessary points from weekly attendance for three years pack out the churches in the eligible Parishes for St Aidens. You should check with SJF how far down their selection criteria they got in terms of subscription and whether you would qualify. It is especially an issue in Ripon and the areas around as it has a selective Grammar School and SJF and St Aidens are often seen as the next best alternative. Harrogate Grammar School (not selective) has a good reputation as has Boroughbridge High. However you are talking about the so called golden triangle where house prices especially for anything with character are much higher than the rest of Yorkshire.

Incidentally Harrogate. Wetherby etc are North Yorkshire, you might want to change your title or post again. Nowhere in West Yorkshire is particularly handy for the A1.

You should also check the commute. Getting from Harrogate to Leeds in the morning is pretty horrendous for instance.

Blueberrypots Thu 19-Dec-13 11:24:24

I know many families who had to appeal to get into SJF despite being in catchment because they did not attend a local catholic primary.

A family I know who won was indeed because of church attendance and the local priest being able and willing to support their appeal.

supernannyisace Thu 19-Dec-13 11:36:41

We are in West Yorkshire.

DS attends Heckmondwike Grammar, it is a state school, but highly selective. It has t he best results in our Local Authority, Kirklees.

Pupils are predominany from the surrounding area, but many do travel in, some from Leeds.

DS chose it despite the pita one bus per hour journey he has to suffer. There are two moderatelyvwell achieving high schools within walking distance of home, but he was prepared to travel to HGS as he is a very bright student.
However it isn't in the area you are wishing to move to. We are on the other side of Leeds, nearer to the Pennines. I am not saying that there aren't some lovely places to live, but its not as well to do as
Harrogate etc
(Which is more North rather than West Yorks.)

Probably no help at all there, sorry.

Mary2010xx Thu 19-Dec-13 12:18:19

We have relatives with children at Leeds Grammar ( fee paying) which I see is top of that table someone linked above so might be the best to choose. They find it really good.

OnGoldenPond Thu 19-Dec-13 12:30:13

Back in the 70s my DSIS went to Boston Spa school and did really well while there despite what I think was undiagnised mild dyslexia. I did not go there as we moved when I was in Yr 6 to Preston and unfortunately the high school we both attended there was dreadful.

We lived in Barwick in Elmet near Garforth at the time, really great village I loved it. Not sure what it is like now.

Limpetsmum Thu 19-Dec-13 12:46:13

Thanks for the useful comments. I'm amazed at house prices in the area- I thought we'd easily get a four bed character house with our budget- but looking on right move that seems difficult/impossible!
It's a difficult choice; location for good schools and sacrifice on my dream home or get a nicer house with less great but still good schools. Just need to earn more money and things wouldn't be so complicated!!

Sharpkat Thu 19-Dec-13 16:36:30

Wetherby is West Yorkshire whereas Harrogate is North Yorkshire. The 'golden triangle' has ridiculous house prices. Even the difference between wetherby and Tadcaster is noticeable.

My mum lives more Selby/Garforth way which is considerably cheaper and a lot of the children seem to get the bus to school in York. Just don't move to Sherburn smile

uggmum Thu 19-Dec-13 16:43:07

Hi. My dd goes to a good catholic school. St wilfrids in featherstone which is near to pontefract. There are some nice areas nearby. Altofts is lovely and Wakefield in general has some nice areas. You can get a lot of house for your money.

Hobnobissupersweet Sun 29-Dec-13 18:35:02

Namechanged for this - have taught in a couple of the schools mentioned.
To balance your house cost/decent schools equation i would second a move closer down towards ponte. Kings is ok in pontefract itself, but Garforth Academy is a very good school, and house prices there are much lower than in the golden triangle. That is not to say that the schools up in Harrogate aren't good, they are - St A, SJF and Harrogate grammar are all excellent state schools, but the price you pay in increased house costs is substantial.
Tad grammar is also a good school, and house prices are considerably lower there, however agree with sharpkat, avoid sherburn. With insider knowledge i would also say very definitely to avoid boston spa. It was a good school some time ago, but not any more, CVA is awful, bullying rife round the portacabins, staff turnover the highest of any of the leeds schools, and at least 2 governors in recent years have resigned and moved their dc in recent years. Wetherby were gutted at their poor ofsted, but it has never been a "good" school.
Other option for catholic education is to move near Carlton (outside selby) house prices very cheap, catholic secondary school there very well regarded indeed (quite small but results/atmosphere/behaviour good) and then an easy trip along M62 for your DH.

OnGoldenPond Sun 29-Dec-13 20:40:23

What a shame about Boston Spa.

OnGoldenPond Sun 29-Dec-13 20:41:54

Yes I remember Sherburn - they used to try to nick our maypole every 4 years! grin

Blueberrypots Mon 30-Dec-13 13:37:02

Hobnob, if you had the choice between st john fisher and leeds grammar, which one would you go for? Is gsal worth the extra £££ for very academic children?

Hobnobissupersweet Mon 30-Dec-13 17:20:10

I would say it is providing they are also the type to take advantage of the extracurricular stuff, eg debating at GSAL is much better than at SJF, ditto the sports and music. SJF is much bigger, last years y13 had 521 students compared to GSALs 199. Of those 10 from SJF went on to do medicine/vet sci/dentistry compared to 20 from GSAL. Does depend on the depth on ones personal ££ pot though

Blueberrypots Mon 30-Dec-13 21:20:26

Thankyou so much, that was our impression too but it is always useful to hear the views of someone more in the know!!

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