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choosing a secondary school

(12 Posts)
ManlyMumplus3 Mon 10-Nov-14 02:03:25

Hello,
I'm currently living in Sydney contemplating a move back to the UK next year - and would need 3 x school places for my 3 girls entering years 2, 4 and 6. If that all wasn't complicated enough, my eldest is on the gifted and talented spectrum as highly gifted, and needs lots of stretching and extending. She is about to start in a selective class here for the last years of primary.
The areas we are looking to move to are Kent (terrified of the competitive nature of the grammar schools, and fierce tuitioning that seems to go on!) and Sussex - West/East. But, I have no idea of any good schools here - the internet is a minefield. I'm focusing on high schools really. Even private with a view to getting an academic scholarship, as I know Sussex does not have grammar schools. This whole move is terrifying me, so any help or advice is hugely appreciated. Husband is very not keen to come home, so it's down to me to research it all!
Thank you so much in advance....

flack Fri 14-Nov-14 11:41:42

Sorry nobody seems to have replied. I suppose with 2am posting it fell off ActiveConv.

Basically 'good' schools tend to be in more affluent areas, so if you aim for an affluent area (outside of London) then you will probably be in default catchment for schools that perform well on most metrics that people care about. Schools with highest Ofsted gradings tend to be most popular & may be hard to get into, but this is less true the further you get from London. I have contemplated moving continents with children of similar age (decided not to) so you have my sympathies.

MN164 Fri 14-Nov-14 12:58:42

Perhaps this website map can help get you a short list.

www.locrating.com/schoolsmap.aspx

mummytime Fri 14-Nov-14 13:05:10

If you aren't totally confident of the getting her into a Grammar school, I would look for a totally comprehensive school area. I live in Surrey and believe most of my local schools could stretch her, if she was exceptionally gifted the local privates might well offer her a scholarship/bursary.

Where do you need to get to job wise? Do you want to live in a town or the countryside? Do you have a strong preference for school sixth forms or sixth form colleges?

ManlyMumplus3 Wed 19-Nov-14 03:04:23

Thank you for the replies - I checked a few times and when there were none for a while, I forgot about it! So huge apologies for the late response. I hadn't come across the locrating website, that will be useful.
Job will 100% be based in London, so we are looking at a commute of ideally 45 mins. It's a total conundrum!! Very scary as I feel we are throiwing all our certainities up into the air and we don't know where they will land. I question why I am doing it, but my gut tells me the English education system is better, and the value of being near extended family ie other adult influences on our children that have as much interest in them as we do. But is that enough to upset the apple-cart, or is it a selfish endeavour....

CastlesInTheSand Wed 19-Nov-14 03:35:51

I think a 45 min commute is a v unrealistic expectation.

ManlyMumplus3 Wed 19-Nov-14 03:47:19

Why so?

CastlesInTheSand Wed 19-Nov-14 04:04:42

Do you have a job? Is it right by the train station that trains from Kent come into?

Are you very rich?

Houses anywhere near a decent train into London cost a fortune.

Most people commute for a lot longer than 45mins.

If you mean 45 mins on the train alone, then maybe.

CastlesInTheSand Wed 19-Nov-14 04:07:51

Most people have to get on the tube after they get off the train. Which prob adds another 20-30 mins depending where your job is.

I once lived in Bromley which is the very first stop in the Kent line. I lived fairly close to the train station. Commute still took an hour.

MN164 Wed 19-Nov-14 06:59:45

Which part of London is the job, i.e. which main line stations will the office be close to? I'm guessing Victoria, Charring Cross or Waterloo ....

Are you sure you need to live outside London (I know prices are insane)? South London seems to have a lot of school choice which might give you extra choice. That can be a huge comfort when coming in from a distance.

Don't be terrified of competition for selective schools. Ignore all that "noise". There are plenty of kids that are just "bright" that get in ahead of those who are tutored to oblivion. If you think you have a chance, go for it and have high quality alternatives too.

ManlyMumplus3 Wed 19-Nov-14 07:01:24

Sorry to mislead - yes I meant just the train time. I realise there is a tube commute, and getting to/from station etc. We lived/worked in London for most of our lives pre-kids so we are not totally unaware of the procedures!!

susann Thu 20-Nov-14 11:50:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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