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Mom from abroad... Where to live, which schools and how to apply to school

(16 Posts)
MacaLoPou Sat 08-Aug-15 02:04:36

Hi! We a Chilean family moving to London as expats. We have 3 kids (9,7&5) ... Can you recomend us good boroughs with goods schools (non paid) to raise our kids? We will arrive in Jan 2016, can you recomend us how to apply to schools? Thanks

EdithSimcox Sat 08-Aug-15 07:38:43

London is HUGE and has hundreds of schools. All areas have some good schools, and most have some bad schools too. You often have to live very close indeed to the best schools to get in. Yours are all primary age, and none will be normal starting schools entrants. Getting 3 all in to the same school mid year is going to be a real challenge so you may have to choose either to send them to a school that is undersubscribed (ie. less popular), or to send them to different schools. The good news is that the vast majority of London primaries are fine (IME). If you are here long enough for the eldest to go to secondary you might want to factor that in too.
All parts of London have nice areas and not so nice - sometimes adjacent streets can have very different characters, and prices to match. A lot will depend on your budget.
So I would start by choosing an area based on where you think you'll want to be, considering travel to work, anyone you know etc. Then look at ofsted reports and council websites to start thinking about schools, then email the council and schools about likely vacancies, and check out the costs of housing ( will get you going) to see what you can afford.
Or just find a place a live and then look at schools - you are unlikely to land in a place where you have to send your kids to a really bad school. Though as I say 3 places in the same school mid year is very unlikely at any of the really popular schools.

Baffledmumtoday Wed 12-Aug-15 20:26:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 13-Aug-15 22:57:02

I think you got a lot of advice on another thread of the same name at so may be best to bump that thread rather than repeat the same topic. Alternatively explain more about what you are needing to understand and what your budget is to get more precise advice.

Dina1234 Sun 16-Aug-15 23:55:33

I would really urge you to reconsider sending your children to a state school, this can have a really dramatic effect on how well rounded that will grow up to be. If can afford it send them to a good fee paying school (for example you can not live in london and commute to work and use the money that you save to pay for fees). England has a great deal of class segregation and this starts really early on, just bear that in mind.

Junosmum Mon 17-Aug-15 00:13:12

Dina - I'd argue that fee paying schools can make you less well rounded! (having been to both personally).

Dina1234 Mon 17-Aug-15 00:35:18

Really? Me too... I just felt that kids from state schools fell short when it came to being intellectually brave. They'd stop where they were told to stop and never questioned it whereas those who went to a good fee paying school had been taught how to reason properly even at the most basic levels...obviously in the case of stupid people it doesn't really make that much of difference apart from polish. It just makes such a huge difference when you have that extra funding for gifted clubs and philosophy lessons and when your teachers have PhDs rather than a 2:2 in undergraduate english from some obscure university. Obviously the kids that good to fee paying school are better with things like classical music and Becket but that stuff is pretty easy to pick up when you go to university. It's just the difference between someone who knows what moduss tollens is and someone who doesn't is like someone who can drive a manual cars and someone who can't. You can still go through the motions and function just fine but there a certain things that will just be much harder for you to understand than they should be.

NormanLamont Mon 17-Aug-15 00:44:26

Dina are you spoofing the OP? confused

Your suggestion is costly (for 3DC) and unnecessary and you're sounding a bit eccentric TBH>

NormanLamont Mon 17-Aug-15 00:46:41

Maca if you could tell us where you and/or your partner will be working, that could help us narrow it down for you smile

Mindgone Mon 17-Aug-15 09:54:03

I have no idea what moduss tollens is, (obviously, I was state educated!!), but I can use and recognise good grammar. I believe this has been so much more useful in my life!

Coffeemarkone Mon 17-Aug-15 09:56:58

Dina fgs get a grip - the OP was not asking you to pontificate about private schools, she was asking for practical advice about relocating.

Coffeemarkone Mon 17-Aug-15 10:01:41

btw I went to a private school - one that would probably make Dina wet her pants - but sorry have no idea what modus tollens means...(no I refuse to google it)

LadyPeterWimsey Mon 17-Aug-15 10:15:06

Every day is a school day on MN... hmm I went to a top-ranking private school and then to Oxbridge AND taught some A level philosophy, and I still had to google modus tollens.

OP, your kids will be fine in the state sector. I hope your move goes well.

Nolim Mon 17-Aug-15 10:33:23

Dina op stated clearly that she was looking for state schools so lets stick to that.

Op to apply to a state scholl you need proof of adress such as council tax, bank statement or such and that is surprisingly hard to get for expats ( i am an expat myself) talk to your employer or your partner employers to see if they have sgreements with some banks that make it easier to open accounts for expats. Once you have proof of address contact the local authority.

As someone suggested already decide which areas offer good commute to your work and good schools as well. Sutton has 5 grammar schools (secondary state selective schools) it may be worth considering.

Buena suerte con la mudanza.

Nolim Mon 17-Aug-15 10:36:01

And be assured that not everyone thinks like Dina. In fact i have only met one person who thinks like that.

voddiekeepsmesane Tue 18-Aug-15 20:28:10

Dina has a really screwed outlook on the school state system. My boy (now 11) went through a state primary. Classed as "good" by Ofsted but it was outstanding in my eyes. He went through 11+ a year ago and has managed to get a place in one of the most outstanding secondary's in an area that is very competitive. I feel that blaming schools for bad results when they are often starting with low parental input/expectations is unfair.

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