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School advice in Surrey please!!!

(16 Posts)
Hael84 Wed 13-Jan-16 14:19:39

My partner & I are looking to move to Surrey next year & are going to be fo using our house search around schools for our boys.
They are in a school where we live now in Kent, the youngest will start reception this sept coming & the eldest will start year 2.
I would preferably like for them to go to a school where they can settle and not have to move around for a few years, I know a lot of schools in Surrey go from ages 7-18 so would be looking for those type of schools or even better one that would go from age 4-18 so they could both start together.
We are looking at places around Reigate, caterham, coulsdon, hooley , red hill etc.
Any advice re schools (and those areas or any surrounding those) would be gratefully welcomed!

merlottime Wed 13-Jan-16 14:42:04

Coulsdon is a very family friendly place to live. The schools here are all 4-11, and then 11-16/18. The only school I know of in the area that is 7-18 is Royal Alexandra & Albert near Merstham; this is a state boarding school. It accepts flexi-boarders, but you have to live very close to the school to get in, it has good grounds/facilities, but the GCSE results haven't been great. Coulsdon itself has quite a few primaries, all of which are expanding due to local population growth (In part due to new build housing). Woodcote Primary is Ofsted outstanding and is expanding from 3 to 4 form entry I believe. Chipstead Valley is Ostead outstanding and is expanding from 2 to 3 forms. Smitham is expanding from 2 to 3 forms I think. There is also St Aidan's RC 1 form entry (heavily over subscribed). In Old Coulsdon there is Byron, Keston, and Coulsdon Cof E - not sure how many forms in each year.

LIZS Wed 13-Jan-16 14:49:49

Unless you are looking at private schools or RAAS they won't be 4 or 7 through to 18. There is great pressure on state primary school places in the area you are looking so you may struggle to find infant aged places as in year applicants. Some schools are infant or junior only ( ie. Reigate Parish and Priory, Horley Infants and Yattendon) so you could apply for a year 3 place for Sept 2017 alongside those transferring locally.

Hael84 Thu 14-Jan-16 18:00:40

Some food for thought thanks for your replies

daddyanxious Fri 15-Jan-16 22:14:49

Hi Hael84, are you looking at the state sector only? Because in the independent sector there is Caterham school, which takes children from 3-18.

JellyTotCat Sun 17-Jan-16 11:04:46

I was going to say Caterham School too.

MrsPatmore Sun 17-Jan-16 11:31:16

Reigate Grammar School? Has a prep department. Good reputation.

merlottime Sun 17-Jan-16 13:34:51

If you are looking at Independants, they don't usually provide automatic entry to seniors; you have to pass the exam.. Sometimes the pass mark isn't as high, but they still have to go through the process and have back up options. There is also Royal Russel in Croydon, easy to get to using public transport from south of Croydon when they are older.

Hael84 Fri 22-Jan-16 16:24:37

Hi- I'm not looking at private schools no.
I think we are pretty much decided on the vicinity of the Coulsdon area for our house search but my main priority is schools at the mo.
If the main school ages are 4-11 then this year would probably be best in terms of moving them (my little one starts reception this sept and my eldest would be going in to year 2) but how does it work with applying? (Should we decide to move this year I should add) as assumingly the application process will be long finished by the time we would need to apply for a place this sept coming? X

LIZS Fri 22-Jan-16 16:32:58

Your elder child would be an in year application and your younger a late applicant. Coulsdon is on the Surrey/Croydon border do worth speaking to both LAs. Be aware that this is a very difficult area to get school places but at least 2 schools in Merstham/Redhill are adding a form for their 2016 reception intake which should help.

Hael84 Fri 22-Jan-16 17:15:34

Ah ok thank you. So would we have to have moved already so that we are in a catchment or can we apply late using our present address with the intention of moving to the area by the time school starts?
I'm a bit daunted by the whole school move/house move thing as I don't know which one to sort first! X

Duckdeamon Fri 22-Jan-16 17:20:03

You've missed the main deadline for this September and you can't apply under your Kent address. Best read up on admissions distances, bulge classes etc on the surrey county council website.

LIZS Fri 22-Jan-16 17:35:42

Your best bet is to go on the lists and contact the LA when you have written confirmation of new address. There are no catchments in the area. You are too late to apply from Kent, and would not get a school of your choice based on distance, but presumably have done so locally.

Hael84 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:16:26

Yes I've applied locally on sibling admission at my eldest sons school.
Il have a read up on it all. Thanks!

merlottime Fri 22-Jan-16 18:29:17

All three of the non-church schools in Coulsdon are taking an extra reception form, but not all from this Sept. I think Chipstead Valley goes to 90 intake in Sept 16, Woodcote will be 120 intake in Sept 17, Smitham 90 intake in Sept 18.

BoSelectaBigBiff Sat 23-Jan-16 21:52:10

IMO all of the non-chuch schools in Coulsdon (Chipstead Valley, Smitham, Woodcote) are pretty much of a muchness, despite what OFSTED reports might say. So really if I were you I'd just try to visit each one and see which you like the best, and then try for a place at that one. Byron has suffered in the past from a bad reputation, but is supposed to have come on hugely recently. Coulsdon CofE and St Aidan's (Catholic) have good reputations, but only 1-form entry, so you're highly unlikely to get a place unless you're regular church-goers. There's also Keston up in Old Coulsdon, if you move to round that way.

No all-through state schools around that area though.

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