Moving to Hayward's Heath(6 Posts)
We are looking to move to Hayward's Heath with 3 children (12, 10, 6 yrs) after 5+ years in the U.S. My husband will be commuting into London but we can't really afford to live closer in and would actually like to be a bit further out having spent 10yrs in/around London before our move.
However, having done a bit of research I have found the decent state schools in Hayward's Heath to be oversubscribed (like everywhere else in the South East it seems) so am now considering private schooling which we were hoping to avoid. With this in mind, is the property in villages around Hayward's Heath any cheaper than in Hayward's Heath/Burgess Hill? Cuckfield/Hurstpierpoint/others? It is pretty hard doing research from the U.S and any advice/suggestions would be very appreciated! Thanks.
Warden Park Secondary Academy is great. Property in Cuckfield and Hurstpierpoint almost certainly more expensive than HH and BH.
PM me if you would like any info on the local area and schools etc. Happy to help.
Oathall also is good as is Chailey, Chailey is in East Sussex but takes pupils from W Sussex.
There are good options and spaces in most schools. Warden park is the only one that is oversubscribed but has a fairly large catchment area and AFAIK most pupils in catchment get a place.
If you move to Hurstpierpoint you might be in catchment for Downlands in Hassocks.
Cuckfield is more expensive than Haywards Heath.
DS1 is Y6 (primary) we find out secondary school places next week. primary schools are harder to get places than secondary IME, we moved to the area 4 years ago.
One thing to remember is the LEA has to find you school places for your children , however these do not need to be good schools or your nearest schools and they don't have to place your children in the same school. So it is a good idea to find an area with lots /all good schools to up the odds of being allocated good schools. Your 6 year old may be the hardest to place as there is a limit to the number of children permitted in a class for under 7,s. (Limit 30)
House prices do drop quite a bit in the villages the further east you go - i.e. away from the Brighton mainline.
Bear in mind that living out in the villages adds significantly to the cost and hassle factor of commuting - a drive to the station plus parking. Being within walking distance of Haywards Heath station is a definite plus.
The local State schools are alright but nothing special. Warden Park secondary gets a lot of good press, but I know several parents there who are a little sceptical that it is more marketing than substance. The catchment area appears to have reduced quite a bit now the children from Bolnore Village school are getting to secondary age (i.e. they are taking up the places that were previously offered a bit more widely).
Oathall is a mix in my view, probably reflecting its mixed catchment area (although bearing in mind this is Haywards Heath so not mixed like you would get in London). When I looked around, it felt like there was a lot of focus on getting kids to a GCSE C but leaving them to their own devices after that. The new head, Rodriguez, seems very good and I know several parents and teachers there who are huge fans of him. So things might change over the next few years.
Inevitably, given its commuter belt position, there are quite a few private schools - Great Walstead (prep), Ardingly, Hurstpierpoint, Brighton, Lewes Grammar being the obvious ones. I'm sure there are lots of varying opinions on these schools but I think Brighton College is quite special, although it's a bit of a trek from Haywards Heath.
Forgot to add that I agree with some of the others here - primary is the bigger problem at the moment with the schools very oversubscribed.
I know people who have moved back to the area from overseas (similar situation to yours) who have had to go private because they weren't offered any schools which made practical sense (e.g. schools a long way from where they live and/or quite separate schools for their children).
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