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What time is best to move?

(12 Posts)
YogaDrone Mon 31-Oct-16 08:53:42

My son is currently in Year 4. Our plan is to move area at some point in the next couple of years. (Long, boring, but very valid reasons for needing to do this).

I can't think of a way to do it that doesn't move my son to a new school before year 6. If we're not in the new area for secondary applications we may miss out on getting any of our chosen schools but I hate the idea of uprooting him from the primary he really loves before his SATs.

So really this is a WWYD? Do we stay put and take our chances that we can move after SATs (into rented at first probably) and get into a decent secondary at the new location as an in-year admission (we could potentially go with an independent school if desperate) , or do we move next year and be in the new location before secondary applications need to be in? (again potential to send him to an independent primary if there is no space in local state primaries).

I'm going round in circles with this and just can't see what to do for the best. Any help and advice gratefully received!


Caroian Mon 31-Oct-16 12:43:53

it depends so much on the schools and area. How likely are you to get an in year admission in a suitable secondary school in your chosen area? How likely are you to get an in year primary place if you move earlier?

If it's going to be "at a push", I'd be more likely to look at an independent prep (primary) as a short term option than an independent secondary. If you go down the independent secondary route you are either committing yourself to a large expense or you will have tomorrow schools again. Moving secondary schools early on when friendships are being established is likely harder than leaving a primary school early. If you use an independent short term, the classes are often smaller which may make settling in easier. Many do not do SATs either, which removes that issue. However, you may struggle to find one which will take a child for a single year, never mind less. You'd need to speak to possible schools where you plan to move.

Overall though I'd want my child to start at his preferred secondary at the start of the year with everyone else. I'd rank this more important than leaving current friends - hard though that may be, it is going to happen at some point and easing the making of new friends seems more important. So I'd move next year.

NWgirls Mon 31-Oct-16 12:46:15

I would say finding a good/great secondary school that is a good fit for your DC is way, way, way more important than SATs. Primary schools care hugely about SATs (because they get measured on them) but parents do not need to be carried along with this obsession/panic.

YogaDrone Mon 31-Oct-16 13:12:56

Thank you both. These are very good points and get to the heart of the issue completely. I do tend to agree that getting into our choice of secondary is more important but I mentioned moving to my son at the weekend and he got very upset at leaving his friends. He has already had to move primary once as we didn't get any of our local primary schools and were placed in "nearest school with places" 7 miles away. Once we had a closer school place we moved him. He handled this very well but now seems very upset at the idea of leaving his school early.

The other choice is state or independent. We are moving from an expensive housing area to a much cheaper one and will, hopefully be able to clear the mortgage entirely. I have half a mind to put this "spare" cash towards school fees. This would give us the option to look at houses which are not tied to good catchments. However I've read threads on here which suggest that school fees are a waste and to save for university or a for a house deposit. Again, I'm rather torn.

DP and I both went to state schools and I don't know much about independent schools. It also means that we both need to continue working full time until our son leaves school and, although both of our jobs are quite secure, that is a level of commitment I'm not sure I want to get into.

We haven't really settled on a particular area either - perhaps that is a problem. We're thinking of Gloucestershire or Worcestershire but that's a large expanse with an awful lot of schools in both sectors!

TeenAndTween Mon 31-Oct-16 16:45:31

imo, If you are going to move then move asap. Better to move in y4 than y5. Better to move in y5 than y6. Definitely better to move in first 6 weeks of y6 and get your secondary application in 'on time' than move later and hope for your preferred secondary.

YogaDrone Mon 31-Oct-16 18:17:08

Thanks TeenAndTween all three of you are in agreement - move before we have to apply for secondary. It's good to have a unanimous verdict smile

I'll raise the subject with DP tonight.

1805 Wed 02-Nov-16 09:10:54

Yes, I agree - move asap. We moved dd at the start of year 6, and that was fine. I am very glad we didn't hold off until year 7. She moved up to secondary school with all her new friends.

YogaDrone Wed 02-Nov-16 13:44:21

Thanks again, you've helped me. Yes I've discussed with my partner and we're going to start scouting areas and looking at (secondary) schools during our Christmas break with a view to putting our house on the market in the Spring. Hopefully we'll be able to move before/during my son's year 5 if the house sells in a reasonable time frame. Otherwise we could look to let ours out and rent in the new location.

Thanks smile the way forward does seem clearer now.

crazycrofter Fri 04-Nov-16 00:00:59

If you're thinking of Worcestershire, some parts (e.g. Bromsgrove) are three tier so you could move at the beginning of year 5 and he'd be starting middle school with everyone else.

YogaDrone Mon 07-Nov-16 10:14:13

Good point crazycrofter thanks. My sister lives in a three tier system and they've already had to apply for middle school place for their Yr4 child so we've probably missed the boat for this already.

We're thinking about either south of Worcester city, Malvern, and the villages in between the two or a small town such as Cheltenham or Hereford. My initial preference, having spoken to some friends who live in Evesham, is for the villages between Worcester and Malvern but we don't want to limit ourselves too much so I'll keep an open mind but start looking at school options in these areas and take it from there.

lunchboxtroubles Mon 07-Nov-16 12:24:40

However I've read threads on here which suggest that school fees are a waste

Most threads on this subject are fairly evenly balanced, with as many saying they are happy with the investment as that it is a waste. Depends on the specific schools.

YogaDrone Tue 08-Nov-16 10:42:13

True lunchboxtroubles a recent thread I read suggested that a good, well run state school can often be as good, if not better, than an independent and that it really depends on the child's needs.

As both DP and I were state school educated we'd prefer for our son to go to a state school but, should we fall in love with a house that is miles out of the way of a good state school but not far from a decent independent, we have this as our back up option. From the brief reading I've done so far there are no shortage of well regarded independent schools in our preferred area.

We want this to be our "forever" home so I don't want to compromise too much on the house but our son's education is an absolute priority.

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