To move to a boring town just for schools? Hitchin vs Broxbourne(18 Posts)
I work in London and considering moving out to either Hitchin or Broxbourne.
Hitchin is a lovely town and has good schools, and also close to our families.
Broxbourne has better schools (at A level) and closer to work but no town centre and hardly any shops.
If Hitchin had Broxbourne's schools we would pick Hitchin immediately, but as it is we're looking at choosing between better lifestyle vs better schools.
Have you had to make a similar decision and what did you choose? What would you choose between the two? Thanks!
Just to clarify Broxbourne's Sheredes primary has better achievement marks compared to Hitchin's William Ransom.
The Broxbourne school also has better A level grades compared to Hitchin girls/boys.
Achievement marks aren't everything. It is more about how a school is helping children make progress. Not all children are capable of great things academically but that doesn't mean their schools aren't good. Anyway, my understanding is that Hitchin schools are thought of as being very good. You don't say how old your children are - if they are fairly little, the secondary schools will have changed by the time you need to apply. Personally, I would go for Hitchin over Broxbourne any day. Good schooling is important but I think better lifestyle for the whole family is even more so.
I think if you are moving somewhere you already perceive as 'boring', you ultimately may not be happy with the choice...
Are academic outcomes such a major consideration in your/your DC life plan?
(Sorry for the unhelpful response, I have teens who attend schools that achieve high academic results and I have been forced to the realisation that happiness is more significant than results at GCSE.)
Go with your heart.
Sheredes is not actually in Broxbourne town, it is in Hoddesdon, whilst Broxbourne school is in Broxbourne town. Depending on where you choose to live, most children from Sheredes school live in Hoddesdon plus a fair bit around the boundaries of Broxbourne, so your DC may we'll end up at Sheredes senior school which unlike the primary is dire.
Broxbourne primary (CE) is very good and feeds well into Broxbourne secondary school, but you have to be a church member or live within the parish.
There are more good primaries in the area than secondaries with Broxbourne school being the one everyone in the surrounding villages wants to get into.
There's a lot to do around there Its not boring. If you want to go a town centre you simply go up to hoddesdon which you can either walk to or a 3minute drive, or go to Brookfield shopping centre, 4-5 minute drive away. You've also got quick access to Harlow 15minutes to big shopping centre or Welwyn garden city again 10-15 drive. Loads to do.
I just googled the secondary schools. What's with the ultra long skirts at broxbourne? I've never seen that where I live apart from one catholic school.
Sorry hope I didn't offend anyone by calling Broxbourne boring! I don't know the area at all and just didn't see many shops along the high street. It just didn't seem as lively as Hitchin. That's good to know there are shops in nearby towns!
Hitchin schools aren't bad though are they?
However I think many of them are frequently oversubscribed so there are no guarantees there.
I would say, as someone who's made a move from London to Home Counties, don't discount your own needs. It can be quite miserable if you end up living somewhere you don't like. It becomes hard to move dc when they are so happy/settled. One of the major issues for me here is, there is nothing to do. And the very few things there are will be frequented by the dc's teachers, our neighbours, other school mums, my GP, ex work colleagues. It's like living in a goldfish bowl for me. Everybody knows our business.
So having said that I would compromise myself and go for Hitchin. Schools aren't everything. Your happiness is also an important factor for your dc doing well.
I believe the long skirts are to prevent them rolling them up into belts.
thanks for everyone's replies! purplecollar that is a good point about compromising with your own needs
I went to Hitchin Girls School ages ago. I think (now I am a parent) there is a lot to be said for bringing up a teenager in a boring town. When I were a lass there was only one nightclub - nothing to do until you were old enough to get yourself to the bright lights of Milton Keynes (seriously) or London for a big night out.
By contrast my teenager in London has a travel card and is tremendously confident in his ability to navigate at all hours of the day or night.
@Fridayschild, do you mean that you found growing up in Hitchin relatively boring? In that case growing up in Broxbourne must be even more so lol
I'd like to second what @purplecollar has said. Moving for schools is understandable but you'll be amazed how quickly that time goes. A happy family is really important and choosing an area where you can see yourself living is important too. Also there are those who believe there are no such thing as bad schools just bad schools for your child, so it could be that your child would thrive and do brilliantly in a school which on paper doesn't seem to do as well. It's always worth visiting and making up your own mind.
Have you had look at the DfE performance tables?
(you can search on individual school name or area e.g. Broxbourne/Hitchin)
I suggest you look carefully at the progress score and the intake profile. You might also want to find out how easy it is to get into the schools you like the look of.
OP, if you don't mind, can you tell us which part of London you are considering moving from? I m in Hitchin, considering the reverse ( moving to London for schools). Hitchin schools are lovely, it's just our circumstances have changed.
@allzwell, we're living in canning town (east London) at the moment which actually has several outstanding primaries nearby, and house prices are cheap! The area is not very nice however and we didn't want to bring up kids here
We have moved from London to just outside Hitchin recently. We have two children and our decision to relocate was based on quality of life, not just school performance. As it happens the primary school is outstanding and there are good secondaries. All of this could change though in the years before my children start at secondary school. I would say that although there is less 'stuff' to do, the quality of what we do is better. I.e. We have lots of parks for her kids to play in that are not inundated with sweary teenagers, graffiti and overflowing bins!!
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