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Moving to Manchester - can you help me with advice on schools in Trafford?

(95 Posts)
Ohforfoxsake Sat 12-Dec-09 16:20:22

Following on from my original thread on where to live, we are on the market and relocating within the next 6 months. We've seen some great houses in Sale, Altrincham and Hale.

Education is really the key to moving to this area. The children are of Primary age, but we are thinking about secondary too.

There's so many schools, many of which look good on paper and OFSTED, but I'd really appreciate your honest opinions, good and bad.

We're relocating from London so its really hard to get up to do viewings, let alone school visits during the week, so your advice would really count.

Thank you, in advance.

Ohforfoxsake Sat 12-Dec-09 17:46:45

Shamelessly bumping grin

Ohforfoxsake Sat 12-Dec-09 19:51:27

and again smile

Ohforfoxsake Sun 13-Dec-09 13:02:45

Starting a thread during X-Factor final may not have been a good idea!!

Doodlez Sun 13-Dec-09 13:09:41

Trafford is rammed with good primary and good secondary/grammar schools. So long as you stay in the Trafford area, it doesn't really make much difference which schools you get them in to at primary, as they all (or most) seem to prep them for the entrance exams and 11+.

I went to Loreto in Altrincham but came from out of area. My step-sisters all went there and started in St Hughes primary, which is in Timperely.

My niece & nephew go to Altrincham Grammar for Girls and Altrincham grammar for Boys respectively. Both went to a primary in Timperley too (but can't remember the name of it!)

One of my brothers went to St Ambrose, he went to the prep. there too, as did one of my best friends. Excellent school.

My step-nephew goes to St. Ambrose and also went to St Hughes primary in Timperley.

Find the right house. Trafford is one of the few places in the country where school catchment is less important because as I said, it's rammed with excellent schools.

Doodlez Sun 13-Dec-09 13:15:09

Oh and just thought - another Mumsnetter called Cornsilk knows the Trafford schools quite well too - I think she might teach at primary level there but don't quote me on that coz not 100% sure of me facts but I'm sure she'll have some wise words.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 13-Dec-09 13:41:20

Oh Doodlez, thank you for answering.

I think you are right, I was starting to think along those lines as well. From what I can tell you can't go far wrong as far as Primary goes. There are some lovely houses around the area.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 13-Dec-09 14:58:47


Anyone selling a house in Trafford? wink

phoebeophelia Sun 13-Dec-09 17:57:00

Oldfield Brow Primary, Altrincham. Reputation variable but in fact it is great. My children all went there then passed to Manchester Grammar, and scholarships to independent schools.

Ohforfoxsake Sun 13-Dec-09 18:38:50

I hadn't come across that one and have looked at it, thank you. That really helps.

Ohforfoxsake Tue 15-Dec-09 11:33:43

Shamelessly bumping

ohh, festive smileys grin

selby Thu 17-Dec-09 00:33:13

Hello again! You need to make a decision on the area and then focus on school catchment. When we moved from the south, we focused on Hale/Bowden and then found a house within catchment of our top 2 choices - the primaries in Bowden which are both excellent(phoned the LEA for this info). Your issue which is out of your control remains whether the school that you decide upon will have the places available for all of your children. I only had the one child to consider who was entering reception at the time. Good Luck.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 17-Dec-09 20:30:03

Ahh, hello Selby grin thanks for that.

We're going for Sale/Altrincham/Hale because, as Doodlez said, you can't go far wrong (I hope! That's why I'm here grin). So, we will concentrate on looking for a house. Which is going to be impossible as we have about one day inbetween now and April to get up there.

There is the whole issue with places being available (which frankly, I'd rather not even think about!). We might rent for 6 months, but won't want to move the children from their school again, so we will be tied to an area in that respect.

I'm hoping if there are any to be avoided, someone on here might tell me!

myredcardigan Sat 19-Dec-09 00:12:15

<MRC waves>
I've posted on your original thread though not much help with Trafford schools, sorry.

Maybe call a few a find out how probable it would be that they could accomodate all your kids.

Hope the house sale goes well!

cornsilkcremeeggspotter Sun 03-Jan-10 11:23:45

Where are you buying? Do your children have any SEN?

cornsilkcremeeggspotter Sun 03-Jan-10 11:25:59

That sounds weird and nosy! I'm asking as I know of one or two school which have great results but are not really the best place for children with SEN (from my experience as a parent.)

gingee Mon 04-Jan-10 01:16:04

secondary school-wise, if you can get them in (it's TOUGH!) the Grammar Schools are excellent. Altrincham Boys and Girls grammars and Urmston Grammar are fantastic. Sale Grammar is good, but I wouldn't recommend Stretford Grammar.

St Ambrose (boys) and Loretto (girls) are brilliant Catholic grammars and again very hard to get into. They have fee-paying prep departments which are lovely schools.

The Grammar Schools mostly have their own Entrance Examinations now as opposed to the 11-Plus, so it is more like independent school entrance instead of a test taken in the Primary school, not everyone does the Entrance Exams and they are usually held at the Grammar schools themselves.

The high schools, which are the alternatives to the Grammar Schools, are also good. Ashton On Mersey School is very sporty and "outstanding" at ofsted. Also know kids who have gone to Blessed Thomas Holford and done brilliantly.

If you are looking privately, Bowdon Prep and Altrincham Prep (girls only and boys only respectively) and Hale Prep (co-ed) get most kids into the Grammars.

There is also St Bedes, an excellent independent catholic school, and Culcheth Hall which is all-girls, small and gets good results.

Further afield but very popular with kids all over the Trafford area are Withington Girls' School, Manchester High for Girls and Manchester Grammar (boys and one of the best schools in the country, highly recommended from personal experience!), Cheadle Hulme School and Hulme Hall.

Ohforfoxsake Mon 04-Jan-10 16:31:02

Thank you smile

We are looking in Trafford - infact we've found a couple of places we are interested in, but haven't sold ours so....

They don't have SENs. I spoke to the LEA today, and although they wouldn't make them all go to different schools, there are no places (using a snap-shot of today as an example). Infact, they don't know how they are going to deal with any more children coming into the area.

Still, I'm telling myself you can't go too far wrong in Trafford <crosses fingers and hopes>

Ohforfoxsake Mon 04-Jan-10 16:33:17

I will investigate the catchment for Manchester Grammar. I hadn't considered it as yet, so thank you for that. smile We're looking at Primary at the moment, but not wanting to move longterm, so considering all the secondaries too.

myredcardigan Mon 04-Jan-10 21:13:47

Happy New Year!

No catchment for Manchester Grammar as the boys come from all over the NW. However they are mega selective and their 'academic bar' is one of the highest in the country.

Hope it's all going smoothly. smile

ChloeHandbag Mon 04-Jan-10 21:22:40


I posted recently on your moving thread as I'm about to do the same thing - am a bit worried that there are lots of us all doing the same thing.

I did a ring around of the primary schools and spoke to Trafford, there are non that have places for my three dc's. However if they have spaces for two dc's you can appeal for a place for the third although it can take 30 school days to decide!

I'm going to be renting in the short term, but want to buy eventually so feel that we need to find the right area for us. I'd like that to be Hale, but it is expensive and I wonder if Sale/Altrincham/Timperley might be better financially.

Ohforfoxsake Tue 05-Jan-10 14:33:24

Hi Chloehandbag, yes I agree, Hale is lovely, but not much housing stock there to meet our needs. I'm getting a bit more used to the bigger area now. Where are you now and when are you going?

Its impossible isn't it? Even the LEA have no solutions for their lack of places. The appeal process won't be any use if you need a reception place due to the government limitations on class sizes, but gives a bit of scope for older children.

I don't know what to do. Leaving it to luck seems the most reliable option.

ChloeHandbag Tue 05-Jan-10 17:22:31

Yep, I'm leaving it to luck too makes me feel so secure hmm. Only one of my dc's is in KS1, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Interesting that your getting used to the bigger area, we're in home counties and so it's a bit of a journey to go and get a feel for the area. I'd like to be in the catchment for Altrincham Girls grammar (for the future), which is 8 miles from Bowdon. The problem is it's oversubscribed and I don't know how close to Bowdon we need to be.
it's hard trying to work out how much we compromise on size of house for 'nice' area when you don't really know the areas that well. That's why we're going to rent.

What kind of house are you looking for? We'd like four beds, which is more expensive in Hale than here everyone seems to think we'll be getting a Mansion because it's the north - not so.

myredcardigan Tue 05-Jan-10 22:55:16

Hi Chloe, We moved up from home counties too. We're in Wilmslow so a bit further round and we were lucky as none of my three were of school age when we moved. The schools up here (in general) are fantastic.

In Surrey there were good schools but there was also a lot of rest on laurels, mc, reasonable schools. Here, certainly in Trafford, Stockport and Cheshire, we were amazed by the OFSTED reports and the sheer quantity of outstanding graded primaries.

It grates DH regularly to hear his southern mates talk about how cheap it is up North. Chip? He has a whole sack of spuds on his shoulder. grin

gingee Tue 05-Jan-10 23:46:43

Didsbury is nice, as are certain parts of Chorlton. I would also recommend Flixton and Urmston for a definite look-around, some lovely houses and great value for money, catchment for Urmston, Sale, St Ambrose and Loretto Grammars and some excellent primary schools. There's a good Prep there too, Abbotsford, which gets kids into the Grammars and Manchester independents regularly.

If you need a list of schools in these areas feel free to PM me.

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