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moving Kent to East coast Scotland, help!

(32 Posts)
bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 10:55:57

Hi,
My first post on Mumsnet... Sorry this is rather long, but am in dire need of some advice
Wondering if anyone can help. My husband is being made redundant, but they have offered him a job in Scotland. There isn't much else around so we have decided to move. (after 9 years in London and 6 years in Kent, not far from london)

Got about a year to do so (though he will go in September). Thinking of moving the girls up there in 2011 sometime from April to July.

Told them last night and our eldest was very uupset. She is currently in yr 8 and her birthday is in June. She is at a girls Grammar school.

Please can anyone help with the differences in the school system and if anyone knows what the schools are like in the Angus area I would be interested.

I am at a loss to know how to make things easier for her, any advice? She is worried sick about being the 'geek' and 'stuck in a class full of boys doing maths' (as she is good at maths)

My next daughter is in Yr 5 (primary) and is all set to do 11+ this September (yr 6). :-( Will she be still in primary school by September 2011? (she would be in Secondary yr 7 here, her birthday is July).

I feel awful making them move, but we seem stuck, what with the recession, etc. can't afford to turn this job down :-(

FlyMeToDunoon Fri 09-Jul-10 11:22:27

Hi, I can't help you much but my family and I were thinking of moving to Edinburgh from Kent earlier this year [we didn't in the end]
I found that posting in the local bit of mumsnet got very relevant and helpful advice.
I know that I had planned to move the children 11, 5 and 3 in the summer holidays so that they were not suddenly taken from one school and straight into a different one. My children were quite enthusiastic luckily although of course the eldest had most doubts. She would have started secondary here but had another year of primary in Scotland which was going to be helpful too. Not to you I suppose.
Oh actually I see your other daughter is in yr 5 so maybe she would be in the same position. My daughters birthday is in June.
Hope someone comes along with more helpful advice for you.Good luck.

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 11:25:04

No real advice, but there are some beautiful parts of Angus, my SIL/BIL and their 4 kids live in Arbroath.

FlyMeToDunoon Fri 09-Jul-10 11:27:04

this is the thread I started it has some very helpful links on it to find out about school and stuff although it's all about Edinburgh.

bigstripeytiger Fri 09-Jul-10 11:33:55

There are some fairly big differences between the scottish system and the english.

11+ isnt really a feature in the east coast of Scotland!

There are some good schools in Angus - do you know yet which bit of Angus you will be in?

Monifieth High has a good reputation, if you will be in the south bit of Angus.

Dundee High is the nearest private school, and is well regarded.

Children in this area do tend to just go to the nearest school. That means that if you do want to make a placing request for another school you have a good chance of being successful.

Angus is lovely smile dont feel bad about moving your children there.

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 13:33:14

Thank you for all your replies,
Flymetodunnoon, I'll take a look at your thread and re-post where you suggested, it's tricky somethimes spotting the most appropriate board to post on when it's a big site.

bigstripeytiger, Thanks, it would be nice to go somewhere lovely.
He wants to be within commuting distance from the plant and not too far south so that if they shut that one down too (in the future) he can at least commute to Aberdeen.

I was thinking Stonehaven, that would be as far north, then down to roughly no further south than Forfar and Arbroath. Been looking at Stonehaven, Forfar, Brechin, Laurencekirk, etc. My husband liked the idea of a house with big garden in the middle of nowhere, but after my eldest being so upset he's more into basing ourselves at least walking distance from one of these small places that have secondary as well as primary schools. Have been looking at some of the school inspections, I'll take a look at those ones too. :-)

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 13:40:22

My Aunt has a farm at Laurencekirk - tis lovely.

How about Montrose? More of a town feeling?

SwansEatQuince Fri 09-Jul-10 13:49:41

Good schools in Montrose, Brechin and Kirriemuir but all those towns have their good and bad areas.
Lathallan Prep school in Johnshaven is highly recommended (feeder school for Glenalmond College.)

Sorry, but Brechin is a bit of a hole and pretty rough.

There are some decent villages on the outskirts of all these towns (eg Friockheim, Guthrie, Aberlemno etc) which are all within a short distance from each other and their primary schools are all quite good.

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 13:51:50

When my dh was 14 (late 70s) they moved from inner-city liverpool to Johnner... culture shock wasnt the word. grin

SwansEatQuince Fri 09-Jul-10 13:55:19

Yes, it is quite <searches for diplomatic description of Johnner> ...something, isn't it. grin

Waswondering Fri 09-Jul-10 13:55:21

Wouldn't recommend school in Brechin - it's not got a strong academic reputation in the area (though there are some lovely houses and big gardens in the town!!)

Kirriemuir's HS is better, and also agree that Dundee High is excellent and has a large number of children commuting in from Angus daily. They also do scholarships too, so may be worth looking at. The advantage of DHS is that both your children could go there as they are a through school from 5-18 (as are the three main indies in Aberdeen).

Commuting from the Brechin area into Aberdeen in the morning is doable but you would need to leave early as the traffic on the A90 is slow from Stonehaven to Aberdeen in the mornings.

Mackie Academy in Stonehaven is also good.

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 13:56:28

Possibly, though the factory is there, so bit like being a teacher I don't think he wants to live right next to where he works. Which is why he likes the look of Forfar. (though this is only on a map and google earth etc, we're trying to narrow down the places for him to look once he gets up there).

At the moment we live less than 10 miles away from the place that is shutting down in Kent and he often cycles to work, so ideally he'd like to do that again. But the schools situation comes first (and of course finding a house!). I'd managed to get a really convenient place here, walkable to schools and even the town centre and train station. So I'm desperately trying to get at least a few of these positives to ease the huge change for them.

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 13:57:33

Yes... it certainly was an eye opener for him...and them.

He taught all the kids in his year how to rob (proud-wifehmm)

We have been a few times in the past few years (we live in Glasgow now), The Ship hasnt changed in about 40 years!

SwansEatQuince Fri 09-Jul-10 13:59:55

Sorry, but Forfar is pretty rough too. It does have some lovely outlying places though eg the Glens.

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 14:04:45

oops, I was replying to Geordieminx,

Thanks, this is what I needed to hear, so probably avoid Brechin then...
Stonehaven stays on the list...
What is Forfar school like?

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 14:06:29

Aargh! can't keep up

SwansEatQuince Fri 09-Jul-10 14:08:50

Kirriemuir is only 10 miles from Forfar and has a good school.
Big drugs/drink problems in Forfar.

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 14:15:25

Just to clarify - where is the factory?

geordieminx Fri 09-Jul-10 14:17:06

Drink/drugs? In Forfar you say?

((((goes off to look at train times grin wink)))))

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 14:17:21

oh ok, is that the Webster's High school Kirriemuir?

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 14:18:16

The factory is in Montrose

glacierchick Fri 09-Jul-10 14:18:39

Your life will probably be quite different in the north east of Scotland compared to Kent. Try and be open minded about it and grab the opportunities that are around. I was not at all sure about moving up to Aberdeen, but now I'm not there I really miss it.

We had a fantastic quality of life and it really suited my lifestyle (lots of outdoor sports, classical music, weekends in Edinburgh and Glasgow, camping in the Highlands, skiing, kayaking, hillwalking etc) plus we could afford a much bigger house with a big garden that would certainly have been out of reach down south.

Quality of schools is hard to judge but I think in general the Scottish education system has had a lot more investment than the english one and I have always been very impressed with the facilities and the support on offer in schools, though I have less recent experience with the English system.
HTH

Waswondering Fri 09-Jul-10 14:35:55

If factory is Montrose and you want to have an eye to Aberdeen, have you considered Catterline? Possibly able to cycle, v good primary school, and then to Mackie for secondary.

Yes - Websters is Kirrie - but it's a bit of hike from Kirrie to Montrose. Laurencekirk could be good - rural and AFAIK a nice school. My office mate went there and liked it.

Further south - Friockheim is nice. (pronounced freak-him).

HTH

Also - assume you've seen both www.tspc.co.uk and www.aspc.co.uk - all the houses for sale in the region are on here.

FlyMeToDunoon Fri 09-Jul-10 15:03:14

Wow I lived in Cowie on the edge of Stonehaven when I was about 7. Loved it and it looks just the same on google maps.
jealous!

bellydancingmum Fri 09-Jul-10 15:05:02

thanks
I did find Aberdeenshire web site that gave Mackie Academy intake areas, which is useful, Haven't explored the bits just south of Stonehaven yet, will look into it.

been looking at rightmove and husband looking at another general one thats been showing lots of houses for sale,I recognise the websites when I tried them though, so I think they do put properties on those sites, but I'll save them separately too.

Phew! lots to think about, thanks everyone, its so difficult when you're far away. And it was bad enough trying to sort out schools when we moved down to Kent from London!!

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