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Moving to Sutton Coldfield from Surrey!

(36 Posts)
PetiteMum Sun 30-Oct-16 20:29:29

Hello, I would be most grateful for your help. Hubby and I are thinking of moving to the Midlands, in the hope of finding somewhere to live where there are good primary and secondary schools. DS is in yr 2 (private school in Surrey) and DD is almost 3 so will be needing a primary for her also.

We are sick of living in a tiny house so we can pay for school fees, and are hoping we will get more for our money in the Midlands. We work from home so that is not a restraint. Research online is leading me to believe a house within postcode B73 might be a good bet? Is it easy to get into the good primary and secondaries in that area? Or should we expect to move again for secondary school?

Any help greatly appreciated. Also, we are open to looking at other areas, but literally don't know where to look lol!

PetiteMum Sun 30-Oct-16 20:30:45

Sorry should have added, we would be looking at state schools only!

Tinkleybison Mon 31-Oct-16 06:45:45

Ooh I can help with this. I used to live in B73 and my parents still do. My mums very involved in the local community, goes to meetings with local councillors etc and feeds me back tidbits of information. B73 is very tricky for primary schools. Boldmere, the outstanding primary has a tiny catchment area. My mums next door neighbour 0.5 of a mile away has had her son on the waiting list for more than a year and has had to drive him to another school. The other primary schools in B73 are St Nicholas, a small and popular catholic school, New Oscott, which I think is meant to be good too, but if you lived within walking distance I think might be a bit of a black hole for secondary schools at the moment, and Banners gate which is on the edge of B73 and B44. B44 is Kingstanding - the demographic of this school will be quite different to other schools in Sutton and given your dd has been at private school not what you are looking for.

If I were moving in to Sutton now I would move to one of the following: Streetly? Very well regarded primary schools. Lindens outstanding, Manor ofsted good and very well regarded. Blackwood also Ofsted good I have friends with happy children there. The Streetly secondary school is ofsted outstanding. Technically these schools come under Walsall LEA, the pressure on school places doesn't seem so bad up there The public transport is not great though, but it has a nice feel.

Four oaks? On the cross city trainline, the shopping area is being regenerated. There are a number of good primary schools (I think all rated at least Ofsted good) The Arthur terry school is one of the best comps in the city. Word of warning on that though is that in previous years the catchment has been as small as 0.9miles, so you have to be close as probably wouldn't be in catchment for any other Sutton Secondaries round there.

Sutton is a great place to live, would definitely recommend, you've just got to be a bit strategic with regard to school catchments.

eatingtomuch Mon 31-Oct-16 07:02:21


The following secondary schools all have a good or outstanding OFSTED - plantsbrook, Arthur terry or Fairfax.

I have friends with DC at all of them and we all seem happy with them.

Four Oaks is the catchment for Arthur terry but like previous posters said you need to live very close to the school and houses cost ££££. All the primaries in the area are good/outstanding you would be fine.

Plantsbrook is currently having a new build. My DX do not go to this school but I wish they did. It is currently my favourite secondary in the area. Catchment for this school got a lot smaller this year. Historically majority of DC from boldmere get a place but this didn't happen this year.

If you are catholic then bishop Walsh is excellent and the primary catholic schools are feeder schools. But do not bother applying if you are not catholic.

Also remember that there is a girls and boys grammar schools in Sutton Coldfield

eatingtomuch Mon 31-Oct-16 08:09:13

Also be careful with four oaks. If you are not in the catchment for Arthur terry you end up in no mans land. Often out the catchment for Sutton Coldfield secondary schools. I know people that got offered inadequate schools for their DC this year out of the area.
John willmott school is in Sutton Coldfield and opposite Fairfax, but it is currently not the school of choice for local families and is inadequate.

There are lots of good schools but you do need to look carefully at catchment areas.

PetiteMum Mon 31-Oct-16 11:05:50

Thank you so much! So we should aim to be in catchment for Arthur terry? If we did this, would we also be in catchment for good primaries? This catchment business sounds tricky! Which roads are ideal to live on?

BillyBollyBrum Mon 31-Oct-16 21:28:10

B73 would put you in catchment for Plantsbrook and Fairfax, also Bishop Walsh if you are catholic. How old are your DC? I am B73 at the moment and have 3 kids in Boldmere. There is another school, Maney, which has gone up to 2 form entry so catchment for Boldmere is bigger than it was.

eatingtomuch Mon 31-Oct-16 22:01:11

I would recommend plantsbrook, Fairfax or Arthur terry. You just need to look at the areas and where you want to live.

KingsHeathen Tue 01-Nov-16 00:11:56

B74 for Arthur Terry, within 500 m of the school (which is by Butlers Lane railway station).
I wouldn't recommend Whitehouse Common Primary though, a friend removed her child after a term, she was so unhappy with it.

PetiteMum Tue 01-Nov-16 08:05:54

500m of the school??? That's nuts, is that the catchment area?! Wow, seems like luck will have a huge role to play as we will be restricted by houses available on the market

PetiteMum Tue 01-Nov-16 08:06:56

Billy: my son is 6 and in year 2 currently, daughter will be 3 in December...

KingsHeathen Tue 01-Nov-16 08:31:52

Birmingham schools don't have catchments (apart from two) - it's off a straight line distance from school gate to your front door, and the population here has grown considerably. In many areas you won't even get a primary place arriving in-year. I know people that have moved here and been offered places in separate primary schools, miles apart, meaning only one child can ever be on time sad
There are usually houses for sale within the catchment circle, but as it varies each year, it's difficult to be certain unless you're very close. There are huge numbers of children in Y2, btw.

Tinkleybison Tue 01-Nov-16 10:25:04

Don't leave it to luck OP. Heathen is right there is a school place shortage in Birmingham, the popular ones very oversubscribed. However coming from Surrey I imagine you will find the house prices favourable, so that should work to your advantage. The problem is that if your dc didn't get in to the Sutton secondary schools the next closest ones aren't just okay but not as quite good, but (imho) really awful and people are desperate for their dc not to go to them. I have friends moving from the edges of Sutton (still Sutton postcodes) to places considered a safer bet, and not necessarily in to nicer houses either. Definitely Look closely at catchments and buy carefully.

PetiteMum Tue 01-Nov-16 20:06:58 would a property say 400m from Arthur terry not guarantee a place at that school? And if the primaries are all full as you say, what would happen? Which schools are below standard in Sutton? Getting worried!!

Tinkleybison Tue 01-Nov-16 21:05:07

I think it would! personally I would go as far as 0.7 miles from AT, as far as I know the catchment hasn't been that small yet, it depends how cautious you feel. The only bad secondary in Sutton is John Wilmott which is Ofsted 4, and gets rubbish results. To the best of my knowledge all the primary schools are good. I think what the pp was saying was that if the Sutton schools are full/you lived too far away you would be sent to a school elsewhere in Birmingham, rather than found a place in Sutton. Pm me if you ever have questions about a particular location/road I'd probably have a good idea whether it was well positioned.

eatingtomuch Tue 01-Nov-16 22:09:03

All the primaries in Sutton Coldfield are good.

The exceptions might be banners gate or new hall primary. They are most likely to have places as they are least sought after due to where they are (not sure about OFSTED)

Once you move you would need to apply to every school in Sutton Coldfield. The LA are only obliged to offer you a place in birmingham, not your local school. You have the right to appeal for a local school, but this can take a few weeks and there is no guarantee you'll win.

This is why if you fall out of the catchment area for Sutton schools you can end up being offered a school anywhere in Birmingham when you make your secondary application.

Rachelly123 Tue 01-Nov-16 22:22:47

Hi, I too am currently looking in to primary schools in Sutton. My three local schools are mere green , little Aston and hilliest. - all of which are feeder schools for Arthur terry. I have been to see mere green al - very impressed and have not heard any bad feedback from other parents.

KingsHeathen Tue 01-Nov-16 22:49:46

Just to clarify- there are no feeder schools for Arthur Terry. Their admissions criteria are 1) LAC, 2) siblings, 3) distance from school. Yes, if you can get into Hill West or Mere Green on distance, you're likely to get into Arthur Terry, but it does not follow that by the time your child is Y6 they still would.
The number of applicants has risen by over 100 each year for the last 3 years. The distance of last admitted in 2016 was 1800m, however, that cohort has the lowest birthrate of all cohorts in Birmingham.
To put it into context- usually Birmingham has around 14,500 children in a school year cohort. That year group has 13,500 children in it. Current Y6 has 15,500 children in it, current Y3 has 17,500 children in it.
That is a huge difference, and it will have a significant impact on distance circles for admissions in 3 or 4 years time.

Little Aston is not in Birmingham LA, I think it comes under Walsall.

Flossiechops Wed 02-Nov-16 15:07:17

Helllooooo OP I live in B73. I have been here for around 10 years now. Both my dc attended Boldmere infants and junior and are now at Plantsbrook (yrs 7 & 8). The catchmenet for PB was a nightmare this year as I think the new build has made it shoot up in popularity.

BillyBollyBrum Mon 31-Oct-16 21:28:10
B73 would put you in catchment for Plantsbrook and Fairfax, also Bishop Walsh if you are catholic

This was was not true this year, from Boldmere around 38 children got into PB whereas last year 80+ got in, It seems much like Arthur terry you have to be within a mile of the school. Many children were offered out of area schools which has been most upsetting for many parents as in previous is was a cert that if you lived in B73 you got into PB.

As an area Boldmere is lovely, lots of independent shops on the high street with a great family atmosphere eg they have a huge Christmas lights switch on night, summer food festival. The park is on our door step and if you like running theres Boldmere bullets who meet Sunday and Tuesday and is very sociable, also SE fitness that does running clubs in the park. Wyndley is pretty good for activities too. B73 probably has the highest number of period properties too ( a lot of Sutton is post war) in area and seems to make it a more desirable place to live.

Frederick Rd

Somerville Rd

Not sure what your budget is but Frederick Rd (needs a lot of work) and its neighbouring Rd Mayfield Rd is very popular and I know many families around there, great street parties in the summer etc. Although Somerville Rd is sold just to give an example of a lovely rd within the PB catchment and right near Sutton Coldfield Grammar for girls. If you need anymore info feel free to send me a message and good luck with the move!

BillyBollyBrum Wed 02-Nov-16 21:24:54

Plantsbrook is taking an extra 30 from next year, and provided John Wilmott improves under the AT partnership, Boldmere wouldn't be an issue for secondary. However I agree this year parts of B73, and Boldmere, struggled.

Frederick was out of any catchment for primary, but that will have altered now I would think with the extra Maney class? Would need checking. Anything around Maney would be good for primary and secondary.

KingsHeathen Wed 02-Nov-16 22:26:59

Good point, OP- you haven't actually said what your budget is!

Honeyandfizz Thu 03-Nov-16 06:25:35

Billy I heard that too but then I was discussing this with a parent who's dc didn't get a place (but has a younger child to consider) said this wasn't the case. I'm confused about that as I though when the build was complete (April for the main block phase one) they would increase the intake. confused

Flossiechops Thu 03-Nov-16 09:13:24

Oh yes Maney Hill is spot on for schools and the town centre. My particular fave at the moment is this beauty

Maney Hill

Ah if only I was a little bit richer!

plumpet Thu 03-Nov-16 15:04:39

we're in the process of buying in four oaks. Just had an offer accepted on a real fixer-upper. hoping that by the time 5yo ds goes to secondary he'll be at AT like his dad was. New house is 0.5m straight line distance. fingers crossed. we're moving from closer to the city centre.

PetiteMum Thu 03-Nov-16 19:37:50

Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the kind offers to help! Budget is 450k.....

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