Moving to Bournemouth(17 Posts)
Can anyone offer me any advice. We have been toying with the idea of moving for Dorset for ages but I keep getting really bogged down with trying to work out where, schools, how it would work etc. We currently live in London and my husband would still have to probably 3 days a week but maybe staying over 2. So need to be Bournemouth or just East of. We will need two school places 1 in reception and 1 in year 3, this is the bit i just can't get my head round as all the schools I look at are oversubscribed. Does anyone have advice of which areas I should concentrate on with commute and does anyone have experience of making this work ie still commuting to London, getting multiple kids into a decent school! Thanks I am driving myself crazy with Google atm.
Start with stations on the main line to London and work your way from the. For what it's worth, I live west of Bournemouth and there are people who commute daily to London. So it's not inconceivable that if you DH will be spending two nights up there that you could look further west where schools are more smaller but more of them as most villages will have a school
Thanks so much for your reply, I've been looking at Christchurch can you recommend anywhere else, do you mean villages in the new forest? Are the people you know who do the commute happy with the life balance?
I've been looking at Christchurch
I live in Christchurch and would definitely recommend it over the New Forest especially with children.
Being in the New Forest is lovely but I think that you could feel quite isolated there.
Personally, I would go for Southbourne (which I would include Boscombe East, Boscombe Manor, Littledown, Tuckton, Hengistbury Head in (all ) or Christchurch areas. Pokesdown or Christchurch Stations serve these areas. All these areas are near the sea and there are good high streets in Christchurch and Southbourne with restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs.
The primary schools are all pretty good though like you say you may have to be a on waiting list for a while first! Christchurch is meant to have an amazing state comp for secondary school but you have to live there to benefit from it. However, all the secondary schools in the areas I am talking about are coming up ie - none below good on ofsted now so I expect they will also be considered desirable by the time your children reach that stage!!
I don't know what your budget is but I think Boscombe East/Littledown is pretty good value for money (in comparison to Tuckton/Hengistbury Head). There are lots of wide tree lined roads but it is a bit cheaper due to not being as close to the sea.
Feel free to message me if you need more advice. Regarding primary schools it is a case of looking at them and deciding which ones you like. If you are dead set on one you need to move as close as possible as the waiting lists are in priority order - usually siblings, followed by distance. If you get one child in, your second child will move up the waiting list if you see what I mean. Honestly though I have heard good reports from all the schools in the area (Stourfield, Avonwood, Pokesdown, St James, St Katherines, Christchurch Infants and Juniors, Mudeford and I think Twyhnam Primary is new in Christchuch too) so it is really down to personal preference rather than anything in particular to avoid.
The problem with secondary schools in Bournemouth is that they still use a grammar school system whereby those who pass the 11+ get into far better schools than those who don't.
In Christchurch, most people go to their closest secondary school.
Thanks so much for all your advice. Having spoken to Bournemouth and Dorset councils re school places feeling pretty despondent as all schools in that area seem to be full and with waiting lists, i thought it was bad where i am now! I think you're probably right about feeling isolated in the New Forest so want to concentrate on Southbourne / Christchurch, but just no idea what to do re schools!
I think the schools probably are rammed! Just a thought-I can't recall when it started but avonwood primary may have placed in year 2/3 as that may have been first year of intake and a small class.
Private a possibility? If so, I believe st Thomas garnet has reception spaces!
We moved in 2011 when older 2 were nearly 6 and 3. We love it. DH was made redundant in 2016 and his new job means he commutes and is away 2-3 nights per week but even so the kids love it here and as a family we are all unanimous that moving out of London to here was the best decision ever!
just no idea what to do re schools!
I don't know the full details because I don't have a childe of that age but a new school is being built in Christchurch at the moment.
I am not sure what it is going to be called but it is in Marsh Lane in Christchurch and it is going to be a primary school.
If so, I believe st Thomas garnet has reception spaces!
It may have places in the reception class but it costs £2009 per term.
Avonwood Primary is a great school and the feeder schools at Secondary level are very good too. My DD is at Avonbourne and we have been super happy with our choice. She came from a small private prep school so this was a shock to go to such a big school in comparison but they have discovered she can dance and sing so she wasn't an unnoticed one of 150 intake and she represents the school quite a bit singing and they do lots of extra free after school activities - the boys school too. I have heard St James is another good primary school but don't have any first hand experience.
I'm not sure what your point is Persian? That's not particularly expensive for a private school. I prefaced the suggestion with asking if private school is a possibility. If it isn't, then I am sure Iloupey would have sensibly ignored the information on Thomas Garnet. I just know we had similar issues moving down with no places available in decent local state primaries.
Thanks everyone so much for taking the time to post! I hadn't considered going private before as we are in state education now and I know there are lots of good state primaries there but getting so stressed about the difficulty of it we might consider stretching to it, do your children go to Thomas Garnet Bythebeach? Are there other private primaries in the area too? I've seen Avonwood thanks AnneofCleavage and liked the look of it, it does have Yr 2 places but no reception but just bit concerned by its size as older DD has had some issues at school and I think might do better somewhere smaller. Persian thanks for info on new Christchurch school but from what I understand it's an existing school moving to new site from temp site so same issues with spaces sadly. Kicking myself for not making the move this year when youngest DD wasn't yet in school would have been so much easier! Thanks again for all your advice x
No mine don't go to Thomas garnet but we just moved house (locally within Bournemouth) and are very close to Thomas garnet and as my youngest is starting reception, I was a bit nosy and the website is advertising reception availability. There are other private schools - Park, Talbot House and I think St Martins. Talbot Heath too for girls.
My boys go/have gone to Park and we have been happy with it.
We live in Poole but very close to the Bournemouth border, we didn't get into our catchment primary, or middle schools. It's crazy round here but we have a new middle school called Ocean which a friend of mine has a child at and she's rating it. That would start at yr3. Near us we have Branksome and Parkstone train stations which have trains to London, but it is a bit further than the other side of Bournemouth, i.e. Christchurch.
I've lived in this area for nearly 19years after being a student in London, I would recommend it, but wherever you go the school thing is tricky.
I don't think you would regret moving but the logistics may be a challenge. Good luck and keep us updated.
Another recommendation here for Southbourne. My kids went to Pokesdown which is a lovely school. The grammar schools are good (mine both went) but I think that the comprehensives are good too. Commute to London is two hours. Southbourne/Christchurch are lovely. Christchurch a little bit cliquey maybe. Southbourne on the 'up' and lots of young professionals. If you are buying I think 'Sobo' has a lot of investment potential.
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