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Nice areas to live in near Withington/Didsbury for a family with slightly older children?

(14 Posts)
Swedishmum1978 Mon 13-Nov-17 21:12:03

I am a Swedish mum with a husband and three sons. I would really like to do a one-year postdoc in the UK and there seems to be a really good Breast Cancer Research Centre in Withington. If we go, I suppose I will not get any salary, but instead I have to rely on scholarships. I think we can afford to pay up to 2500 pounds/month for a house with 3-4 bedrooms, but we will certainly not be able to pay for private schools. My boys will be 9, 12 and 14 years old if/when we go.

Is Withington/Didsbury a nice area for a family like ours? Which other areas can you recommend? I would prefer if it takes no more than 45 minutes to commute to Withington.

Is the best way to find a house to rent?

Is it possible for the children to get into state schools? I don't expect the children to perform excellent results during this year, but the schools must be nice and safe.

WildRosesGrow Tue 14-Nov-17 12:48:47

I live near the Cancer Research Centre in Withington. They had a fire earlier this year and I think the staff are currently all working on different sites - I know a friend of a friend is having to commute to Alderley Edge, and it is going to be a while before the building is back in use.

I'm biased but I think the area round here is great for families, anywhere in West Didsbury, Withington and Chorlton are very popular. It is also correspondingly expensive. Both the secondary school around here (Parrs Wood and Chorlton High) have good reputations. They are also both full, as are pretty much all Manchester high schools.

Where are you living currently?

Swedishmum1978 Tue 14-Nov-17 14:34:44

Oh, I have read about the fire on the web. I hope it will be up and running until we go then. We currently live in a town with a population of around 100.000 in Sweden so there is a lot of things I have to learn about commuting, the British school system etc... As my oldest son will be a teenager by then, we are looking for a safe area where he can go out and meet with friends. Just read about mugging of female staff at The Christies, is it safe to let teenagers out in Withingtion/Disdbury or should we look for a smaller village further out?

What about Bramhall? Bramhall High is not noted as oversubscribed on Schoolchecker? Is it a nice area? What is it like to commute from there?

WildRosesGrow Tue 14-Nov-17 17:15:07

I don't feel that this is a particularly unsafe area, my teenage daughter goes out and about and I don't worry about her too much. However there are going to be some crimes in every area.

Personally we moved here because we were sick of commuting and because we like the area. Bramhall is a nice place too but it would add an extra 30 minutes to my husband's commute. I don't know much about the admissions for Bramhall High, but I think in the last few years, people have seen Cheadle Hulme High as better, which probably means that Bramhall High is slightly easier to get into.

Lifechallenges Tue 14-Nov-17 23:41:52

There are loads of good schools in the area so personally I'd just live close to work. There are new schools being built too. Places come up at popular schools as the area has a lot of transient people who live here for a few years then move on. Even the most over subscribed schools in the early year have places by juniors. Its a vibrant area and Withington / Fallowfield are cheaper than Didsbury for example. Tons to do. Grea public transport. Tons of entertainment, restaurants and sports clubs. City just a bus ride away... loads for teenagers to do etc

Lifechallenges Tue 14-Nov-17 23:44:01

And all the kids from high school travel,alone, hang out etc ... yes there is crime, but that's part of city life and leanrning

zanuda Wed 29-Nov-17 11:10:48

When you're looking for the place to live first think "schools". Because you're moving in the middle of term and you don't want your kids to be sent to Moss Side. Exactly what happened to friend of mine, they got a place in East Didsbury (work related move) in the end of August. Primary age child got a place in Parrs Wood, Secondary - in Moss Side. So they ended up paying for private anyway...

So, the closer your place is going to be to a good school, the more chance you'll have. And it's better if it would be another reasonable school in vicinity. And be ready to go to waiting list with home schooling or appeal if they send you to really bad school.

As for the level of the schools, they are not so bad in the areas mentioned above. But think about this: even people who live next to Parrswood (good reputation now, fantastic 10 years ago) are trying their best to get to grammar schools that are at least 1 hour commuting...

WildRosesGrow Wed 29-Nov-17 14:54:25

Parrs Wood is a secondary school, not a primary, so think some of the information above is inaccurate.

zanuda Wed 29-Nov-17 16:38:25

Ant the kids are 9, 12 and 14 years old, if you read the first post... Exactly one of those funny situations when you need both school, and both to be good and in the middle of school year...

WildRosesGrow Thu 30-Nov-17 15:04:39

Yes but the primary child cannot have 'got a place in Parrs Wood' as Parrs Wood is a secondary school, which takes children from 11-18.

Parrs Wood, and all the reputable secondary schools in Manchester, are full, with long waiting lists. If you move and do not get in, then you need to go to appeal and make a good case. Many appeals are won, as long as the parents do their research and make good points.

Lifechallenges Sun 17-Dec-17 08:41:57

Zanuda some of your facts are totally wrong. If there are no school places near OPs new address, they will be offered the nearest school with a space. The really good West/Central/East Didsbury schools Cavendish, Beaver Road, Broad Oak plus St Cath's etc often have spaces in juniors as the area is transient and people move all the time. A quick call round or to the LA will give accurate info. I know this as I have DC in one of these and friends in all the others.
Parrswood and Barlow are the closest High schools. Parrswood is very highly regarded. Yes some want to push their DC into grammars an hour ago, but that's certainly not the majority. At our 3 form school out of 90 DC only 1-2 went down this route and a couple went private.

BTW Not all schools in Moss Side are awful and not everyone that lives there is a drug crazed gangster. I have a number of friends that live their happily

Lifechallenges Sun 17-Dec-17 08:45:33

And Parrswood is East Didsbury. ( you imply Moss Side )

sinceyouask Sun 17-Dec-17 19:39:23

What's the Moss Side high school that was so bad? William Hulme and Trinity have to be the closest to Moss Side and William Hulme is one of the most oversubscribed schools in Manchester, Trinity is hardly a sink school either. I'm not aware of a Parrs Wood primary- the one I know is definitely a secondary school. confused

Lifechallenges Sun 17-Dec-17 20:46:22

Yes Trinity is outstanding is it not, or very good. Both those schools are either side of Moss Side. Lol and there are several good primaries in that area

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