Relocating to Scotland with kids??

(46 Posts)
Hannah2199 Mon 03-Feb-20 22:08:38

We are thinking about relocating from England to Scotland for my OHs job. I have some serious reservations. How would we go about applying for schools for our primary school age children? Do we wait until weve moved? But would this mean kids might end up missing weeks of school? Or apply now for say 6 months time? What if one child got in to new school but the other didnt, would they have to remain in england until a place came up in Scotland? We would want them both in the same school straight away. I really have no idea how this works!!

Also, what would we do about our house? We have a large mortgage. Work have offered to pay approx 6 months rent for a new property which is great but I worry what would happen if we couldn't sell our old house as we cant afford two properties.

Do we spend the money on renting a like for like house straight away? OH to move there, but kids and I remain here attempting to sell the house? Or do we all move asap and hope estate agent could sell the house? Or does OH commute until house is sold(very long distance with unreliable flights! so not really an option) and then use the money to pay for first few months of rent in a new place?

My fear is we get school places completely wrong. And we lose our life savings paying for both a mortgage in England and a rental property (or new mortgage) in Scotland.

Has anyone done this?? What worked and what didnt??

Also, should we expect OH work to give us any help? Eg finding schools or anything? We know noone and nothing about the area really.

I'm not totally sold on moving and I'm looking for reassurance that this isn't going to be a massive disaster.

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GreyishDays Mon 03-Feb-20 22:15:23

We did this. We put house on the market and got an offer on it and then moved up before it had completed. Different house selling systems meant we wanted to sell properly before buying. So we rented. We knew that we’d prob end up renovating the house we bought so renting for a year was fine. You may not want to do this. You might be able to get a six month lease I suppose.

Anyway. Renting worked well for schools.

We found two secondary schools/areas we liked and then looked at catchments for those. Then phoned round feeder primary schools to see which had places. Came up twice and looked at areas, schools in first trip and then rental houses. Checked schools still had places. Got rental agreement to school to secure the place.

Does that make sense?

TeacupDrama Mon 03-Feb-20 22:47:33

Applying for school in Scotland is generally simple the vast majority of children go to catchment school, provided there is room you are entitled to a place at your local school you can make a placing request for a different school but it will only be considered after all children in catchment have places if they have a spare place you can get it if they don't you wouldn't. It depends where in Scotland you are hoping to move to many areas have more places than kids

As the cut off for year groups runs from march to march not August to August they may not be in same year group as in England; roughly P3 =Y2,

Scottish schools start back roughly 15th August so if you stay in England to end of summer term they might only get 2-3 weeks summer holiday.

Hannah2199 Mon 03-Feb-20 22:56:59

Thanks that's good advice. It's so complicated! We are moving from a vastly over subscribed school system here so it's good to know there are likely to be options.

It's so hard to know where to even start!!

I'm a SAHM so I'm also worried about being isolated. OH and kids would meet people but I'd be at home alone? Also, did you find your kids settled ok?? Moving schools is one thing but moving absolutely everything familiar and losing all friends is another. I have serious Mum guilt!!

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TeacupDrama Tue 04-Feb-20 12:25:01

if you give a rough area of scotland we could help more,
in some parts of central glasgow and Edinburgh maybe Aberdeen there maybe some schools which have no spaces but Scotland is on a whole fairly sparsely populated by DD's school in village has 120 pupils there are spaces for at least 25 extras today we are not remote the town with 4 primary schools is 15 minutes away
this site gives legal info
www.mygov.scot/register-your-child-for-a-school/
The vast vast majority of scottish children go to catchment school

TeacupDrama Tue 04-Feb-20 12:28:15

in Scotland it really isn't complicated

Hannah2199 Tue 04-Feb-20 12:41:00

We are looking at north of Aberdeen, possibly Ellon. Is this a good area for schools and families? Thanks

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TeacupDrama Tue 04-Feb-20 16:34:57

Ellon is not really an area I know anything about but it is not far from Aberdeen where there is everything you could possibly need theatres university airport etc

it appears to have 3 primary schools and 1 secondary which is almost brand new

it appears big enough to have sports facilities etc in town so you won't need to go to Aberdeen everytime you want something ; I can't comment on individual schools, it appears at secondary level there is no choice without travelling a long way but that's fine it is the same where I am on West Coast nearest secondary is 10 miles catchment area is over 25 miles north to south my DD is in a village school with about 120 pupils occasionally people in village request placement in the town with secondary as they work there and so it makes drop off etc easier. I don't know how old your kids are but because it is a commuter town for Aberdeen and with oil industry Aberdeen has people from all over the world it may be more diverse than you think, the rest of the children will come from rural families often by school bus
I would look up the schools on google and see what you think, in common with most scottish schools the actual handbooks will be very similar as will have been devised by Aberdeenshire council with small name changes etc, for staffing

I had a friend that lived at Stonehaven a coomuter town south of Aberdeen

Hannah2199 Tue 04-Feb-20 20:22:17

Thanks that's good to know. Hoping to actually visit soon so we can see for ourselves

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JazzTheDog Tue 04-Feb-20 20:31:22

Ellon Academy is a brand new campus, opened in 2018 I think. There are 2 or 3 primary catchments within Ellon and around about 7 or 8 feeder primaries from local villages. Ellon is a good commuter town for Aberdeen.

I wouldn't describe flights to Aberdeen as unreliable, it's rare for flight cancellations to happen.

Depending on where your husband will be working there's a huge choice of commuter towns and villages around Aberdeen that are increasingly accessible with the city bypass now being fully open.

Hannah2199 Wed 05-Feb-20 05:42:55

Is there a website to look at for rental properties please? I've tried aspc but that only seems to have ones to buy. We are thinking initially that we would need to ret whilst selling our own house..But inthink we would need to be renting in the catchment area for the schools we would want to be in for the longer term. There doesn't seem to be anything to rent near Ellon thiugh so I'm struggling to know what to do next confused

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TeacupDrama Wed 05-Feb-20 09:26:09

I found 2 flats to rent on Rightmove there is some really nice big houses in the 250000-300000 price range with a quick glance it seems all 30primary schools are good so I won't worry to much about catchment any way there doesn't appear to be that much choice with rentals if you sell down south you could just buy straight away as chains collapsing is not so much of a thing here it is possible to go from offer to moving in,
within 4weeks

Hannah2199 Wed 05-Feb-20 11:52:18

Thanks yes seems to be lots of buy but nothing to rent. Unfortunately OH would need to move asap but I would need to stay here to sell our house which could take a few months. If renting we would need at least 3 or 4 bedrooms. Hmmm....

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randomsabreuse Wed 05-Feb-20 12:04:29

You've got more or less the exact same problem I've got - although we're moving to Glasgow. It's trying to get the logistics to line up that is hardest.

Our England house is currently on the market in the vague hope of a quick sale. But market is quite at the moment so moving into rented seems more realistic despite the cost.

If our house had sold very quickly we'd considered a holiday let where we currently are to allow completion. Depending on overlap/likely timescale we might still try an AirBnB for short gap rather than committing to a 6 month rental.

Fortunately for us DC aren't compulsory school age in either place- DC1 is in reception (and will miss school) but will be P1 in August so need a preschool place which might be tougher. But don't know where we're living so can't set up school/nursery.

Have completely missed application deadline anyway!

The worst bit is nothing being settled apart from DH's start date, and it's impossible to plan anything without movement on the sale/rent options.

Rentals in the right locations are very limited. Could manage a 2 bed short term but not for 6 months, and a bigger unfurnished place would save storage costs!

I am such a planner / list maker this is seriously uncomfortable!

Stanleyelnats Wed 05-Feb-20 12:28:01

Originally from area and have family still near Ellon. ASPC is the main property website but yes not much for rent in the town. Some for rent in Balmedie -10 mins south, closer to city. Depends if you want town, village or rural?

Hannah2199 Wed 05-Feb-20 13:22:28

Thanks all, yes very uncomfortable feeling!

Unfortunately I think we need a rental or to buy in Ellon itself as rules seem to be kids need to live there to get a school place. Plus wouldn't want kids to have to move twice.

Looking increasingly like OH may need to commute or Airbnb a small place. But I'm terrified of having to stay here with 3 kids - one is a toddler - trying to sort everyone out and keep the house tidy/in good condition for viewing and deal with kids missing OH etc.

I'm not so sure its going to be worth it

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TeacupDrama Wed 05-Feb-20 17:47:12

what ages are your children? is your house on the market yet?

would a traditional B&B suit DH where he gets breakfast would he be commuting into Aberdeen? can he fly from Aberdeen back to near you easily to come home weekends until sold
is there a chance that property prices might be lower in Rural Aberdeenshire than where you are now so it might be possible to sell your house a bit cheaper for a quick sale and you could still get what you want in Ellon
a quick phonecall to schools should get info as to whether there is likely to be a shortgae of places

JazzTheDog Thu 06-Feb-20 21:56:45

Have a look on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for rental listings too, I often see on there.

Hannah2199 Fri 07-Feb-20 23:46:08

Thanks. Weve been up to see the area and really liked it but if anything we now have more questions!

Is there much going on in Ellon in the daytime? I'll have a baby/toddler at home so looking for groups to go to etc. Are there things on everyday? The town did seem very quiet and we didnt really see anyone with young children.

We also looked at Banchory - completely different from Ellon I know! This would be much further away from OHs work bit seemed a bit busier in the town. So I'm wondering if theres much for families here? And what the commute north to peterhead area would be like? Also, does it get quite touristy in the summer?

It's so hard to pick somewhere to live based on a couple of hours visit. Unfortunately couldn't stay longer as we had to come back for the children.

In terms of property I think OH would perhaps rent or do B and B for a while. Though flights will be costly about £250-300 each time confused

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Dinosauratemydaffodils Fri 07-Feb-20 23:58:24

We're in a small village south of stonehaven and there is tonnes of things on for smalll children. I know there is a lot on in Banchory (due to friends). It is surprising just how much is on. I know I was taken aback. The ANPR should make commuting north easier. It takes dh about 40 minutes at peak times to get from our village into the centre of Aberdeen. I would imagine it should be less to get to peterhead from banchory.

Hannah2199 Sat 08-Feb-20 00:01:52

Thanks that's positive.

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KatyCarrCan Sat 08-Feb-20 00:13:14

For rental properties, S1homes is another website you could try. Or Citylets. They have a 3-bed house.

TheThingWithFeathers Sat 08-Feb-20 00:20:43

Just to say in case it helps anyone, that there is no minimum term for rentals in Scotland any more. You can move in and then move out a month later if you need to. That's my understanding (I rent and have friends who are landlords) but worth checking out the Shelter Scotland website for specifics about renting in Scotland.

Hannah2199 Sat 08-Feb-20 08:16:02

Oh that's good to know thank you!

Anyone have any opinions on living in Ellon vs Banchory?

Thanks

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thedevilinablackdress Sat 08-Feb-20 08:28:13

Maybe try this on the Scotsnet board too. Might get some more replies.

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