Moving from Minnesota from 3 kids, dance

(26 Posts)
Northmole Wed 08-Nov-17 20:12:28

My husband has accepted a position with the NHS in Birmingham. Seeking advice for schools, especially secondary and houses to rent out of the city. I will not be working so we are hoping to stay under 1200 month but need a safe area, we are from a very small rural town and appreciate a somewhat rural location, but train station nearby. We looked online at Sutton Coldfield, Sollihull and Halesowen. Also, my son is a dancer and would like to find a school that has a dance program or a good studio nearby, in a perfect world, right? ;) thanks!!!

JamesDelayneysTattoos Wed 08-Nov-17 20:34:05

HI. I live in Lichfield. If you’re looking at Sutton Coldfield then Laura Hughes at Body Beat is excellent for dance. Also RJ’s dance at Kingstanding which is easily reachable.

KingsHeathen Thu 09-Nov-17 08:02:33

There's a good dance school, with a good number of boys, in Moor Pool in Harborne- can't remember the name atm. Do you know Elmhurst School of Dance? How good is he? That's in Edgbaston.
None of the places you've mentioned are "small rural towns" grin
The main consideration will be which hospital your husband needs to get to each day. Some have rail access, some don't. Work from there.

Northmole Thu 09-Nov-17 14:35:32

He's not Elmhurst material, more contemporary, jazz, theatrical. Husband will be at University Trust in Edgbaston. I know its not rural, grin but more more green space and open areas the better. Most important are safety and schools . Would consider commuting 30-40 min.

Caulk Thu 09-Nov-17 19:15:13

I’d look at Barnt Green. You’re right on the edge of the Lickey Hills and have a train line to university. Rental doesn’t come up often but you may get somewhere for £1200, I’ve seen some.

KingsHeathen Thu 09-Nov-17 23:00:29

And how old is your son, please?

BackforGood Thu 09-Nov-17 23:58:22

Birmingham is not small, nor rural grin but it does have a remarkable amount of green space and is actually very different from the image most people (in the UK anyway) have of it.
If he is at the QE, then train is good. The QE is on the University site, and the cross City train line stops at University station.

Thing being, if you want 'rural' (and there are lots of nice places on the outskirts of the City) you are then not near to a train station that will take him directly in to the University station.

Will your ds be starting secondary after you get here, or will you be looking for him to join part way through ?

Northmole Fri 10-Nov-17 06:50:19

My son will be 14. Just finishing 7th grade here. We also have another son 9, daughter 7
Thanks!

KingsHeathen Fri 10-Nov-17 08:13:24

Ha! I had completely missed the 3 children blush
I presume you're looking for state schools ("public schools" in US English) not independent ("private schools")?
How long are you likely to stay? Will eldest complete GCSE courses here?
I agree with backforgood that you need to be on the train line for DH, as there is no parking at QE, so unless he's coming in to be head of trust (unlikely, but you never know!) then he's going to need to come in by train.
I'm tempted to say you'd want to be somewhere within range of a taxi journey for days when he finishes v late. I know consultants that train in, taxi home regularly. I also know consultants that walk to and from work, though I suspect they're in the minority!
The QE will tell you there's parking, btw, but there is about 1/5th of what is needed for staff... and if you're a patient? Pfff!
So, somewhere on the train line south from University station is good.

Caulk Fri 10-Nov-17 08:16:39

I’m still on Barnt Green. If you look at the Lickey/Blackwell/Rowney Green side it’s pretty rural. It’s also pretty expensive.

Star project are good for theatre stuff but you’ll probably need Moseley Dance Exchange or somewhere in Bromsgrove/Worcs

Plockplock Fri 10-Nov-17 09:42:45

Bournville would be a good option: it's close to the QE Hospital and is only about a 10/15 minute drive to the Lickey Hills (woods,etc) and not much further to more rural areas; it has quite a lot of people from all over the world, because of its close proximity to the hospital and the University of Birmingham. As other people have mentioned, it's also worth looking into Barnt Green and Alvechurch, which are large-ish villages in a rural setting - I've no idea of the school situation in either of these places, though. For you son's dance and theatrical interest, take a look at www.stagecoach.co.uk/edgbaston they also have schools in Solihull, Yardley Wood and Halesown. Also, www.bssshowbiz.co.uk/ which is at the Mac in Edgbaston. Good luck smile

Caulk Fri 10-Nov-17 09:51:08

Alvechurch and Barnt Green use the three school system like you’d have in Minnesota. Birmingham schools use two school system - primary to age 11 and secondary 11 upwards

Plockplock Fri 10-Nov-17 09:56:31

House wise, I think it would be a good idea to speak to his contacts at the hospital as they'll perhaps know of private rental houses which might not appear on some of the house search websites; I've just looked on Rightmove and there aren't many rentals which would necessarily meet your requirements. For Bournville, for instance, there are a lot of student rentals which aren't even in Bournville but Selly Oak.

Northmole Sat 11-Nov-17 03:36:24

Husband is at the Trust. Not QE Univsersity. He is planning on the train for certain....Definitely state schools, seems to be an abundance of primary schools, so I wasn't too worried about the younger 2. But mostly concerned about secondary schools and safety. Not sure how long we'll stay, hopefully a long time! We really like the villages but we're open! Thanks all!

Caulk Sat 11-Nov-17 07:13:13

I thought it was University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust that managed the QE? I’ve googled it and there doesn’t seem to be any other university trust. Is it that he is office based rather than hospital based? If that’s the case it would be the offices on the Hagley Road which isn’t too close to any station, although he could walk from Fiveways.

BackforGood Sat 11-Nov-17 10:31:38

Like Caulk - I thought all the previous sites were now combined on the QE/University site (which is on the edge of the University campus). Are you able to tell us where the 'Trust' is then ?

KingsHeathen Sat 11-Nov-17 12:15:36

UHB also have offices at QE site, in Vincent drive.
"University" I referred to is the name of the train station (because University of Birmingham is right next to it, but so is QE)
But, yes, if he's in Hagley Rd, no trains there... quite a walk up from Five Ways station.
QE is Queen Elizabeth- it's a hospital, located next to University of Birmingham.
Sorry- it's because everyone uses these acronyms in day to day speech...we kind of forget it's confusing for people that don't live here smile
I was going to suggest Hagley, also, as the schools are good (Hagley Catholic High school and Haybridge), all primaries will be fine.
Safety? Well, any of these places (Barnt Green (NOT Bartley Green!!!), Alvechurch, Hagley, Blackwell, etc are all all v small (in comparison to Birmingham), and the children there less streetwise than those growing up in the city.
That said, I grew up in a shockingly poor place, and have rarely ever felt unsafe in Birmingham- I am safety conscious though, and not blatant in my disregard for personal safety, etc. I seriously doubt your child would be wandering around at night in dubious areas, particularly when he's new to the country. The UK will be a bit of a culture shock for you all, I imagine, but there are great aspects about living here too.
It's v easy to be quickly out of Birmingham into the countryside, and nature etc (though not on a Friday evening hmm).

KingsHeathen Sat 11-Nov-17 12:16:35

Plus, UHB have taken over another hospital, so I suppose could be based there... Might be Heartlands and Solihull??

Northmole Sun 12-Nov-17 06:10:42

We're told it's the Trust, Frederick Road, is a two minutes walk from five ways? We'll see. Yes it will be a shock. At least we've visited the UK several times and loved our time there, or else we wouldn't be so crazy to uproot the entire family 😉 still a bit crazy though. The arts and culture are of great importance to us. We are sorely lacking here in our area. My son and daughter dance, I really need to find a school or studio for them to feel normal 😊

KingsHeathen Sun 12-Nov-17 09:16:56

Ah, now there are some lovely rental houses on Frederick Road! envy bit more than your budget though... wink
It's really close to the station so that is great for him.
There is certainly a lot going on in Birmingham... probably not as much in the surrounding villages, but your eldest would probably be able to get the train to the city centre independently for classes at the weekend (five ways station is the same line as New St, which is the central station in Birmingham).
Also, you may want to look at BOA (Birmingham Ormiston Academy)- it's a state funded Arts school. You do normal academic programme of GCSEs, but alongside arts- dance, music, theatre, etc. If you're here long enough, he might really enjoy the programmes there for his Year 10 and Y11.

BackforGood Sun 12-Nov-17 22:25:31

Well, I never knew there were NHS offices there! smile

He'd want Five Ways Station then, which is the next station along from the University, on the same line.

Caulk Sun 12-Nov-17 22:39:00

I can only think of (and find on maps) Frederick Road Selly Oak. Where’s the other one?

BackforGood Sun 12-Nov-17 22:58:13

Goes off Islington Row (the ring road) not far from Five Ways station, Caulk, sort of parallel with Calthorpe Rd

KingsHeathen Sun 12-Nov-17 23:22:46

Runs between the middleway and St James rd
My phone keeps putting Middle East though...hmm heck of a commute

Caulk Mon 13-Nov-17 07:45:19

Ah thanks! Fiveways makes more sense now!

I’ve just looked at the dance Xchange website. They are based at the hippodrome theatre in Birmingham city centre, and I think they would be your best bet if your children can pass the auction. They offer a lot to a high standard.

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