Relocating to Edinburgh next summer

(20 Posts)
tradewind Mon 02-Jul-12 23:44:50

I seen several threads running with this theme and many useful answers posted. We're hoping to relocate in time for the academic year 2013/14. We have a son who will need an SC1 place and a daughter who will need S5. I've visited several schools on a recent trip, including Boroughmuir, James Gillespie's, Royal High, Balerno and George Heriot. I didn't have time to visit Craigmount, Firrhill or George Watson College.

My main dilemma is the usual one of getting a rented property in catchment for an S1 place in our 1st choice state school (which ever that one turns out to be) and then rank the placing requests on a sliding scale of success. Can I rent a 1-bed place and live in Edinburgh to do the paperwork while my daughter finishes her GCSEs in England. She can't move until next July. So we are going to have to live apart for a little while.

The second dilemma is S5. And waiting lists. And having to wait to see what subjects are left with spaces after take up by existing S4s. My daughter wants to do Drama, History and film-making. But she has to pick 5 subjects in Scotland (whereas she would have done 3 A-levels where she currently studies). What are my chances of getting both kids into the same school with the subjects my daughter will be happy doing at Higher. S5 friendship groups are also a concern as she will be the new girl at 16. Not easy.

Areas I'd like to live in are Stockbridge, Stockbridge and Stockbridge! But if I can't then I'm looking at Polwarth, Bruntsfield, and somewhere on the route to Balerno. I think. But South or North Edinburgh definitely.

Any advice about secondary schools and the best way to negotiate the placing process gratefully received! Many many thanks!

PS: And does anyone have experience of the Steiner school?

Groovee Tue 03-Jul-12 08:51:20

My dd is about to head into S1. We visited the schools in September. Then we received a letter from the council in October telling me what our catchment was. The closing date for out of catchment requests was November but we had already decided to rule out the other school and go for our Catchment school.

Most of dd's friends who applied out of catchment heard in the first week of April that they'd been successful.

If you are considering Stockbridge, I'd look at Broughton High. A few friends children are starting there after the holidays and they've been wow'ed by it. They have a lot of academies there too like dancing and sports.

Maybe placement services at Edinburgh council will be able to help with queries.

SundaeGirl Tue 03-Jul-12 08:57:17

Don't live in Stockbridge if you want the Steiner school - you will have a hellish trip across Edinburgh every day.

I love these move to Edinburgh threads but can't really help more with schools as my DC are younger. Lots of lovely bits of Edinburgh to live in though.

tradewind Tue 03-Jul-12 09:39:13

@ Groovee Thanks for the Broughton High recommendation! Do I need to be resident in Edinburgh by November 2012 to make the deadlines for catchment and out-of-catchment applications? If yes, I'll have to take up a 6-month tenancy while the family stay in England. There is no way they can move until next July because of GCSEs. Would that be allowed? Me residing alone in Edinburgh with the kids elsewhere? I would need to find some sort of casual work as well to pay bills over and above rent.

Groovee Tue 03-Jul-12 09:51:15

I really don't know. If your child isn't transferring from an Edinburgh Primary, I'm not sure how it works. may give you some ideas.

If you contact them, they may be able to advise what will be possible. You may find it's easy to get a place in your chosen school for both children.

It may also be a consideration that your S5 child goes to college to do their highers. But we had a number of people come to our school to do highers when I was in 5th and 6th year and they were always made welcome. I think it's possibly easier because the ones who don't like school have left at the end of 4th year and it's the ones who want to be there who are in the 5th/6th years.

tradewind Wed 04-Jul-12 14:16:03

@ Groovee thanks for the link. I'm up in Edinburgh in August so I'm going to try and get an appointment to talk to someone from the City council placings dept. Might make the procedural things clearer for me!

I'll most likely look for somewhere to rent in Polwarth as I've heard good things about the area and it's closer to some of the schools I'm interested in.

Does anyone have any idea what the casual job market is like? I'll turn my hand to most things. I just need to work to cover bills.

scrablet Fri 06-Jul-12 05:14:32

Casual work in Stockbridge not bad,tbh, esp if you like shop work. You need to be on the spot tho' as advertised often in shop windows, not papers etc.
Festival v soon, so Edinburgh will be full of temp work for a few weeks!
Agree about Broughton High, new build school building, established school, v good record esp if you musically inclined.
Also Drummond not far, small community school, may be worth looking at.
Polwarth also lovely, but don't know about the schools/work situation there.
Edinburgh is a small city, but does have some big city problems, traffic congestion being one of them...of course the trams will solve all that...grin

scotgirl Fri 06-Jul-12 07:35:35

If you can afford it you maybe should consider private schooling for your DD so she can finish off her schooling in the english system. According to the web a number of them do A levels (St Georges, Fettes there will more).

The council should have a process for S1 entry post November due to moving. A frank chat with them is needed i think. If you want to live in town i would rule out Balerno, Currie, Firhill - the bus takes too long and all their new friends would live miles away and they would be isolated.

We relocated for P1. Missed the nov deadline but were told that as long as we were in catchment before they made the out of catchment request in early march we would be okay - and we were!

Ib Edinburgh the flat / house decision is very important. I was sick of flat living and so the house requirement(and budget) along with the schools dictated our area

tradewind Mon 16-Jul-12 14:53:25

Thanks for the good advice scrablet and scotgirl. I have 10 days in Edinburgh in August so will visit the council and the schools recommended. Once I've made a choice on schools I'm hoping the rest will follow. It's just WHERE I'm going to stick the first pin that's the difficult bit!

3nationsfamily Tue 17-Jul-12 13:21:59

The state schools start the new term on Wednesday 15th August, the private schools vary in their start dates. Looking to take Film Making as a Higher choice will limit your school choice considerably (not sure if any of the State schools will do it) but she may be able to do it a Stevenson college or Telford college as an extra option.

tradewind Tue 17-Jul-12 17:31:56

Balerno DID make mention of maybe allowing her to do some of her Highers with them and the ones they couldn't accommodate at Stevenson's college. This is my dilemma. Moving the kids from where they are settled and where their education is not compromised to a situation where the opportunities are unknown and there is much risk involved. There is much backstory and all of it is complicated. I don't really know which way to turn. If I get it wrong, I could make such a utter mess of things sad

DottyandSpottyWot Wed 18-Jul-12 16:15:51

Excuse me for popping on to this thread, I work for another LA in Scotland and can maybe help out with questions relating to applying for a school place. Most authorities will not accept placing requests for pupils that are not currently resident at the address that is on the application form. So if your children are still in England you cannot apply for a place at a school. This can only be down once you know when they will be living there. Applications for starting in Academic Session 13/14 are generally due in by the end of February 2013. With catchment children allocated first and then placing requests. Some popular schools keep reserved places specifically for children moving into the catchment between the end of Feb and the start of the school session.

DottyandSpottyWot Wed 18-Jul-12 19:36:27

Good link here for you!

tradewind Thu 26-Jul-12 02:13:56

@ DottyandSpottyWot Thank you for this. None of the schools I visited told me this. They just said as long as I had an address in Edinburgh. They all knew the GCSE situation. It most likely means we cannot relocate because my eldest wont finish GCSEs until the end of June 2013 which is far too late to apply for a school. She cannot feasibly move until her exams are over whereas my youngest, in theory, could. Looks like we'll have to stay here sad

Netdad125 Mon 03-Sep-12 10:32:40

Rather late in the day but a number of the Edinburgh private schools teach gcse and a levels. So it may be possible to still move your daughter as she could carry on with gcse. Would think the schools would try hard to accommodate her and her current subjects.

tradewind Sat 15-Sep-12 23:36:50

I'm just back from Edinburgh and the private schools I visited were cool with our situation. As was one state school. I think I may be able to pull this off. Fingers crossed!

Good luck! Just a quick one re Balerno, Stevenson and highers - I went to Balerno, and they offered a pretty good range of higher options as they have a fairly high stay-on rate. However they also used to have (and presumably still do) a very good set up with Stevenson College where more unusual subjects were available on two afternoons a week - this tended to be quite well scheduled so those who went didn't miss any of their other classes although I think they did what was then PSE (Personal and Social Education) in a different time slot to balance this out. There was normally a whole bus load of people heading down for various subjects so it was fairly normal at the time.

They also (despite the rivalry) shared a couple of classes with Currie especially for advanced highers.

For your daughter, it isn't entirely uncommon for the private schools to take in pupils specifically at S5 level: we had a few people who transferred at that point so especially if you went private she probably wouldn't be the only one. Even in a state school I found there was quite a shake up in friendship groups at that age though, because of people leaving at the end of S4, going to college, plus the smaller classes that tended to come with the highers.

lovechoc Tue 18-Sep-12 14:31:13

Balerno is the place to be (according to DH). Fantastic secondary school there!

lovechoc Tue 18-Sep-12 14:31:31

Currie is also highly recommended.

tradewind Thu 20-Sep-12 20:46:35

Thanks all! I find all this very heartening! Balerno is my choice of state school and the Head there is lovely and very helpful. Private schools have come down to Heriots and Stuart Melville/Mary Erskine. I am determined to be at next year's fringe in my OWN house in Edinburgh rather than borrowing floor space from a friend!

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