Schools Quandary

(8 Posts)
adastrak Thu 09-Feb-17 09:53:35

Hello all,

We've recently moved to Edinburgh and have an infant (born here) and 2-yr-old. Our health visitor asked if we had schools in mind for the kids and I realised we should probably start thinking about this. I'd love any advice on where to start. Husband boarded here but hasn't lived in Edinburgh since he left for uni so is out of the loop, and I'm not from the UK so the school matrix is completely new to me. We are renting while we figure out where we want to buy, and obviously catchment areas will be involved if we don't go private.

Reading other threads has helped re: Scottish Gov't websites, etc. but I'm curious: do kids who start at local primary schools ever/often go on to independent schools? If you want your kids at a certain school, how important is getting them there as young as nursery age? If you decided on a particular school, how did you come to that decision, especially if you decided when kids were young and still finding their interests/strengths/etc? And how on earth does the catchment thing work? (The idea of buying in a particular area and then being told 'sorry, no spaces' - eek!)

Thank you - I appreciate any advice or comments.

Buckeyedjim Thu 09-Feb-17 09:58:39

Most people buy the best property they can afford in the best area they can afford, and then attend that catchment school. A sizeable number do the above but then go privately anyway. If you look at properties on the ESPC it always says which catchment the house or flat is in. It is quite common to use state schools at primary and then move on before secondary. Or you can go private from three. If you haven't talked it all through with your dh yet it certainly is time, because the older child will be starting nursery at 3 (or 3.5 depending on birth date) though your nursery school doesn't have to be in your catchment, confusingly!

adastrak Thu 09-Feb-17 10:16:41

Thank you, Buckeyedjim! Good to know that using state primaries isn't uncommon.

Buckeyedjim Thu 09-Feb-17 10:23:02

(Roughly) 25% of children here are sent to private schools, so the vast majority go to state schools. You're in a good position as you have still to choose your home, so can make a careful choice rather than bothering with out of catchment requests which probably wouldn't work anyway.

badguider Thu 09-Feb-17 16:37:58

Here as long as you're living in catchment at a certain date then you will get a space in the catchment school, they have to take you. it's very easy, maps on the council website, no complicated eligibility, every property has a non-denom and a catholic catchment school.

loads go private at 7 and again at 11. but the day schools mostly have very good nurseries and early primary with wrap-around care so there's not a lot of saving in starting at 7 instead of 3 unless you want to see what your child is like before choosing a school.

badguider Thu 09-Feb-17 16:42:16

i think the date for registering is in november before the august they start. what month is your child's birthday?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 10-Feb-17 00:36:04

80 - 85% of parents in Edinburgh just buy/rent a house somewhere they like and send their children to their nearest school. It's a bit sad that a HV is encouraging this catchment stressing behaviour. Don't get me wrong, my group of mum friends all got a bit het up about it around about that time but I look back and feel a little ashamed of how much stress and angst we put in to sending our children to our local, excellent schools.

teaandakitkat Fri 10-Feb-17 17:31:34

My eldest is P6 (age 10) at a state primary school and kids are starting to drift off to private schools now. Maybe 3 out of his class of 30 kids have left, and I know of one who is starting in P7 and at least 2 others who are aiming for private secondary education.

So that's 6 out of 30 in our school, which I would say has a pretty average range of wealth and family circumstances. Unless you desperately want to go private straight away I definitely don't think you're permanently closing any doors if you start at a state school then move later.

State school catchment- the registration date in Edinburgh is usually early November in the year before your child should start in P1 and you will get a place in the catchment school for the address you are living at at that time. You can choose to apply out of catchment to any other school but you will only get a place if there is a space.

If you move once your child is already at school you are not guaranteed a place in the catchment school for your new address, only if there is a space. So you probably want to be settled in a permanent address by the November of the year before P1 if that makes sense.

Good luck, there is so much choice in Edinburgh, which I guess is both exciting and daunting.

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