Are there any good primary schools in the not so expensive parts of Cheltenham?

(19 Posts)
hazelnutlatte Tue 17-Jan-12 14:42:17

DD is only 4 months old so we won't be applying for schools for a long time yet, but we are thinking of moving house so want to move somewhere with decent schools.
Our budget is low though, so we are looking in the cheaper parts of town. Does anyone have good things to say about schools here? Or do we need to think about moving elsewhere - Tewkesbury or the nicer parts of Gloucester maybe?

cheltenhamgal Mon 23-Jan-12 13:48:42

What do you class as the cheaper parts of town ? My daughter went to Holy Trinity Primary school which is a fantastic school but you may want to register as soon as you can. There are children there from all over Cheltenham and depending on where you class as cheaper to buy or rent there would probably be buses if you don't drive (like me)You could look at the ofsted reports for each school maybe

hazelnutlatte Mon 23-Jan-12 21:23:47

We are near hesters way at the moment - affordable areas seem to be mostly in the west of Cheltenham, but schools don't seem too good here, our nearest primary is in ofsted special measures.

hazelnutlatte Mon 23-Jan-12 21:29:37

Just looked up holy trinity - so it's near the town centre - I do drive so it wouldn't be a problem to get that far, I had assumed that primary schools had pretty small catchment areas so we would need to be close by.

teacherwith2kids Thu 26-Jan-12 20:09:19

Cheltenhamangel's post is perhaps a little bit out of date.

You can no longer get priority when applying to a school by regsitering early. Every child has to apply by the published deadline (e.g. 15th January 2012 for September 2012 intake) and the application of every child who applies by this deadline is treated equally, with no preference at all being given for early application.

In the event of there being more applications than places (Holy Trinity had 126 applications in total for its 30 places in receptiuon in 2011, 40 of these placed it first preference) then the over-subscription criteria (typically looked after children / SEN children with a statement of SEN naming the school, then a child with a sibling in the school, then in order of distance from the school) come into play. The senior schools in Cheltenham have moved to avoid the 'sibling rule' being abused - ie a family previously living close to the school move far away once the first child is admitted, then other siblings still get priority - and there might be a similar move for primaries.

In September 2011, Holy Trinity accepted 10 siblings, and 20 children in order of ditance. That meant that c. 10 children who placed it first preference did not get a place ... and nearly 100 others who placed it as one of their preferences didn't either. From my reading of this booklet (available on Gloucestershire's website) it is no longer likely that someone living as far away as the Hesters Way area would be unlikely to get in at present.

You might like to find out from the LA or the school the furthest distance from the school the last child admitted on distance grounds lived, as that would be the 'effective catchment area' for that year. Such distances can be very wide for under-subscribed schools - HT is over-subscribed but not as massively so as some, who may have hundreds of first preferences for 30 or 60 places - but may be only a few hundred metres for others.

Susiewho Thu 26-Jan-12 20:12:57

Gotherington's a good school. Perhaps you could live in that direction?

embean Thu 26-Apr-12 19:34:29

We live in Up Hatherley - the primary school here (Lakeside) is supposed to be quite good. Our DD is only 13 months so we're not quite at the 'going and having a look round' stage, but friends and neighbours of ours whose children go there seem happy with it - as do the children themselves.

I've also heard good things about the primary school in Leckhampton, but can't remember the name, sorry!

ApuskiMcClusky Thu 26-Apr-12 20:02:22

Leckhampton is good but expensive. I'd look at the south west - Benhall, Lakeside, Warden Hill schools. There's a good mix of housing in those areas.

Lulaloo Tue 01-May-12 19:05:41

Warden Hill is very very good. The area has a nice community feel and the school is currently rated as outstanding if that helps.

perfectstorm Wed 02-May-12 18:38:02

Gotherington is one of the most expensive places in Cheltenham. Rentals are rare and house prices higher than they are in Charlton Kings.

If you want to guarantee a place at a school and are willing to be dishonest, then go regularly to the church attached to Christchurch, or Leckhampton CoE. We personally decided against that, because I wasn't comfortable with the idea, but you jump the queue ahead of parents who live locally. Christchurch is particularly known for this - families living one tenth of a mile away fail to get placed, because people go regularly to church for the 2 years prior to applying and then queuejump accordingly. You can live anywhere in town, but get in if the vicar says you are a regular attender, and the next-door neighbour of a house we looked at in Queen's Retreat (if you look on Google, it's just 2 streets away) said her kids didn't get in. Christchurch has the advantage that they get to use Cheltenham Ladies College's facilities, too, as part of their charitable status ("helping the local community"). I get the feeling that's reasonably near to you, no? As both schools in Special Measures aren't a million miles away.

You could buy in a cheaper area, then rent a place close to a good school for a year that covers application dates and the first term. As long as you genuinely live there (some people rent places and keep them empty just for the address - which is fraud) you'd get a place.

It's painful and I sympathise. We just got a house in Charlton Kings which we can barely afford and is light years less nice than what the money would get us in Landsdown, where we'd rather be and have been the past few years. But we aren't close enough to the good local schools, and won't fake the church attendance, so we'd be allocated a school we don't want otherwise. And an additional note of warning - people at CKIS who live just under half a mile away failed to get in last year, and they know there is a big bulge in pre-school population ahead. Our place is a tenth of a mile - it's more or less on the school's street - because we didn't want to spend all that money, only to find we weren't near enough anyway. And estate agents lie through their teeth on the subject. I had several insist that a house a mile away would be just fine, and they knew that for a fact because of XYZ. But the other positive there is that both Glenfall and Warden Hill are really good schools as well, and you stand a shot at both, as they are fully subscribed, but only just.

Basically you need to do your homework on each school - the number of kids applying as first choice options tells you how likely you are to get yours in. Church schools usually allow local church attender's kids first dibs, so if you aren't one and the school is very good, you have little chance of your child going. Non-church excellent schools such as Charlton Kings and Gotherington are in expensive areas and you need to live almost next door. Sad, but true.

Vickles Fri 04-May-12 16:36:45

Warden Hill has lovely sized 3 bedroomed family houses around the £200k mark.. Like these houses..

or Bungalows like this

Warden Hill is blessed with a brilliant 'outstanding' primary school. Like the houses in Warden Hill.. they're not the most prettiest of houses... but, they are large, solid - family houses with good sized gardens... and Warden Hill is now becoming a popular area for families because of the houses and because of the school. Also, you are well and truly in the catchment for Bournside senior school, which is a great school.

If, you want a house that is a bit more modern and 'prettier'... try Up Hatherley. Again, you will most likely get into Warden Hill primary school - or if not, there is a lovely small village type school called Greatfield Park.

Houses cost a bit more than Warden Hill, but not that much more.

Hatherley is also a nice family area, and has Benhall Primary school. Recently received outstanding by ofsted and it has a good pre-school on the grounds aswell.

Houses are cheaper here and bigger.. still, a nice area, on par with Warden Hill.

Like everyone has said... choose a school that you like... and live as close as you can possibly get to it!!! That is the only way you will get into a school of YOUR choice! It's all about distance! (Unless you have an older child in already!) My daughter got into our local school, only due to her older sister getting in. I knew alot of people this year, who were disappointed with what they were allocated by Shire Hall in Gloucester. You are given 4 choices to put on the form... and I knew alot of people who weren't even given one of their choices!!

So, pick a school and find a house as near as you can... !

dandlmum Fri 04-May-12 18:03:35

Hi. I just wanted to correct something that perfectstorm said. There is NO church attendance criteria for Leckhampton C of E primary at all (in fact it does not even help to be Christian / baptised etc). The admission criteria are exactly the same as for Charlton Kings, Warden Hill etc, ie Children in Care, then siblings, then done by distance as the crow flies. The catchment does tend to be small though because of the density of families living near to the school.
Christchurch does have a church link, after children in care and siblings, with priority given to church goers. The catchment there is also very small because they only have 30 places, ie 1 form entry.
Basically, don't assume you need to be a church goer (or religious in any way0 to go to a church-linked primary. Most of them have no religious requirement for entry, but a couple do.
I would second Warden Hill, Up Hatherley and Benhall as being cheaper areas, with very good schools.

perfectstorm Sat 05-May-12 01:28:39

Oops, sorry! I was actually told that about Leckhampton by a parent with a child there, who's a staunch churchgoer (genuinely so - the irony is that we are CoE, and my son is baptised). The three church schools we looked at were Holy Apostles, St Mary's Prestbury, and Christchurch, all of which apply the preference-to-regular-attenders rule. If we just managed to look at 3 oddities, I'm rather pleased to hear it. The only church selective admissions policy I genuinely admire is the one they use in a school in Bath - it's a very rich area, but kids from anywhere in the city who'll be entitled to free school lunches get priority above geographical claim. That seems genuinely Christian to me.

Second Benhall and Hatherley as good choices. Warden Hill is excellent, and in a cheaper area that's still pleasant and family-oriented. Naunton Park is nice too, with a lot of the admissions pressure lifted because Leckhampton CoE grabs so many of the first choice nominations (same principle as Glenfall, which is a lovely school but tends to be overlooked because Charlton Kings Infants gets local parental priority), and some of the little terraces in Tivoli, off the Bath Road, can be reasonable. Small, and titchy gardens too, but it's a lovely area and there are good parks in hailing distance. It's the usual payoff between space and location.

Vickles Sat 05-May-12 10:24:55

A friend I knew, was a regular church goer and had letters from the vicar etc.... but, didn't get one of her four choices, got offered some awful school she didn't want. So, appeal for her and most likely private school!

It's all siblings - then distance! (I have a 7yr old and a 4yr old - so have been through it twice - and have friends from both siblings who have been let down by Gloucestershire County Council!

hazelnutlatte Sun 03-Jun-12 22:11:42

Hi, thanks for all the replies, I've only just noticed that this thread has come back to life.
I'm shocked at how difficult it seems to be to get into a decent primary school - where are children being allocated when all the local schools are full?
I don't want to be the pushy parent type, but I also don't want my dd to go to the worst school in town. We will look at Warden Hill and Hatherley and hopefully will find something in our budget there.
Our other option is to move out of Cheltenham - maybe there are good schools in Gloucester that are not so over subscribed?

Sarah1984 Fri 13-Jul-12 21:32:11

There are cheaper parts of Leckhampton if you really want to get into their schools, wouldn't think these houses come up so often. Had a quick search and came up with this one, a 3 bed semi for under 190k.

Hope you find somewhere nice smile

Stitchthis Tue 17-Jul-12 21:03:41

My friends daughter goes to Swindon Village school and it is absolutely brilliant!!! Houses are nt as expensive as leckhampton and I don't believe it has any religious criteria.

Stitchthis Tue 17-Jul-12 21:04:29

And if you're felling 'edgy' check out Rowanfield - it is OFSTED outstanding and the teaching team is excellent. A real gem.

Stitchthis Tue 17-Jul-12 21:04:45

Feeling, obv.

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