Moving to East Horsley with ten-year-old girl and seven-year-old boy.

(8 Posts)
Horsleymummy Sun 09-Jun-13 18:10:20

We (my husband and I, and our two children) are moving from South London into a rental house in East Horsley over the summer holidays and looking to buy as soon as we can find something. Hoping for state school places for my daughter for year six and my son for year three from September, but most schools seem chocca, so we may have to stretch ourselves somehow and go private.
Biggest worry (particularly for me, and for my daughter) is friends - the lovely ones we'll leave behind, and how easy it will be to make new ones, whether through school or by joining clubs etc.
Just wondered if anyone else is in a similar situation, or has similar age children and might like to meet up? Daughter is arty, slightly tomboyish, son is a sporty clown.
HM xx

Bekabeech Sun 09-Jun-13 18:18:16

Have you appealed for school places? The LA do have to find you something. If you want H of E for secondary then it is better to be in State rather than private.

holidaysrcoming Mon 10-Jun-13 14:37:50

Horsleymummy Bekabeech is right, if you want the Howard, the admissions criteria prioritise children from feeder schools who live in catchment. As there are more children in feeder schools than places available.....

Also the current year 5 is a huge birth rate around here. School places are rare in year 6, but not impossible. Most of the year 3 places will already have been allocated but I understand that current year 2 is low birth year so you may be lucky.

You will find Horsley packed with ex South Londoners who all had the same fears as you and you and your children I am sure will find plenty of like minded souls.

PM me if you have any questions.

Banter Sun 16-Jun-13 14:06:35

With a child in Y6, you'll be thinking about your secondary school choices, but don't be mislead by the estate agents who talk a lot of twoddle to inflate house prices and feed the rental market in particular areas!

The Howard is saddled with quirky and pointlessly complex admissions criteria for historic reasons but the important thing to realise is that being in a feeder school and in a particular part of the catchment area is not the deal-breaker that the estate agents make out. The NAS tiebreak is irrelevant because the catchment map is very deliberately SMALLER than the school's natural catchment area and very carefully drawn up to make sure it only includes houses for which the Howard is the nearest secondary school. The tiered sibling criteria (all catchment children before out-of-catchment siblings) is an overt warning to families who hope to play the "rent then scarper" game that certain estate agents had been peddling. The feeder schools mean that the Howard can prioritise the children who are most likely to turn up because lots of families here who intend to stay in the independent sector still apply for an insurance place in the state sector. Every year 20-30 places are not taken up, and in a big year group, that used to mean that some families in the genuine catchment had to sit on the waiting list until the independent school families decided to release their unused places.

If you are wondering why the school goes to so much trouble to make sure it can admit local children, here's the history. When Surrey introduced the equal preference system, its IT systems were not tested properly which lead to children in some areas being allocated schools a long way away. There were problems in several parts of the Howard's catchment, not just one, and Surrey dealt with them fairly by adding another class. However, a few chancers decided to exploit the issue so that they could play the system. They hoodwinked a rather dosy Schools Adjudicator into the NAS tie-break (which favours those living furthest from the school) without any boundaries. That year the school was forced into admitting children from places like Send, Ripley and Cobham when children living less than a mile away could not get in. I hope the people responsible are pleased with their handiwork, because the school, its genuine community and the chancers' children had several really dreadful years having to deal with the fallout and resentment that was caused

For those who are genuinely relocating into the area, you'll be very welcome but for those who aren't, be warned! Playing the system is pointless as well as expensive. If its a low birth year, you'll get in anyway and if it's a tight year, you will be shopped. Noone wants those old wounds opened up again

Bekabeech Mon 17-Jun-13 05:51:12

Banter you sound incredibly bitter.

To be honest my experience within the school was that the bulge year was a pretty happy one.
The real issue was that the Horsleys didn't get into the school, although they are in catchment for no other school either (and H of E is the only really accessible one). It didn't help that some of them got offered the school no one wants with a ridiculous daily journey.
Cobham always used to be in H of E catchment, now tends to fall outside it, into the same no school land as Ripley, hence the good idea for the Free school to extend to 11-16.
Most of Send go to George Abbot rather than H of E anyway.
BTW you do realise that for George Abbot, children in Send are advantaged o re children living much closer in Guildford? The distance thing is a Surrey wide issue due to the county's rural nature and exactly where the schools are.

However for the OP the key thing is that if you send your children to private primary they may be disadvantaged for secondary.

Banter Mon 17-Jun-13 20:43:39

As I said, Bekabeech, the bulge class was for when the computer errors happened, and the errors for children in other areas that year were just as bad. Bookham to Banstead is as far as Horsley to Guildford, and the journey equally dire.

How does that excuse what was done the following year? The OP is in a similar position to my friend, who moved here when her child was in Y5, shortly after the places for primary places were allocated. They couldn't get a Y5 place in a local primary school, so they were travelling quite some distance to another school and her child found it very hard to settle after their move. Never mind, she'd promised her child, you'll get to know friends here when you get to the Howard. Maybe the OP would like to comment on how she thinks her daughter would feel if she'd been bigging up how much easier it would be make friends soon, and settle in to their new village, only to be let down with a thump at the Howard's open day by poor old Bob Essex having to break the news that she wouldn't get into to the school less that a mile away from their home? Do you think she'd feel pleased to learn that was so that the places could be given to children who lived 6+ miles away and closer to several other schools? Do you really think it is right that Surrey's rate payers have to foot the bill for 5+ years of bus passes for children who live less than a mile from their local school? Do you think that it's right that children have to leave their houses early enough to walk 3/4 mile to their closest bus stop for a bus that is due at 7:30am, because Surrey doesn't lay on dedicated coaches from Bookham to Therfield?

Maybe Beka does, but I think most people won't. Instead of acting like cuckolds working out how to push children out, wouldn't it have been better to have spent that energy pressing Surrey into replacing the surplus places that got removed when it shut the 2 secondary schools in Send and in Cobham?

Bekabeech Mon 17-Jun-13 21:10:14

Well when I was at the Howard it was children from Cobham and Ripley who weren't getting places. Those are the children who get offered Bishop David Brown with no transport. Admittedly Ripley did manage for 1 year to get George Abbot, which created a lot of upset. Especially as with raising roles, if one village got a priority to Guildford schools, what was to stop other villages getting the same, and then there not being school places for Guildford children in the town.

I do think it is a shame that the Cobham free school couldn't have started accepting secondary pupils sooner. And I hope it stops that area being such a no school zone.

But I assume a lot of what you say is aimed at people who get one child in and then move. I do think it is a pity that the rule (they had for a couple of years) that you only qualified for the sibling rule if you lived at the same address, the same distance of closer than when your first child got in; that that was disallowed after a couple of years. Of course, that rather than removing sibling priority altogether would mean my youngest could follow her big siblings, without sibling priority she might not get our school of choice (even though we live closer than some students who are higher priority than us).

Banter Mon 17-Jun-13 22:06:22

If there are children getting offered BDB with no transport, that means it is their closest school and they live less than 3 miles from it by road. So I say again, why should they expect to be given a higher priority at the Howard than a child who lives less than a mile from it, and more than 3 miles from Therfield?

"even though we live closer than some students who are higher priority than us" - that's NAS for you!

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