Moving to Surrey with 7yr old daughter, pls suggest good schools

(19 Posts)
Krithi Wed 04-Jun-14 07:19:48

Hi all,

I am moving to Surrey with my husband and 7 year old daughter around 20th - 25th of June. My husband's work place is Woking. Could you suggest good state schools in Surrey for my kid? I would like to live near the school and my husband can commute, so please suggest good schools anywhere in Surrey.

Also, how do I know if the school has a vacancy. I heard the catchment areas are very tight. So should I first see if a school has a vacancy and then search for a house to live in that catchment?

Every suggestion is important for me as we are expats from India.

Thanks in advance,


LIZS Wed 04-Jun-14 08:12:05

Your first call should be to Surrey County Council Schools Admissions team who will have a record of vacancies and can help you with an In Year application . However they may not be able to help you formally apply until you have a UK address. You won't have the choice of every school but it will help you narrow down your search.

If your dd turns 8 before August 31st it may be easier to place her as she'd be in year 3 whereas for year 2 and below class size is limited to 30. Catchment/distance is a bit of a red herring because either a school will have a place available for her or not. That only comes into play when you apply at the beginning of education (age 4) , move to secondary (age 11) and for the order on waiting lists.

Krithi Wed 04-Jun-14 17:48:25

Thank you so much...

Could you tell me which place in Surrey is good to live in (safety-wise and school-wise)?

Don't know if its true but heard Guildford is a good place. My husband's office is in Woking. Is it good to look for houses in Woking or elsewhere/



LIZS Wed 04-Jun-14 17:51:57

I don't think there are many "bad" areas in Surrey tbh but rather depends on your expectation. Have a look on to see what type of house you could afford for your budget. Given the relative short timescale you may find your choices fairly limited.

Krithi Thu 05-Jun-14 11:18:04

Thank you so much..

I see that Woking and Guildford are not in the Oyster zones. Could you please suggest bus transport inside Woking and also Guildford to Woking?

I am just trying to get as much help/info as possible so that I feel armed when I land in the UK..

LIZS Thu 05-Jun-14 15:19:00

Sorry I'm not that local to either. Most of Surrey falls outside the Oyster card zones but there are decent train connections outside of London (see Southwestern trains for example).

Dededum Thu 05-Jun-14 15:27:53

Guildford is lovely, expensive but ticks all the boxes, town and country. A wide range of nationalities but quite mobile population, so kids move in and out of schools.

The central Guildford junior schools you should aim for are Boxgrove, Burpham, St Nicholas, Merrow, Holy Trinity Pewley Down. All will be oversubscribed but in my son's year 6 I know at least 2 kids who have left.

It seems like a long time but the good secondaries are George Abbott, St Peters (Catholic) and Guildford County. All central catchment.

Are you buying or renting?

Commuting is easy by train to Woking, there are two stations.

beccajoh Thu 05-Jun-14 15:34:38

Where to live in Surrey all hinges on whether you need to get into London for work or not. Assuming not if your husband will be working in Woking? It's expensive to live in areas with fast train connections and if you don't need to go to London regularly there's no point paying a premium.

Guildford and Farnham are lovely, and there's plenty of outlying villages (although I'm not sure about schools). Woking isn't that great. It does have one very popular school catholic school but you have to be baptised by the pope to get in. Not literally of course, but it's v hard!

Depends whether you want town or country I guess. Plenty of both around!

The Oyster card system in only in London and Woking is well outside. If you want to see how far out it goes towards Woking look for Surbiton or Kingston on a map. Those towns roughly mark the current boundary for Oyster card use.

beccajoh Thu 05-Jun-14 15:37:18

P.s there will be plenty of buses and trains you can use! Could even drive to work if there's parking, but traffic can be horrible.

Krithi Thu 05-Jun-14 17:12:24

Thank you so much ladies..

Since my husband's work place is in Woking, we'll not be going to London.
Thinking of renting a house in Guildford as it seems to be a nice place to live in with quite a lot of good primary schools. My kid loves swimming and she'll surely love the Leisure Park in Guildford. So the commute will be only from Guildford to Woking for my husband.

I really feel better now after your suggestions. Will keep asking for tips on and off, please bear with me..

happyAvocado Thu 05-Jun-14 17:21:07

Looks like Guilford to Woking is just 10 min by train

Bonnefoi Thu 05-Jun-14 17:40:59

Have a look at Fleet. It's on the Surrey/Hants border, and an easy, direct commute by train to Woking (less than 15 minutes).

Good primary schools, two very good Secondary Schools. Expensive, but housing, shops and access to places like London & Guildford, etc are easy.

Plenty of green space nearby as well.

Bonnefoi Thu 05-Jun-14 17:43:17

If you want somewhere more historical, but a bit further from the Station. Odiham or Farnham are lovely, too. Like something out of a Jane Austin novel.

Fleet isn't what you would call a historical sort of a town. smile

Krithi Thu 05-Jun-14 20:30:17

Could someone suggest any good short lets in Surrey for our initial accommodation till we find a house.

Also please suggest good letting agents in Surrey. Any idea on how much the letting agents charge?

Is it good to go through letting agents or find properties directly from landlords?

MorningsMadness Thu 05-Jun-14 22:04:45

Try Chantries - small agency but v honest and open, even if it means they don't get you as a customer!
Villages like Horsleys and West Clandon nice too with side routes to Woking.
Do use the internet though for researching lettings!
Best of luck.

Krithi Sat 07-Jun-14 04:28:42

Thank you so much ladies.

I've one more query. Could anyone suggest some good hotels in Guildford or Woking for initial stay?

Thanks in advnce..

Bekabeech Mon 09-Jun-14 09:49:50

In Guildford the top of the range is the Radisson - nice, but expensive. There is also the Mandolay - I know nothing about it but do slightly know the owners. There is also a Holiday Inn but its out of town and not easy to get to without a car - However the Holiday Inn in Woking is quite convenient for the station, so you might prefer that. At the more Budget end there are Travelodge and Premier Inns in both town. Both are basic but comfortable. (A family I know who have children at Guildford Private schools lived in one for a while while their house was refurbished.)
It really depends on who is paying.

Krithi Mon 09-Jun-14 17:23:28

Thank you so much. My husband's company is not paying for the initial accommodation, so I have to focus on the budget ones.. We just need a comfortable and hygienic place.

fairgroundsnack Mon 23-Jun-14 10:56:55

Look at the Holiday Inn or Travelodge in Woking for good value accomodation.

If you husband is working in Woking I would suggest you look at some of the nearer areas - Guildford is nice but expensive and the commute can be a bit of a hassle, particularly as it is difficult to live near Guildford station. Goldsworth Primary is generally regarded as a good school in Woking. It really depends on your budget for housing and travel.

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