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Moving around in London: NW -> SW

(11 Posts)
Stellarann Wed 11-Oct-17 10:38:23

Hi everyone, after 10 years in NW London I am considering making the big move - to another side of the town.

I am of Western European origin and divorcing my hb of Indian origin. We have a daughter who is due to enter nursery school next year. Now, come the difficult decisions.

Ex wants to stay in a very Asian area in NW London. The options seem to be private schools with a strong Asian demographic or state schools with more mixed backgrounds, but plenty of underperforming students and not great performance. He has family in the area, which he uses to justify his point. I am not happy with this arrangement. The divorce was mostly caused by pressure from his family towards raising dd according to his culture. The situation has become worse after starting the divorce process and the last thing I would like to happen is to see dd raised as part of a 99% Asian minority. I am already struggling to make sure that the other part of her identity - ie. European/British is taken into account in her upbringing.

I would like to move into an area with a more balanced ethnical mix and am impressed by SW London in general: Richmond, Twickenham, Kingston.

It looks like we can't afford private school at the moment. Also, we are planning to look after dd 50-50 ie. shared care even during the week.

How do we reconcile this? Has anyone been in a remotely similar situation? Would I be able to pull through such a move? I am aware that there is a mountain of research to do on good areas and schools on SW side, but that is where I would at least want to try to build my future.

ANY advice whatsoever will be greatly appreciated.

JoJoSM2 Mon 16-Oct-17 23:29:34

I can't see how 50:50 care would work. How would the poor thing get to school from opposite ends of London? Build friendships, attend play dates, birthday parties etc?

JoJoSM2 Mon 16-Oct-17 23:30:38

Don't know where you are now but Kingston to Harrow would probably take a couple of hours door to door.

Tahti Tue 17-Oct-17 18:15:30

Thanks for your responses! I may not have expressed myself very clearly. What I meant is to persuade the ex to move to the same area as well. I do not see why we both should automatically stay in the area he chooses. At least it should be discussed why we should stay in NW and why not both relocate to a nice area in SW.

Since I am new to the area, I would greatly appreciate advice about where to start, having explained the background story.

JoJoSM2 Wed 18-Oct-17 07:02:06

So he is close to his family, wants to raise the daughter close to them and in that culture. And you think you can convince him to leave his family and community behind, and move 1.5-2h away? And so that to bring your daughter away from the culture and family?

I’m not sure why you think he’d find that a good idea. I’d imagine that he would prefer the daughter to stay in NW London with him, grandparents and everyone else and have you visit.

How old is your daughter and what does she want?

Tahti Wed 18-Oct-17 12:10:33

Ok let's not make assumptions please. I am not trying to uproot anyone from their family and community. If my daughter was old enough to take her requests into account it would of course do that - alas, she is a toddler. There is one family member living near us and there is no strong integration in the local community, so the change is not that drastic, rather one of convenience and cultural exposure. Obviously, I cannot make the decision alone and it remains to be negotiated with the ex.

Let us bear in mind that my daughter has two cultural backgrounds not just one. One of the reasons I am considering balancing out the situation is that she is currently only raised into my ex's culture and believe it would be good for her to be exposed to the plurality of cultures in her own background and London, and also to be raised with British values, not only those of my ex's country. Does anyone see what I am trying to say here? I am not looking for advice regarding family matters but how to go about getting to know a new area. Ideally, if someone has experience from living in NW and SW and could illustrate whether the shift might be worth it, I would appreciate it.

JoJoSM2 Wed 18-Oct-17 12:27:15

So there’s only one Indian family member around and you have no strong links to the local community but it’s still to Indian and out of balance for you hmm

Yes, the SW areas you mention are lovely to live in and there are nice state and private schools.

ujerneyson Wed 18-Oct-17 12:38:30

There are plenty of areas in NW London which aren't predominately Asian and which have good state schools. Why not try one of those?

Tahti Wed 18-Oct-17 12:58:57

So, when I write 'family', the assumption is being made that I am pulling my daughter away from a large family with grandparents and all. When I specify that there is one family member and that we are not strongly integrated with the community, it is 'still too Indian and out of balance'?

Yes, it is possible that there is one member of the ex's family in a predominantly Indian area. It is possible that the links with the local community are not that strong but still there is a clear culturally monolithic element in comparison to other areas. I would not be writing here unless there was something I was concerned of.

I did not write here to be judged but to hear advice in what is a very difficult decision. To protect my daughter's privacy, I do not want to put too many details of my individual situation in order not to be identified. It is up to you to give me the benefit of doubt of whether I am able to take decisions for the well-being of my family. If you are only out there to judge without knowing the situation, can I ask whose interests that serves?

I would greatly appreciate advice on ethnically more balanced areas with good state schools in NW London - that would certainly help! Thanks in advance.

ujerneyson Wed 18-Oct-17 18:36:47

I'll take a punt that you're in the Harrow area or surrounds. I think that West Lodge in Pinner is still more diverse. Other areas which spring to mind are Mill Hill where courtlands is a fantastic local state school and I believe that St Paul's is too although C of E I believe. Otherwise look at going towards Finchley and Barnet, good state schools and much more mixed and if budget allows then Hampstead Garden Suburb has Brooklands and Garden Suburb schools.

Other alternatives are to go slightly into herts or Bucks so Bushey is mixed, pretty and has a brilliant range of primaries and really good state secondaries or look at somewhere like Rickmansworth, again more mixed.

Tahti Wed 18-Oct-17 20:39:19

Thank you very much, I shall check these out! Obviously it would be a much easier option than relocating so far smile

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