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Moving to Brighton - advice on schools

(38 Posts)
Pollyanna Sun 22-May-05 20:53:50

We are planning to move to Brighton very soon - I have a ds aged 6 and a dd who will be starting reception in September. We prefer to live close to the station as dh will be commuting to London - has anyone got any advice on which are the good schools (or which schools to avoid)? (I know that most schools are likely to be full up for September, but we can wait if necessary).

Also, we don't know Brighton very well - is there anything I should know about areas to avoid? I have got the Juicy Guide to Brighton. Thanks.

Pollyanna Mon 23-May-05 08:57:17

Can anyone help?

noddyholder Mon 23-May-05 09:05:12

I live at Fiveways and the 2 local schools downs and balfour are both excellent HTH Let me know if you need more info

Pollyanna Mon 23-May-05 12:26:01

thanks - the main problem is that we want a house close to a school, but we can't get a school place until we have a house. Also we are applying at a time when the schools have just allocated places for reception - so not good timing really.
We have to apply by 24th June for a place in September.

What are Davigdor and Stanford like, do you know?

Would you recommend Fiveways as a good place to live?

(we were planning to do this move more slowly really, but now think that it would be better for dd1 if she can start in September at school in brighton, rather than move there after starting school in London).

MABS Mon 23-May-05 17:27:44

Stanford and Davigdor are good, also Summerhill is excellent. Are you only considering being near Brighton station, or Hove also? If yes to Hove then St Andrews and Aldryngton are great. You need to avoid Bevendean, Whitehawk and Moulscombe really. Ask away with any questions? ...and yeah, Fiveways is a great place to live, SevenDials is also good and v near Brighton station.

noddyholder Mon 23-May-05 17:47:35

fiveways is very family friendly and is getting more of a community vibe all the time There are nice parks etc and good schools It is quite pricey though as are any areas near good schools Davigdor is excellent but the catchment is tiny

Pollyanna Mon 23-May-05 21:10:46

We're really only considering Brighton Station as I don't want dh to be away from home too long each day! I spoke to St Paul's school - they have a place now for ds, but probably not for dd1. I think it will be very difficult to get a place for her. (what is this school like?). My ds has dyspraxia and other problems, so I'm really looking for a school that will be nurturing and sympathetic - we are at a high achieving school at the moment and it's not the best environment for him.

I will phone Davigdor and Downs tomorrow and see what the position is on possible places and then I think we'll try and rent a place as near to the likeliest school.


Is the Preston Park area nice? You seem to get more house and garden for your money there.

LIZS Mon 23-May-05 21:13:39

I grew up in Hove and iirc the trains don't take much longer than to Brighton (fast Littlehampton service, by-passing Brighton), plus it is less hassle to get there and there are more residential areas within walking distance.

redshoes Tue 24-May-05 20:12:45

I live in Hove and dd goes to St Andrews which is a good but v popular school (and C of E). My ds went to Davigdor/Somerhill and they were both really good schools. I reckon your best bet is Davigdor and moving to Seven Dials, but ring the LEA first and get them to send you copies of the boundary maps for the last 3 years as it has shrunk and moved westwards recently. Stanford has really increased in popularity in the last few years so maybe the Porthall area would be worth a look. The LEA can send boundary maps for whatever school/area you might be interested in (why they don't publish them online I don't know). Good luck.

Pollyanna Mon 30-May-05 23:00:29

We've just spent the weekend in brighton, and my current favourite area is near Davigdor school, so I'm going to phone the LEA tomorrow. I think we'll have problems as all the places have been allocated for September I think. But they must make some provision for people moving to Brighton through the year.

You have 4 children as well don't you Redshoes? Whereabouts in Hove do you live?(no need to be too specific!). My dh prefers the Preston park area, but it seems further away from the centre of Brighton to me.

redshoes Tue 31-May-05 08:16:01

Hi Pollyanna
They don't make any provision for people moving! Wherever you choose, the school will be full...but people do move, and a space will come up, though maybe not before the start of term...
I live near the museum in Hove. Seven Dials is very 'Londony' and the park is one of the best. Preston Park has a 'community' feel and of course a nice park, but for me there is no point unless you can walk to the sea. And the shops! Seven Dials is so central. Good luck.

noddyholder Tue 31-May-05 08:20:47

I live at fiveways not far from preston park and it is so close to the town and has a nice feel The schools are excellent but are often oversubscribed My friend lives right by davigdor(lovely area and school)but she still couldn't get her dd in and has to go to stanford When you live here it seems so small and you can walk everywhere.

noddyholder Tue 31-May-05 08:23:22

there is a train station at preston park it is the 1st stop after brighton on the way to london so is a popular area with commuters

Pollyanna Tue 31-May-05 11:19:59

Redshoes, we looked at a house in Lawrence Road, which was really lovely - we hadn't thought about Hove before then. We would need to be close to the station though. Noddyholder, I liked Fiveways near the little playground (sorry can't remember which road that was on) - but I think that is too far from the station for dh. (my very scientific study of where to live in Brighton involved visiting different playgrounds - I like St Ann's well garden's too). The houses are bigger near Preston park, but I feel a bit like Redshoes, that it would be nice to be able to walk to the sea and the shops/coffee shops.

I'm not too sure what to do about schools. If we buy/rent a house, we still could be left without a school for dd1 and ds, but we can't get a school place without a house. I suppose we could buy a house and then rent it out if we don't get a place (we are only renting in London atm). alternatively we are thinking about private schools, although we would then have to get a cheaper house. It is very difficult.

desperatehousewife Tue 31-May-05 11:23:58

My DH commutes 3 times a week to London. We live in Kemp Town which is quite bohemian and has a village area which is very family-ish. Great little shops. He cycles to the station (takes him 15 mins) and he either leaves bike at station or takes it on the train with him.

Are you looking to rent or buy down here first? We rented for 6 months just to get our bearings and decide if we wanted Hove or Kemp Town. It worked out well for us testing it like that.

Queens Park area is very nice - lovely big park, great houses, good primary school (state) - QUeens Park School.

Pollyanna Tue 31-May-05 13:30:41

I think we will rent to start with, although if we found a house to buy we will. We are planning to stay at least a year, because we will put dd1 and ds into school, and don't want to disrupt them more than we have to. I really hope it will work out and we don't have to move again (we can't really afford to live here anymore anyway, so we'd have to think of somewhere else).

desperatehousewife Tue 31-May-05 14:31:32

try looking on www.propertyfinder.com or findaproperty.com or rightmove.com

Also good agents in Brighton are:

Cambridge Residential (www.cambridge-residential.co.uk) tel: 01273 204037
Halls
Mishon Mackay
Wyatts

pixel Tue 31-May-05 16:49:37

I have several friends who live in Lawrence road, it is a nice area, very quiet but an easy walk to the seafront with it's lagoon, large play area and kids' paddling pool. There is also Wish Park just down the road (nice for little ones)or Stoneham park the other direction which has more play equipment for older children and a cafe. Shops are an easy walk including a big new Tesco. I wish I could afford to live there!

All our children go to West Hove School nearby which we have been more than happy with. In fact, now that I've had to move to a cheaper area I have to drive dd to school because I didn't want to take her away from West Hove.

redshoes Tue 31-May-05 21:59:47

Any decisions Pollyanna? If you are renting, bear in mind that now all reception places have been allocated, when places at schools become available the list goes in order of proximity to the school. So you really need to find something next door to Davigdor (or wherever!). I hope you are bearing up with all of this - must be so stressful. School places here are sooo fought-over. x

Pollyanna Tue 31-May-05 22:12:48

no decisions yet. I think we should rent - it is too stressful trying to find a house to buy in a hurry (and long distance)- and then we will be able to look around more slowly once we live in Brighton.

The schools are all full for September (I spoke to the LEA today), so it will be interesting to see what we get allocated if we do find somewhere to rent. Moving house now though would mean taking a big gamble that we would get a suitable school, or we will have to be willing to go private which I'm not sure we can afford (and we do have school places here if all else fails).

I am visiting on saturday and will speak to some agents about renting - it would be nice to be in Brighton for the summer. I don't know how people manage to tie in moving with getting school places - it seems impossible!

RnB Tue 31-May-05 22:19:51

Message withdrawn

Pollyanna Tue 31-May-05 22:27:38

are there toddler groups in Preston Park (and Hove come to that)? I worry that I would feel quite isolated in Preston Park, rattling around in a big house. (I know this isn't rational, and I am just as likely to feel the same in Seven Dials).

RnB Tue 31-May-05 22:45:39

Message withdrawn

Pollyanna Wed 01-Jun-05 19:37:07

Does anyone know why Davigdor is considered to be a good school? I read the Ofsted report and it isn't very good...

Desperatehousewife - how long does it take your dh to get to the station? (I had thought that Kemptown wasn't for us because it was too far from the station).

pinkmama Fri 03-Jun-05 10:28:15

Hi, only just seen this thread. I also live Fiveways and would really recommend here/preston park area. Balfour School was under subscribed this year apparently so you may get ds in there. It is a fabulous school. We moved to area just at time dd was due to start and were lucky to get a place. DH needs to get train regularly and find preston park station very handy.

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