State Schools in Esher / Walton / Surbiton(18 Posts)
My boyfriend and I are looking at moving out of London towards the South West of London / Surrey borders and buying a house with a view to starting a family. We can't afford private schooling so need to buy somewhere which has access to state primary and secondary schools and I'm hoping the collective wisdom on here will be able to help guide us in the right direction!
We want to stay South West as we both work in West london.
We can't afford Richmond or anywhere like that. I think Walton's alright and he likes Esher. Another friend suggested Surbiton. Someone else said Teddington. I think Weybridge is out as you need to have the cash for St George's?
Any ideas very welcome. Thank you!
PS I realise the babies may or may not happen, but we may as well plan and think positive...
I come from that part of the country so hopefully I can help you out a touch.
Walton (my home town) is great if a little expensive in places. It has a nice shopping centre now and is alot better than what it was when I was little.
Hersham is nice too. It is like Walton but on a smaller scale and I think it is slightly cheaper. Alot of older properties there, but I think there are some new builds around
Weybridge/addlestone you need to be a millionaire to afford properties there!! :p
Esher and Leatherhead are again in places expensive, but I think that is true for that part of the country.
My Aunty lives in Surbiton, and that is an easy commute to London and back.
A few miles out from Walton is East Molesey. That is not too bad to live. There is (or at least used to be) a large industrial estate, so if you ever want to work closer to home, then that would be an ideal place to work.
When I was young I went to Ashley First, Cleaves Middle and Rydens Comprehensive. (this was around 17-30 years ago so things would have changed!)
I am not sure about the status of the schools now, but in all honesty I would avoid Rydens like the plague! Heathside (secondary) in Weybridge is ok from what I hear. There used to be Ambleside First School in Walton, not sure what it is like there now, but mum refused to send me there!
I dont really know much about schools outside of the Walton/Weybridge/Hersham boundary, but if you look on the stats for the borough and visit the schools when the need arises, should give you some ideas.
I do however have some very happy memories from Ashley First & Cleaves Middle
If we could afford it, I would move back to Walton or Hersham in a heartbeat. I live up in the Midlands now, so to us the house prices seem a little extreme! :p
Thanks for the help - It seems like Weybridge is out of our reach financially but it's good to hear good reports of Walton and I'll add Hersham (which I hadn't heard of!) to the list.
Thanks too for the warnings re Rydens! I'll have to get better at the reading of these ofsted reports etc for all the schools - it seems so complicated!
Consider Thames Ditton - still has a village atmosphere and character though it isn't cheap. I think the primary schools are very good. If you did a train commute there is the choice of Thames Ditton/Surbiton/Esher or Hinchley Wood train stations depending on where you live.
Shepperton is right next door to Walton. It has a great primary school but don't think the secondary school has a great reputation.
Weybridge is on par with Esher price wise.
(I live in weybridge, definitely not a millionaire.)
Molesey is a desperately boring place to live. Its Surrey's answer to Bridgend. There is nothing to do and no shops. Your children would have to take a bus to secondary school. It is a concrete jungle so has all the disadvantages of a town and a rural area. Public transport is poor as well.
I like Surbition or have you considered Kingston? I think Surbition is great because you got the river and you are in easy walking distance of Kingston and you got fast trains into London. Thames Ditton is very quaint and village like.
Teddington is nice. You got Bushey Park near by and Teddington School had a very good repuation 20 years ago, I have no idea what is is like now.
It really depends on what you want. Are you a townie or a country person?
The big issue at the moment is the shortage of infant places in these areas............................
Addlestone prices some of the cheapest around as minimal direct train link to London it's either the stop train or change at Weybridge (although on bike/foot Wey station not that far)
I stand corrected soymama. No experience of the secondary school. Only hear say.
I just wanted to add I wouldn't be a house based on current performance of secondary schools - just focus on infants/primary for now as so much can change within 3 years let alone more than 6!
I grew up round there - Ashley First in Walton is CofE now but supposed to be good. Then there's Cleves, and Heathside secondary in Weybridge is supposed to be very good - most of the Walton kids went on the train to Weybridge each day. Don't know about Rydens.
In between the millionaire estates of Esher, Cobham and Burwood Park (Walton) there are cheaper properties. Walton has fast trains to London which may make a difference.
try Byfleet very nice . Rydens is on the way up and Heathside well on a par with other secondarys .
You don't have to be a millionaire to live in either Weybridge or Esher unless you want to live in a big house . There are lots and lots of smaller affordable properties around, the issue is that you would pay far more for a 2/3 bed terrace type house there than you would say in Walton, Addlestone, Shepperton and so on. You could probably get a nice 4/5 bed detached in Addlestone, or the less salubrious parts of Walton, for the same kind of price for a 2/3 bed terrace in Weybridge, Esher, Cobham etc.
The state primaries (and infant/junior schools) around Weybridge, Walton, Shepperton, Hersham are generally really good (with a few seen as rather less desirable) although there is a huge amount of pressure on them in terms of numbers of applications for school places as there are so many young families in the area, and more and more moving in all the time. And you would need to research distances to schools carefully as competition for places is so fierce, and the different towns can offer schools with very varying reputations. For example if you opted for Walton you might get the uber desirable Ashley school (outstanding ofsted, generally regarded as excellent) or Grovelands (which is in special measures or has been until very recently).
Further into SW London, places like Teddington, Kingston, Hampton Court etc are all lovely but, whilst considerably cheaper than say Richmond, they'd probably be more expensive than Weybridge/Esher/Cobham for a similar sized house, and have just as much if not more competition for school places...
That would be my warning about byfleet, they are now short on infant places. Addlestone due to an LEA cock up actually still has a surplus of primary places - we are getting dc shipped in from Virgina Water and Weybridge for juniors!!!!
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I really appreciate your time.
We are really looking to have a detached house with a garage as a) we're sick of hearing our neighbours shag / cough / watch tv/ party etc and b) we cycle and having the bikes in the flat to trip over drives us mad! As we cycle to work the train line isn't absolutely critical but it'd be good to have a reasonable option if we're too tired to cycle.
@randomMess V.good point re secondary school likely having changed in the intervening period - hadn't occurred to me til you said it but now of course seems v.obvious!!
Sounds to me that Walton / Shepperton / Hersham might be good options though I'll need to get stuck into the detail of streets and areas to make sure we get in the right catchment areas.
I think Cobham's too far to cycle in, really and Esher's pushing the boundaries a bit. I think we need to schedule in a Saturday of going round some of the areas and see what we think - doesn't seem much point going to Teddington and having a tiny cottage if for an extra 5 miles on the bike we can have a decent sized house in Walton!
Surrey County Council is currently reviewing the primary schools in Walton and Hersham because of a shortage of places. The schools that are currently infant only and junior only are becoming through primaries from 2012. Just be aware of this if you are basing a decision on where to live based on the current situation as the "catchments" may all change. More information is available on the Surrey website.
Also, you say you work in west London so I advise you to check the train routes carefully. I work in West London and the journey on public transport is a nightmare. You have to go into London and back out again as there is no train going "straight up" to places like Hammersmith or Ealing for example. The trains to Waterloo are great but anywhere not on that line is a bit tricky.
It is a great part of the world to live in though so good luck with your search!
That's interesting SuperSaint - thanks for the heads up - I'll have a look on the surrey website.
The trains should be ok I think as most go via CJ and we can get trains / buses from there to where we work but it's a shame there's no direct ones.
We had a cycle round yesterday and as a result Esher / Walton / Weybridge / Sunbury are our preferred options at the moment, though the latter's more villagey than the others. There aren't many houses on the market in any of the areas though so we may have to be patient (never my forte!).
Any views on Claygate? Seems to be a cheaper version of Esher.
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