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Relocating to Northants - need to find reception place for Oct/Nov

(28 Posts)
Zeeky Sun 07-Aug-11 20:32:26

Hoping someone can help me here with a bit of advice. Relocating from Berks to Northants in next few months. DS is starting in Reception in Sept. We have spent the weekend looking round Northampton area at all the villages which we know to have a decent school. I know that Northants won't accept applications for a school place until we have exchanged contracts on a house, but how do we go about finding out which schools have a place for him?? We don't want to set our heart on a school, find a house etc and then find out that they don't have space for him and the nearest school for him is rubbish and/or miles away! We want to arrange some school visits, but will all the schools be shut at the moment for hols? Do we have to wait until September before we can visit any of them?

Aaaargh - I'm finding it all so stressful, and we haven't put our house on the market and started house hunting yet!!!

waitawhile Sun 07-Aug-11 21:43:15

PM'd you.

cakesaregood Sun 07-Aug-11 22:12:57

Another PM from me smile

uninspired Sun 07-Aug-11 22:25:11

Some info here

The schools will be shut but the admissions team should be available and able to tell you which schools have places.

Don't want to out myself by recommending schools / places to live, have you found anywhere you particularly liked?

Zeeky Sun 07-Aug-11 22:42:12

Thanks for the PMs ladies & info.

We've spent the weekend driving round some of the villages around the southern half of Northampton. The ones which we really like & also have decent schools are:

Blakesley
Badby
Newnham
Flore
Nether Heyford
Rothersthorpe
Gayton
Harpole
Milton Malsor
Blisworth
Roade
Grendon
Castle Ashby
Yardley Hastings
Meats Ashby

Rather a lot! Going to look around the village north of N'ampton next weekend eg Maidwell, Naseby, Scaldwell, Moulton etc

Quite a lot of the village schools seem to be church schools - not a problem as we do go to church occassionally, but so they have different admissions criteria? Would we have to speak to them direct to find out about availability?

I was thinking of sending an email to each of the schools that we are interested in to arrange a visit & request info, with the thinking that as soon as a secretary or head is in & checking email we can get the ball rolling. Is this a good idea or a waste of time?

KangarooCaught Sun 07-Aug-11 22:44:33

Give some thought to the secondaries, which are far more of an issue in Northants.

Zeeky Sun 07-Aug-11 22:55:58

Thanks Kangaroo. I did have a quick look at secondaries and the ones in the areas I mentioned above seem to be ok or we would be in catchment for the big popular ones in N'ampton. Was hoping not to have to worry too much about that at this stage as it's a good few years away & schools can change...

uninspired Mon 08-Aug-11 06:58:52

I live in one of those villages mentioned smile

Have PMd you

mumoftwo22 Mon 08-Aug-11 09:11:55

Hi ,
I am in a similar situiation, though would have to move to Milton Keynes .
Can someone share the information on the web or PM me please
Will the addmission team in the council be able to help me ?
Please advice

uninspired Mon 08-Aug-11 10:57:18

Mumoftwo you would need to speak to mk council. Sorry can't link as on phone

Admission varies from authority to authority and mk itself is a tightly defined area so done more rural schools may come under bucks council I'm not sure

crazygracieuk Mon 08-Aug-11 11:19:28

We are moving to MK next week. Milton Keynes admissions were very helpful when I discussed local schools to hypothetical addresses. The best schools are oversubscribed and places go quickly but with MK you can apply once your offer has been accepted. Good luck!!

Zeeky Mon 08-Aug-11 16:25:34

Well, spoke to a nice lady at Northants school admissions. Although very nice, she didn't seem to know much, and other than telling me where to find the online in-year transfer form, she just kept telling me that all the information I needed was on their website & to contact the schools direct to arrange visits when term starts!

I'm making a shortlist of schools based on ofsted rating & whether we like the look of the village & then as soon as term starts will call them to arrange a visit & see if they can tell me if they have a reception place. What we don't want to happen is that we love a school, manage to buy a house nearby & then find out the school is full! We really want to be in walking distance of the school if possible as I think that will also help ds make friends locally.

MonsterBookOfTysons Mon 08-Aug-11 16:30:37

I used to live in Moulton. Moulton primary and secondary were not good regarding bullying. Found out through my own family and others.
I now live in a village that you havent mentioned which has 3 good primary schools, one is a age 4 - 18 years school. Wootton smile

Zeeky Mon 08-Aug-11 16:39:34

Monsterbook one of the reasons we haven't looked at Wootton is that I've been told that it would be virtually impossible to get into the good schools there. I was also concerned that it was a bit too close to Northampton as we are looking for a more rural village.

MonsterBookOfTysons Mon 08-Aug-11 16:46:34

Yes it isnt very rural smile I know as long as you are in the right catchment area caroline chisholm is a good bet but the other two village schools are hard to get in, I have been told not to waste my bids hmm
I want son to go Hopping hill primary, bloody brilliant school in a shit area. grin
Have you thought of checking out chapel brampton and church brampton. Beautiful rural villages and also Boughton which is near Moulton. smile

uninspired Mon 08-Aug-11 18:10:31

Monster in the recent experience of friends Moulton schools - particularly the secondary are really really hot on bullying and any low level behaviuor issues. The new(ish) head is really bringing standards up.

Caroline Chisholm is very good but as you have both found out it is difficult to get into - I know families in Wooton / Simpson Manor who have not got in but families in Grange Park who have. The other thing about being a through school is my friends DS was just turned 4 when he started and found it quite bewildering being with jostling teens etc.

There are a few villages to the east of Northampton - Castle Ashby, Denton, Cogenhoe, Whiston etc which feed into Woollaston Secondary which I have been told is lovely.

MonsterBookOfTysons Mon 08-Aug-11 18:28:58

Uninspired, that is good to know wrt the moulton schools.
I have no idea which schools I should choose tbh, I have to do it in September hmm
Am thinking long shot caroline chisholm, then Hopping hill, then i have a blank confused

uninspired Mon 08-Aug-11 19:47:19

You must live pretty centrally then to be able to consider going to schools at opposite ends of town Monster.

OP if it is in your price range then the villages suggested by Monster - Boughton and the Bramptons are gorgeous and their parish councils have recently over turned a massive development that was planned nearby which would have swamped the villages. The one thing I would say about them is that a lot of children tend to go private at secondary so local friends may become an issue

MonsterBookOfTysons Mon 08-Aug-11 19:50:18

Uninspired I live in Wootton, I dont mind driving to a good school though. Ds spent last year at Hopping hill playgroup and is going to hopping hill nursery school in sept. Their are such good staff there.

shadycharacter Wed 10-Aug-11 10:30:22

I'm in Grange Park and have been told not to waste any bids on Caroline Chisholm or Preston Hedges either. Apparently only 2 from Grange Park got in! When do we actually apply for Sept 2012 by the way, anyone know?

Noticed Moulton on your list...would steer clear tbh. Also heard bad things about Roade Primary.

prh47bridge Wed 10-Aug-11 10:48:18

As others have said, if you are planning on moving into an area the admissions team at the LA should be able to tell you which schools have places. If a school has a place available you do not have to wait until you have exchanged contracts. You cannot apply to your new LA using your new address until you have exchanged contracts but you can apply immediately through your existing LA using your current address and the new LA has to give you the place.

Applications for primary school places have to be in by 15th January in England.

MonsterBookOfTysons Wed 10-Aug-11 17:53:51

Shady as you live so close to me, you must be feeling abit fed up too. What schools are worth bidding on hmm
I have been told not to try for any wootton schools but cant see why I should have to travel in the car to far cotton when wootton has 3 good schools. It is ridiculous.
I suppose Hardingstone primary is not worth bidding on too sad
I think im just going to go for the 3 wootton schools and if I get none will end up in another school nearby. They are all reasonably good round here anyways.
Does anyone know what the furthest away they can plonk the dc into? I really dont want to end up in a near town centre school.

shadycharacter Thu 11-Aug-11 08:29:51

Yup monster, 'tis a nightmare. The joke is I don't even like living in Grange Park but I know how poo a lot of the schools are in N'hampton so we're staying put to give the boys at least a shot at getting into a decent school!

A lady on my road put Caroline Chisholm, Preston Hedges, Woodland View (G.P primary) and her son was placed in Collingtree AND he has really severe life threatening asthma and allergies, so we probably don't stand a chance! BUT she did say that everybody she knows who applied to Wootton Primary was successful and since it is a feeder school for CCS, I reckon I may do that as first or 2nd choice! Not keen on Woodland View, going to have to take a peek at the village schools: Hardingstone, Horton, Simon de senlis etc etc. While you're here Monster, I don't suppose you know of any good childminders do you? :-)

prh47bridge Thu 11-Aug-11 11:17:04

Monster - There is no legal limit on distance. Anything up to one hour's journey each way is regarded as reasonable. However, the LA has to provide free transport to the school if it is over 2 miles walking distance away unless you have chosen the school in preference to one more local.

MonsterBookOfTysons Thu 11-Aug-11 15:47:48

Shady what does a feeder school mean? Does that mean that if we go for ccs and dont get in we will probably get placed in wootton? smile I am also looking at East Hunsbury primary, dont know if it is much good there though.
I have no ideas about cm sorry, never used them. smile
prh That is good to know, Hopping hill is quite a possibility then. I would prefer him to be in a wootton school in case my car breaks down though.
It is so much to think about. smile

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