Moving from Malaysia to Guildford/ Sevenoaks/Thames Ditton/ Southfields in Jan/11??(5 Posts)
I am really looking for advice and would be so grateful for any advice received. I just found out my hubbie is moving to a new job in the UK on 2 Jan/ 2012. We are currently living in Malaysia (I'm Canadian, hubbie Irish) and we have 3 kids - aged 4,6 and 8. I am completely unfamiliar with the school process and indeed where best to live! Hubbies job will be central London based 3-4 days/ week and Guildford for other 1-2 days. He wants to have a less than 40 minute train commute to London and would prefer to walk to a station. I have so many questions I don't know where to begin. Firstly , where is a great family place to live? I want to avoid Wags and posh bakers wives! What about schools for primary education - private or public? And is it even possible to get into a govt private school without an address? I almost don't know where to begin - I guess I need t pick an area first - I have been suggested a few noted above - I think for the kids sake it is better to be further out of London - but am surprised to note that it seems as expensive to live in Guildford as it is in Central London. I would be so grateful for some advice.
Guildford is NOT as expensive as central London, are you comparing like with like? None of Guildford is as grim as some bits of central London, regardless of what locals will say.
You can't apply for state schools in the UK until you have an address, but the LA is obliged to find you one then. You can contact schools to see if they have spaces/know of people moving on.
You don't want to live in Sevenoaks if he's got to get to Guildford, driving around the M25 is not fun, and best avoided on a weekly basis.
For you I would look at Guildford, Godalming (maybe Haslemere), and villages especially on the Guildford London Road to Waterloo line (East and West Horsley etc.).
The trickiest kids to get school places for will be the 4 (if they were 4 before the 1st September) and the 6 year old. As infant class sizes are restricted by the government to 30 in a class. You 8 year old has a chance at appeal of getting in to your chosen school even if full, and some schools do go over 30 quite regularly.
BTW no WAGs here and Bankers wives aren't that posh! (But if yo did mean Bakers, well some do send their kids to the posh Prep.) For WAGs go to Cobham, or the very big houses in some villages, but they tend to be quite nice really (and open fetes etc.).
There are plenty of travelled people in this area, so you won't stick out (few who've lived here their whole lives unlike some rural areas). Do use google maps to see what the area looks like too, lots of countryside around.
You have to watch those bakers' wives I've found, a bit uppity some of them, LOL. Wives of bankers I've met in that neck of the woods are down to earth & welcoming so try to keep open mind
Good choice of private schools around there although not cheap, look up: Cranleigh, Danes Hill, St Catherine's, St Hilary's, RGS, Charterhouse etc.
A very good catholic (?) state primary near Godalming I believe - you may need to be a church goer to attend? Someone local might be able to advise. Good luck.
I would say lots of great State schools in the general area BTW.
You need an address to apply for a state school place. Can you afford private for 3 of them - are they boys or girls or both. Many of the best private schools in the Guildford area are single sex.
Do you want to live urban or rural? How much do you want to spend on a house/rent? Are you likely to move before secondary.
Godalming, Guildford, Woking (very fast connections into London but not the prettiest of towns) are the urban options.
West Horsley (fab state small primary and catchment for good state secondary) - many of the houses near East Horsley train station. This is more rural with a small parade of shops but 20 minutes drive to Guildford.
If you need to go state I would live very close to your preferred school but they are really oversubscribed in central Guildford as lots of new build has made catchments tiny.
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