Thinking of moving to south sutton - partly for DD1's schooling(19 Posts)
Wondered if anyone had any views about south sutton primary and secondary school - thinking ahead for DD who is 14 months. We're living in Wimbledon, but the housing costs are becoming a struggle there, sutton is commutable for us, and I hear the schools are good. Thinking of moving to near the Avenue primary school - does anyone have a child there or at one of the nearby state secondary schools? Any views on them? I realise nonsuch girl's school is nearby of course, but DD is far too young to decide whether that's a good yet, and I have mixed feelings about the tutoring needed to get there too.
Schools in Sutton are very good - the grammar schools are excellent and there are good comps too. You'll know whether it is worth tutoring closer to the time.
My DSD went to Avenue and left a couple of years ago. It was pretty good, as far as I know, but incredibly focused on SATs. The second term of Y6 was devoted to practice papers and she came home with an inch-thick (not kidding) folder of things to test herself on. There seems to be a new head so things may have changed.
Barrow Hedges is excellent according to one friend. Might be worth considering.
We're not in Sutton itself but are within the borough.
All primary schools are full, there were (I think) 6 or 7 additional bulge classes added last September, one school added an extra class after October half term and even that class is almost full - this was to provide places in Reception for children who were not allocated any place at all even though they applied on time etc. Admissions distances appear to be shrinking year on year.
Primary schools are relatively thin on the ground in South Sutton - Avenue has had an admissions distance of around 800m for the last 2 years, which is further out than many other local primaries. Devonshire is a good school nearby, a friend's son started Reception there in September and loved it. Barrow Hedges is very oversubscribed again, and you'd have to live very close to the school to be offered a place there.
You might also want to look at Woodmansterne, in Surrey, that's a lovely school and would have been higher up our list if it wasn't for transport problems getting DD there.
The starting schools booklet that the council produce can be seen here.
Re Secondary schools, they're all good here. Even the comprehensives are almost all above national average in terms of GCSE A*-C grades. And obviously there's Nonsuch and Wallington Girls, as well as the 3 boys grammars too. Greenshaw (mixed mostly comp) has a selective element too, it admits I think 60 pupils a year based on ability and the rest on the normal distance/sibling/etc criteria.
I live in Sutton (central not south) and my ds started school this September. As previously stated all schools in the area are full - we did not get a place on the initial allocation round despite living within 550 metres of our nearest school. Several of the schools have increased their number of reception places and they still needed to add 2 bulge classes (1 of these was at The Avenue). A further 2 schools are going 2 form entry from next September but it is still not known if this will be enough.
The Avenue has a very good reputation but you would need to live very close to be sure of getting a place.
Thanks for all the information. Yes, I realise how tight catchment areas can be (where we live in Merton we would not have got DD in the local school - which is 500m away). That's partly why I thought I'd look at the Avenue (as its 3 forms) and I'm only looking within 300-400m or so. Particularly trying to look in the small area between the Avenue and Devonshire. Even that could be too far if we are unlucky I guess..... I can't imagine how people who work cope if they have a child sent to a school miles away.
Unfortunately, all the areas we could afford to live (and manage commuting wise) seem to be just as oversubscribed for primary schools.
The Avenue is lovely but the Primary situation is very tight generally in the Borough of Sutton and the same is true of the Secondary schools. It was the Sutton council who were arguing a few weeks ago for larger class sizes so that they could accommodate all the extra children they need to find places for. Since the secondary schools around South Sutton are mixed (no separate girls and boys schools), they get double the number of potential students and you have to live quite close to them. There are definitely parts of Sutton that are black holes ie if you live there, you wouldn't be close enough to any Sutton school to get a place and would probably be sent out of Borough. It is true Sutton schools are good but it is also true that living in Sutton doesn't guarantee you a place at a Sutton school!
Nonsuch is a different prospect altogether. It is one of the most popular Grammar Schools in the London area and takes girls from all London boroughs plus Surrey plus others further out in Middlesex and onwards. It is not just open to Sutton girls and is generally viewed as a long shot even for the brightest pupils. Over 1500 girls sit the test each year and there are currently about 150 places. Girls within a large geographical radius of the school get some priority but there's no getting away from the fact that it is essentially very hard to get a place (lots of girls pass the Nonsuch test but don't end up with a place at the school as hundreds pass the test but there are only spaces for 150 pupils).
With an 18 month old child, the best bet would be to move close to your preferred Primary and Secondary Schools because living anywhere in Sutton will put you within the Nonsuch area but you need to have acceptable back-up schools in place should your daughter not pass the 11+ or pass but still not get offered a place.
Thanks for this Custard Cake. Yes, I'm definitely not assuming that DD will get into Nonsuch (or that I'll even want her to try closer to the time!) I realise how competitive that will be. The key is living very near a good primary and secondary (which really narrows it down location wise!).
And what is good now, won't necessarily be so in 10 years time.
Thanks Jalapeno. Yes we move ever further out in search of a better quality of life :-)
I don't want to move any further out than this though just because of commuting (hate it really). Banstead is very nice but just that bit further away. I'll keep looking in south sutton but bear in mind we need to stay really really close to a primary.
Where are you commuting to? Sometimes further out can result in less commuting time.
Depends where you are commuting to really. If you are using the trains into Victoria or the Thameslink (not called this any more but can't think of what it is now called...) to the city or N London then Carshalton may be better. Some parts of South Sutton are quite far away from Sutton station and you'd either need to get on the S1 (comes from Banstead goes up Chiltern Road and down the Gallop) to Sutton station or get on at Belmont (one stop in from Banstead) but that line is a bit dire. Walking would take a good 20 mins I'd say from Belmont to Sutton but then it's very close to Avenue and Overton Grange schools. So in some cases Banstead is not as bad as you think commute wise. If you have a second car loads of people leave cars near Carshalton Beeches Station.
My wife and I are looking to buy in Carshalton and we came across this thread when thinking about school catchment areas. We're a bit new to all this and we're trying to make sure that we don't do something silly!
I've been researching catchment areas of non-faith schools and the good ones seem really tight, trying to get within one while still remaining near the station for a decent commute is a challenge! That said our son is only 5 months old so we don't want to try to plan too far ahead. So we're looking at houses in Cambridge Road which is any 0.6 miles from Stanley Park Infants and is also within a mile of 2 other decent schools, does that sound close enough? Just worried about being in a bit of a black hole and getting sent out of borough!
Any advice gladly received!
Just had to respond as a friend of mine lives in harrow road - close to Cambridge rd and can't get into any local school as its just too far. Maybe consider moving closer to Stanley park infants/barrow hedges so you are within good chance of getting in at least one? Realise prices are higher though as we are in process of moving from carshalton to wallington as need bigger house. Apparently old site of Stanley park high is turning into a Bandon hill primary!
Hi skcrip - I'm in Croydon, not Carshalton, but know the area and know how it was to be new to all of this. The main thing I learned is that as a new parent 0.6miles sounds very close to a primary school. The reality is, it's probably not close enough. Seriously. Get a copy of the borough's primary schools booklet which gives distances of places offered around each school. For the good schools, these distances will be small - around here it's well under 0.5 miles, and as your DC is so young, the odds are that the distances will shrink. So make sure you're properly close, like opposite or on the same street ideally. With a three-form entry, you could risk being slightly further away, but I wouldn't risk 0.6, sorry. Madness isn't it! But well done for sussing all this out before you buy. We bought in a black hole and spent four years trying to get out of it!
The old Stanley Park High Sch site is from September called Bandon Hill Woodfield, a new 4-form entry primary linked to Bandon Hill Meadowfield (Ofsted outstanding). It's not far away from Stanley Park, and should mean that admissions distances increase. I'll be looking at it when we do a school application in the autumn.
I know Cambridge Road, and I'm not sure you'd have got a place at Stanley Park infants last year or this year. I know the last admitted place in the current year 2 went to someone living in Wallace Crescent, which is slightly closer to the school than Cambridge Rd is I think.
A mile I'd say is definitely too far away to be confident of getting a place. 0.6 miles is risky. My advice earlier in the thread from last year pretty much still stands though.
FWIW I know a few people with kids at Victor Seymour who really rate it and that might be closer, they are less sure about Camden Juniors but rumour is that it will become a Harris Academy from September, Harris appear to do a good job of running schools judging by others in the localish area they've already taken over.
If you want to look at preschools too, I would heartily recommend The Ark Montessori, based at Carshalton Beeches Baptist, easily walkable from Cambridge Road
Have you looked just over the 217 at Cheam or East Ewell? I have friends who are very happy with Cuddington Croft and St Dunstans primary schools. Not sure where you're commuting to but there's also Epsom with a view to going to Roseberry (girls) or Glyn (boys) for secondary, both outstanding comprehensives although I don't know much about the primary schools there.
Any honest reviews about The Beacon School in Banstead. Any info is appreciated.
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