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Bromley housing market/schools 2012

(44 Posts)
LondonLaura Tue 27-Mar-12 14:57:49

Hello all,

I am very keen to get your advice.

We have finally been chucked out of central London by rising rents and would like rent with an eye to buy in Bromley. We are a car-free family and cannot believe how gorgeous Bromley South/Palace Estates looks (if a tiny bit pricey for us at the moment).

Any other suggestions of affordable neighbourhoods, good state schools, close to Bromley South for London access.

Any suggestions/alternatives? Would you Bromley mums say?

noramum Tue 27-Mar-12 15:23:10

Bromley has very good state primary schools and we are very happy here. We live in West Wickham and our DD started at Hawes Down Infant School last year.

Last year most schools were oversubscribed by a lot. A couple of schools had to add extra classes and I heard from friends whose DCs are starting this year it looks as if it will happen again.So you will have to take what's left over and the council can send you anywhere in the borrow.

Admission process closed and the letters will be out around mid-April.

Have a look here and download the booklet. It will show the catchment areas of the last 3 years and if the schools were oversubscribed or not. Speak to the council how the process for late applicant is. They may be able to give you an idea.

Keep in mind that a lot of schools are CoE or RC and have their own rules.

Another area is around Bromley North up to Sundridge Park or Shortlands. Bromley North Station has trains to Charing Cross/Cannon Streets and there are buses towards Bromley South as well.

noramum Tue 27-Mar-12 15:25:13

Mrskbpw Tue 27-Mar-12 15:34:47

It is lovely. I think Bromley is a very well-kept secret so shhhh! We live in Petts Wood and my son has just started at Crofton Infants, which is a great school. I think generally across the borough there are more good schools than not-good. We had the choice of three lovely primaries, with another one a fraction too far away. And there's a catholic school close by as well, if that floats your boat.

We also looked at Shortlands, Bromley South, Beckenham and Orpington when we were moving.

fatherchewylouis Tue 27-Mar-12 21:27:44

Highfield (Shortlands) is meant to be very good, my friend's children go there.

LondonLaura Tue 27-Mar-12 22:03:23

Thank you all so much for your invaluable input!! I am going to have to keep quiet about Bromley; but can I say since discovering it I no longer feel close to bursting into tears at the thought of moving into a 500 sq foot shoe box in a really unfamiliar, unpleasant part of town with terrible schools. Too many people find out how gorgeous it is prices will go up and everyone will be driven from here.

I fear we are in a pickle as we have a 6 year old who would need to do an in-year transfer: guess we will rent and find out. Fortunately, we are active in both a C of E parish and RC one; perhaps we can get help from a religious school. I get the idea that my kids are in great hands whatever school they end up in.

If the schools are all fairly good (and I like the Pickhurst schools on paper, that Forest School sold me at the infants) woudl West Wickham be logistically possible without a car? We can get one eventually but at the moment the budget is too tight.

Thanks, thanks and thanks

noramum Wed 28-Mar-12 10:20:37

Pickhurst is near to us and our neigbour's DD goes there in Y2. Her mum is very happy with the school. It is fairly big with four classes each year but when we saw it it was really good.

It only ended being no. 2 on our list because of its size. DD is a very shy girl and we feared she would be too overwhelmed.

West Wickham itself has a lot, 2 Sainsburys, a high street with the usuals, GP surgeries and, depending where you live, up to 3 buses into Bromley Town Center and Beckenham as well.

Train is 40 min to Charing Cross.

If you look towards Westmoreland Road you can take buses to Bromley South Station.

No idea about prices though. We found it 2 years ago cheaper than Beckenham but we didn't look into areas like Bromley or Bickley.

mumeuro Wed 28-Mar-12 11:38:28

look at Bickley and Bromley North too, both have good state primaries, housing is affordable, and they are lovely areas! good luck and welcome to what is a really lovely place to live!

mumeuro Wed 28-Mar-12 11:40:51

ps, bromley north has a lovely C of E primary called the Parish School:

Mrskbpw Wed 28-Mar-12 15:48:18

My parents live in West Wickham. My brother went to Hawes Down and was very happy there.

It's got lots of good amenities and I think the only downside is the train is a bit slow, but it's regular and good if you work in Docklands. My dad used to do door to desk in 30 mins when he worked at Canary Wharf.

WW is handy for Croydon as well - good shops and Ikea.

bkleymum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:50:53

Just to say be really careful if considering moving to either Palace Estate or nearby re: catchment areas for Bickly Primary which has a good name. Lots of friends who live very close didn't get in because so many siblings this year (and people living close by not choosing St Georges). Because of the high numbers of families in the area, catchment areas for both Bickley and Scott Park are very small and the sibling criteria can make a big difference in some areas to these already small catchment areas.

allyfe Thu 29-Mar-12 14:36:04

You might want to look at Beckenham too. Just down the road from Bromley itself.

There are some excellent schools in Beckenham, but the catchment areas are tiny so you need to decide on your school, and then move in on the doorstep.

The good schools I know of are:

Balgowan (walking distance to centre of beckenham)
Clare House (top of league tables, a bit further from Spa, Library, Cinema end of Beckenham)
Marion Vian (nearer Elmers end, so more of a walk to central beckenham)
Alexandra Infants (Penge end of Beckenham)
Valley (Shortlands, so closer to Bromley)

There are also some very good primary schools in the Langley catchment areas (secondary), but I believe that they are really expensive.

But they are all schools I know by reputation, rather than personal experience...yet.

Happy hunting.

LondonLaura Sun 01-Apr-12 12:19:31

oh brilliant!!!

We are off this week to take a look at all these wonderful options. Thanks for the tip about Palace Estates Bkley mum ...

I think we should rent, keep our kids in their current schools and commute in until we get places in Bromley, where, as long as they get a place they will be in good hands in sounds like.

Thanks, thanks thanks!!!

TheMonster Sun 01-Apr-12 12:28:22

I second Crofton Junior and Infants. I went to the junior school myself grin

LondonLaura Wed 18-Apr-12 14:49:12

thanks so much for everyone's help.

Next quesion, are my kids eligible to be considered to places in Kent grammar schools if we live in Bromley? Or is it only St. Olave's and the good girls school?

spendthrift Wed 18-Apr-12 15:20:21

Yes they are eligible to take those exams and the bexley and sutton ones as well. They would generally have to come within the top 180 for bexley however.

Many of the Bromley comprehensives are excellent, however, and even those with the worst reputation have improved over the last few years and have become part of the Harris academy chain.

Clare house, balgowan and highfield are good. Ive known young people from all the schools on your list and all are good supportive schools , at any rate for those young people.

LondonLaura Fri 20-Apr-12 18:52:19

Thanks, Spendthrift. Very assuring

We are suddenly charmed with Chiselhurst, the space and the seeming neighbourly feel/look about the place. What are the biggest drawbacks? Are the comprehensives in Chislehurst as good as the primaries?

mumeuro Fri 20-Apr-12 19:21:58

Chislehurst is a very nice place! Do you have girls or boys? Bullers Wood (girls) is outstanding, then there is Beaverwood School for girls which is not quite as good I don't think...You would be in the catchment area for the Bexley Grammar schools too I think (easier to get into than St Olaves and Newstead Wood), the nearest one would be Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar which is co-ed.

LondonLaura Sat 21-Apr-12 22:09:45

Mumeuro, thank you very much. We have one of each, so we need both the grammar and the state option.

I am of two minds. On the one hand, Bromley would be very close to the convenience and ease of our central London neighbourhood, but more affordable. Perfect, that is exactly what we went looking for and got the bonus of good schools, I had no idea how good they were!!. (Love reading how much further up the league tables some are compared to these rediculously expensive London schools my mates and I consider selling our souls for to get the fees).

On the other hand, Chislehurst has such a different, un-London feel about it maybe its worth the extra 20 minutes to live in what amounts to a village in London. It just looks and feels so clean, woodsy, so normal.

Thanks everyone for your help, any more opinions on this brilliant area very much appreciated!!! (and I will try not to tell all my neighbours)

mumeuro Sat 21-Apr-12 23:24:58

Lol at your comment about the schools! I just don't know why more people don't consider the area really. Chislehurst is still part of Bromley borough, and there are direct trains from Chislehurst station to Charing Cross and Cannon Street that take around 30 mins... just thought I should let you know that a policeman friend told us that car theft in Chislehurst is a big problem, but that's the only negative I can think of!

mummiekins Sun 22-Apr-12 21:47:41

Yes, car theft is huge because lots of rich people working up town leaving big shiny cars on driveways. Add that the car can be out of Dover in an hour.... It has the highest car theft rates in UK apparently.

But it's a lovely place. Check transport links tho because it is spread out over a huge area.

LondonLaura Tue 24-Apr-12 18:09:01

Well, I have no desire to aqcuire a car and am amazed that you don't need one in either Bromley or Chislehurst, use Buschecker app and get groceries delivered. Someone emailed me an article stating Bromley had the most affordable housing in the city.
Do we sensibly rent for a year and really make up our minds where to live or do we buy and not get priced out of Bromley when all the families seeking three beds and good school catch on.....

mumeuro Tue 24-Apr-12 19:24:24

I do admire people who don't have cars, life is just so much easier with one though! As for choosing between renting or buying, you are lucky you don't have to worry about selling first...why don't you approach some estate agents and see what they have to offer in the way of both sales and rentals to help you make up your minds?

Maro11 Tue 24-Apr-12 21:25:45

Hi London Laura,
I live in the palace estate, we moved out of central London two years ago. We both still work in central London and can get the train to Victoria in 15 minutes. I don't drive but we are so close to everything I don't need to.

I would second what another mum said about school places allocation, we are in a bit of a no man's land here, my daughter got offered a school not even on our list last year and a school I had NO desire to send her to. We got her into Bickley on a second round offer, she loves the school, it has a good name and the parents are nice.
We are very happy here, we know all our neighbours and many people on our street, people chat to each other and generally look out for each other.
The only gripe I have is that the high street seems to be going downhill fast, all decent shops have gone, no independents left and loads of £ shops and payday loans shops coming in.
Sign of the times I suppose.
Good luck with your house hunting.

LondonLaura Wed 25-Apr-12 18:15:09

Hi Maro11 and thanks so much for taking the time to share you knowledge.

First thing I noticed on the High Street was Shoon had closed, and my husband clocked the loans and pound shops. We have been mid-week and noticed a great number of young fathers with tatoos and their faces (call me old fashioned, I like tats, just find reading someone's forehead a bit too far) walking around the mall with their very young partners. We had difficulty finding a non-chain store restaurant.

On the other hand, it is the best value for money. For what we would pay to rent or buy a 600 Sq ft flat we can get three beds and a garden.

Quick question about your commute, do you think I could get a three year old in a pushchair on the train in the mornings at 8:15? I am thinking of renting near Bromley South and keeping the kids in their current schools near Victoria while we establish ourselves as Bromley residents for reception and year 3 applications (3yo nursery is a mile apart from 6yo school so we need the pushchair). Do you think we could manage with the trafffic at that time?

We will definately test run before we move, but am curious what you would think?

Thanks so much!!

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