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Primary schools in Herts or Hillingdon - please help

(49 Posts)
megkha Wed 01-May-13 22:09:48


We are currently in the US and are likely to return to UK this summer. We will be house and job hunting once we are back and I am very worried about my boys education. My older son 5+ (August 2007) goes to Kindy or Reception here but according to the cutoff in UK he should have been in Year1 by now. Does that mean my son will be pushed to start Year2 when we return?

We would like to ideally settle down in Ickenham, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth as we both will be commuting to the city. Plus schools are great there, which is a number 1 for me. Our max budget is 450K. Is it true that all schools are over subscribed there and my boys will end up being pushed into any school in the area which has a vacancy? (forgot to mention my younger son Sep 2008 born will be starting Reception this year)

Would you suggest any other good neighbourhoods with good schools (not over subscribed ) and easy commute to the city? I don't think we can afford private education on top of the mortgage.

Please help!!

Many Thanks!!

manitz Thu 02-May-13 12:15:21

I hope this link helps.

once you have worked out what school you want you can keep an eye on the vacancy list, they update it about every two weeks. It can give you an idea of patterns. I was surprised at the turnaround and got my kids in pretty quickly, harder from another country and you need to be as flexible as you can be though.

sittinginthesun Thu 02-May-13 14:54:12

Ricky and Croxley schools are great. You can't really go wrong - even those which are considered less favourable, are actually very good. I have friends with dcs in just about every primary in the area, so let me know if you need any information.

Your eldest will be year 2 (same as my youngest), but this is still infants, and still lots of play.

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 02-May-13 15:08:47

All three of the primary schools in Croxley are very good (four if you count Rickmansworth Park), so your son would get a great education in any of them.

The nearest secondary schools are more variable, but still range from exceptionally good (some of the best state schools in the country) to good.

Feel free to send me a PM if you'd like any more information about Croxley Green.

sittinginthesun Thu 02-May-13 15:10:48

Ooh, Three - we probably bump into each other all the time without realising. wink

maillotjaune Thu 02-May-13 17:38:19

Have you also considered Chorleywood (next door to Ricky) and Northwood (as you mention Hillingdon).

Both have good primaries and secondaries but you would need to have a look at house prices (bought ours so long ago I am out of touch).

sittinginthesun Thu 02-May-13 17:50:11

Chorleywood is pricey (4 bed detached are £750k plus). Rickmansworth varies, depending on what you want. Cedars Estate is similar to Chorleywood prices.

Lower Cedars is more reasonable, but catchment for secondaries is harder - probably will be covered by the new Free School. Mill End and Berry Lane Estate are cheaper.

Basically, further you move away from Watford, more expensive it is. Also, closer to the tube, more expensive it is.

On your budget, I'd probably consider nice bit of Croxley. Lots of good schools, facilities, open space, and near to either Croxley tube or Ricky.

clam Thu 02-May-13 19:04:13

By 'the city,' do you mean London generally, or The City (as in financial district). If it's the latter, you might be better off round to the north of London a bit (maybe St Albans?), as the commute in is more direct.

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 02-May-13 19:04:56

Agree that Chorleywood is a lot more expensive. sittinginthesun: it's possible that we know each other in RL, but if you do work out who I am then please don't 'out' me, as I'm valuing the anonymity of this site. smile

Kveta Thu 02-May-13 19:06:12

As clam says, commuting to The City as opposed to the city is easier from north and east of London. Bishops stortford has great primary schools and is 45 minutes from Liverpool street.

sittinginthesun Thu 02-May-13 19:56:30

Don't worry, Three. Same here. Don't even own a MN scarf. smile

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 02-May-13 19:59:17


megkha Thu 02-May-13 22:44:52

Thank you everyone for your messages.

So my older son will have to start Year 2 ? We will certainly appeal against this, I hope there is a choice available.

By city I meant anywhere in London. Not sure we will be able to afford St Albans. Are there are any other good areas apart from the ones suggested please?

Is the commute reasonable to London from Northwood, not sure if there are any fast trains?

The primaries which excites me so far are Harvey, Nascot Wood, Cassiboury, Rickmansworth Park. Are the areas surrounding these schools diverse? I forgot to mention we are British Indians so want to be acceptable.

I am so grateful for such a useful site !! thanks again for all your suggestions.

clam Fri 03-May-13 07:11:14

Your child will have to go into the academic year of his peer group; there is no appealing this. So if he is born between 1september and. 31 August of whichever year (forget which it is for year 2) that's that.

Also, you need to bear in mind that 'good' schools are almost inevitably over-subscribed, for obvious reasons.

sittinginthesun Fri 03-May-13 07:46:23

Watford Cassiobury estate, and Rickmansworth are all diverse areas. That won't be a problem.

I think you will have to pick an area, and see what places are available. It is likely that most of the schools will be full, particularly infant classes.

I must stress, however, that it is hard to get a feel of the schools by Ofsted reports and Sats alone. All the local schools are fine - many are single form entry, so the Sats results vary a lot year to year. Also, you can't tell online how may parents home tutor in juniors - some schools have a culture of this far more than others.

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 03-May-13 08:44:18

Regarding the ethnic mix, I have three children in a Croxley primary school, I would say their classes are about 75% children who are Caucasian/white.

DS1 is at a secondary school on the Croxley side of Watford, his class is about 40% Caucasian/white.

Harvey Road is a great school, but no better than the others in Croxley, regardless of league table / results appearances.

manitz Fri 03-May-13 12:53:58

Harrow is really nice and you could afford it for your budget, closer to london and more diverse (nice parks but more urban so slightly messier). We just moved from there and I loved it, my kids were at an outstanding school. We looked at secondary schools in harrow, watford and wembley. I loved them all for different reasons, have just moved to watford (because we loved the house) and am worried about the entrance exam for secondary which most watford schools subscribe to. The harrow secondaries appeared to offer more creative opportunities in my view. It all depends what you are looking for...

thegreylady Fri 03-May-13 13:43:29

I had two dgc at the Russell School in Chorleywood and I know the whole family was delighted with it.Dgd aged 11 is at Clement Dane's Comprehensive and that is excellent too.
I think house prices are high in Chorleywood though.

maillotjaune Sat 04-May-13 16:21:15

The commute from North wood to London is Metropolitan line and it's 37 mins to King's Cross I think.

I work a couple of stops north of there, but used to work a couple of stops east so just into the City, and have always got to work in an hour door to door (we are 10 men's walk from the station).

As someone has mentioned Harrow - it is more diverse, it's cheaper, it's closer to town but it's also more variable in terms if schools so you would need to do more research. I grew up there and we ended up living just on the Hillingdon side of the border because this was the right house, so unless you are looking for a more villagey feel (you'll need Herts) you might want to consider it.

netherstowey Sat 04-May-13 21:41:25

I think you might find it difficult to gain a place in any of the primary schools mentioned in this thread in the Croxley/Rickmansworth/Chorleywood areas. Our newly arrived neighbours in Croxley were offered a primary school place in West Watford and were pleased to find one space in the appropriate year in the western end of Rickmansworth. The area has a desperate shortage of space at primary level . A new primary school is planned for West Watford, and there is a new free school opening to ease the chronic secondary place shortage. At the same time houses are being built and more children move in It is a very safe, pleasant area,not cheap though.

alemci Sat 04-May-13 22:00:04

Ruislip, Eastcote, Northwood Hills all have good schools and secondary as well.

I think St CDs is an excellent school but we don't live in Chorleywood but DCs attend.

Waspie Sun 05-May-13 13:53:34

If you are commuting into London then anywhere on the Watford branch of the Met line the tube runs less frequently than on the Uxbridge branch and it's quite slow. The Uxbridge branch has the option of the Piccadilly line to Eastcote also.

Personally I think Harrow is best for commuting on the Met line but anywhere in the Harrow on the Hill area is expensive because most of it is owned by the school and let out. That which is privately owned (Mount Park Road area) is expensive.

IMO Ruislip is best for commuting generally as you have Network South East plus Met, Piccadilly and Central lines, so excellent access to north and west London. Property is cheaper than Harrow on the Hill too.

All of these areas mentioned - Ickenham, Croxley. Ruislip, Ricky - have vast amounts of new houses being built and as a result of that and the rising birth rate schools are over subscribed.

Sarratt is lovely but public transport is pretty poor.

alemci Sun 05-May-13 16:40:48

Waspie, I would say the Watford line is better, less stops 20 mins to Baker Street from my station. I agree about the Picadilly line though, that is an advantage. I have used both branches over the years'.

sittinginthesun Sun 05-May-13 16:50:32

Quite a lot of talk locally about bulge years for primaries, and possibly at least one more Croxley school going two form entry this year. Interestingly, when they worked out the number of applications for Reception intake 2013, they calculated that Rickmansworth/Chorleywood had enough places, and did not need a bulge class, though.

alemci Sun 05-May-13 17:45:42

I remember my friend moving to Chorleywood a few years' ago and she couldn't get her dd into any of the primaries. She had to be taken by taxi to a school somewhere else in Herts - possibly Croxley. I think alot of the schools had 1 form entry.

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