We are moving to Southampton in a few months and we need the find a great school for our two children (4 and 7 Y3). Our present school is really good with excellent Ofsted report. It has high level of teaching and deals with bullying effectivelly because we do not hear anything. The children are very nice. If it is a great school but not in the city then it is all right. The problem would be to apply for it as it is May. Thank you for any suggestions.
Please also suggest which area we should avoid. Many thanks.
Secondaries in the city can be a problem, but in Southampton itself, both Highfield and Portswood primaries are considered excellent - I think they both got outstanding OFSTED reports. I have experience of one of these but would rather not say which - you can PM me if you would like more info.
Thank you. It does not have to be Southampton. My DH would have to drive to his workplace but what we really want is to live in the nice area, some shops, buses, playgrouds and good schools. I have been looking at Portswood, Botley, Highfield, Harrison and Halterworth so far. I see that Catholic schools are outstanding but we do not want anything too religious. It all gives me a headache is this is not the best time of the year to look for schools.
you wouldn't get into the Catholic schools I'm afraid if you're not baptised (although it sounds like you don't want to anyway) Halterworth is good, Highfield very tricky to get in to as have a very small catchment, Portswood is good academically but haven't always heard great things about it pastorally. I don't know the Botley school but it looks nice when I go past and haven't heard of Harrison. How about Chandlers Ford? Hiltingbury school very good by al lacoounts and feeds into a good secondary
Halterworth Primary, Romsey is, I understand, excellent and very popular. The Cupernham Infants & Junior schools are also good, and expanding to 3 form entry due to the Abbotswood so they may be more likely to have spaces.
Personally, as a resident of Southampton, I sent my kids to school over the border into Hampshire. Romsey schools are ABSOLUTELY chocca because of Abbotswood : I'd be VERY surprised if there are places BUT Contact Hampshire Country Council http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/admissions.htm or Southampton City Council http://www.southampton.gov.uk/learning/applyingforaschool/ and they will be able to help you.
Most of the secondaries in the area are now Academies. The primaries are not.
Hazelwood Infants in Totton is a fantastic infant school, lovely head & staff. That feeds into Abbotswood Junior School, which didn't do as well in its OFSTED (but let's face it, inspectors do only spend a couple of days in a school, whereas the children are there for 4 whole years), but is a cracking school with really good pastoral care and a brilliant G&T programme. It's very good at sport as well. Bartley also has a good reputation, but it's C of E so it's probably full.
Tommy I could, but as my catchment secondary was for many years in the bottom 20 in the country, I decided that was a brick wall I did not need to bash my head on. Other bits of the city are much better : Highfield, Bitterne, Bassett etc
Thank you so much for more replies. My DH want to cycle to the city centre because he has been travelling by car for more than two years and it is very costly. We would rather spend this money on renting a nice house. I will indeed contact the LEA and ask about the primary schools which I could still apply to. I think there is no point to apply to those schools which have long waiting lists. I will have to divert to the local site, Hampshire, to get more answers regarding accommodation, areas to avoid etc. Many thanks again and see you at Hampshire local.
the first 20-30 schools on the Southampton site are not actually in Southampton but on the outskirts - may be worth thinking about depending on where you want to live. Southampton is a unitary council and schools outside the city boundary are in Hampshire LEA