Good schools/suburbs in North London??(12 Posts)
We're moving to London from Sydney early next year and are looking for good suburbs in North London to live - Highgate and High Barnet are interesting to at this stage. Also looking for independent schools for DD (7) and DS (9) - coed only as we want them to go to school together.
Would love to hear top 3 suburbs and schools that you would recommend.
Thanks in advance......
Hi, it really depends on what you are looking for in the area that you move to. Bushey/Stanmore/Mill Hill are nice areas.
In terms of schools if you decide to live in Highgate then Highgate school itself is a great school.
If you choose High Barnet then Manor Lodge is a good option.
The school places may not be that easy to find though...
Do you know anything about private schools in N London? They are fiercely competitive with 10 applicants per place at junior school and probably more than that for the 11+ which is your next standard entry point. Depending on your older child's birthday you probably need to be tutoring for the 11+ now. This is not going to be straightforward.
Schools that are less selective and Coed would include Northbridge house and various schools in Mill Hill, I think.
I would find a school with places first and then decide where you want to live. Many areas in north London are great to live in but as mentioned before finding a school with a space and then possibly passing a test as well is harder.
I would ring round highgate, north bridge house, Devonshire house, Norfolk house and belmont which are all n.london and co ed. good luck!
Norfolk house ends at the 11+ I think so I doubt they'd take a nine year old, but no harm in asking.
Can I just ask whether you are determined on the independent school option; there are highly rated state schools in the ares you are looking at, as well.
(I am not making a political point, just a practical one)
I am assuming that you have checked the fee levels at school websites and rightmove.com for property values/rental prices. if you will have average-ish (or even well above average) uk salary levels you may struggle to afford these lifestyle choices! good luck!
Assuming your children are currently in private schools in Sydney, then I would say, 1) look at the fees of London schools before assuming you can continue to afford it (private fees in Sydney may look dreadful but the schools still get at least a little govt subsidy which does not happen in the UK), and 2) see if their current schools have any links at all that could assist in moving. Good luck sorting it.
[I grew up in Sydney; now in UK though not in London ...]
Agree with Pythonesque, a colleague of mine was just transferred to a branch in Sydney and was very pleasantly surprised at the school fees after 10 years in London. But there are many good school choices for young children in and around Highgate, and Highgate School itself has a big intake at age 11, even if they have no openings earlier. Mill Hill is much easier to get a place in, especially at younger ages, and is a friendly and very competent school, with great facilities.
Thanks for the comments and info everyone. We have found a house to rent in Golders Green so that's one thing ticked off the list.
As for schools, our relocation company told us that we would be even less likely to get places at non-private schools than private schools so we haven't tried. Though we haven't had much luck with the private schools either. Mill Hill gave us a flat no as did Highgate and Devonshire House. Northbridge were very encouraging but may have only had a place for the younger one. Since the kids did their assessment and we sent it back, they've gone completely quiet. Dwight House were very friendly, warm and welcoming and have places. Our only concern is the size of the school. There are almost as many children in my 7 year old's year level as there are at Dwight House. Our children are typical Aussies - very extroverted - so we're not sure if it would be a good fit!
You could try St Margaret's in Kidderpore Gardens for your daughter if you would consider single sex - small school but really nice and does sometimes have places at non standard times.
Actually, now that you have an address it is probably worth ringing your Local Education Authority (LEA/council) to see whether and where they may have vacancies for your desired year groups. As it doesn't sound like you've quite struck gold with the private options, there is nothing to lose. You will need to figure out which borough the property is located in (Barnet by the sound of it) and call the school admissions people. General info would be on the "In-Year admission" section on their website but best to talk to them directly. It may well be that state schools have places especially in the upper years as families leave London or go private. Once one child is accepted, most schools have siblings criteria which mean in practice your second child would go to the top of the waiting list. Good luck.
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