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Schools in Livingston, West Lothian

(21 Posts)
helenjo1 Sat 05-Apr-14 13:45:10

Hi this is my first post. We're re-locating to Livingston in the next couple of months and I am starting to look for schools for my 8 year old and nursery for my 3 year old. It's quite a task when I don't know the area at all and I'm going off old HMIe reports! However, my question is in regard to Catholic and non denominational schools. Someone has mentioned that there is quite a divide between Catholics and those who are not Catholic which I was surprised at as that doesn't tend to be an issue where we live now in England. Children attend any school and still play happily together outside in the street. Can anyone in Livingston offer any expereince or opinion on this please?

EYPEdinburgh Sat 05-Apr-14 14:28:18

As important as primary school is, it may be better to look at high schools first and work your way back.

Deciding what high school you like best can be the decider if you ask me. Basically what primary school you go to decides what high school you go to. It's all down to catchment areas.

After recent events up here regarding school safety, the newer the building the better.

glowstick Sat 05-Apr-14 14:32:08

I too would work back from the high schools and make appointments with the heads of the feeder primaries. Imo Livingston isn't know for its stellar schools. Linlithgow also in West lothian is another matter and very well regarded. Do you have to live in Livingston - have you been there?

helenjo1 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:18:37

thanks for your responses. I have also looked at the high schools and it does seem from the reports that St Margarets Academy is better than James Young High. I'm going to Livingston with the family tomorrow for my first visit. my husbands new job will be based in livingston and as I don't know the West Lothian area at all, it seemed as good a place to live as any. We live in a town now and I like being just a short drive away from the shops, swimming pool etc. But we could live anywhere really, if the schools were right. That's my main priority but I need to get a move on as we need to rent a place in the catchment area before I can even apply. If anyone has any suggestions about good places to live, I'd welcome them (with reasons why would be helpful so I can understand better). Thanks!

EYPEdinburgh Sat 05-Apr-14 15:45:29

West Lothian is a different council district from Edinburgh. If your husband can drive try looking at City of Edinburgh and Mid-Lothian. I havent lived in West Lothian so i cant comment on living there. And i may be being biased but i believe them to be better at providing bus services, schools and school holidays.

glowstick Sat 05-Apr-14 16:52:42

Livingston is a new town in the main - a large collection of housing estates joint together by dual carriage ways and the main shopping area is a souless mall - sorry but that pretty much sums it up! I wouldn't want to live there. Livingston is close to Edinburgh so you can live somewhere nicer.

You really need to come up for a look. If you want to stay in West Lothian, Linlithgow is best for schools. I would also think about Kirknewton 10 mins away whuch I believe is a feeder for Balerno High School (a good reputation Edinburgh City school). Dont discount Edinburgh itself commuting from the SW - Corstorphine/ Balerno area would only be 25 mins and imo would be a nice place to stay. You pay Edinburgh prices though - Livingston is way cheaper - I wonder why??

LindyHemming Sat 05-Apr-14 19:01:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glowstick Sat 05-Apr-14 19:19:17

and here I was trying to be polite - yes it is hideous and you would be mad to live there - you have your pick of places to live. Please don't live in Linvingston just because your DH has a job there - there are lots of places within a 30 min drive.

Why don't you start again with another post along the lines of ..."Scottish mnetters - where is a lovely place to live within commuting distance of Livingston?"

helenjo1 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:04:41

Thanks all, We're going to tour the area tomorrow, so we'll have a good look around Livingston and nearby areas like Bathgate and Linlithgow. Husband is quite happy to commute 30 mins to work so we could live anywhere in the surrounding areas. I will start another thread like you suggest glowstick. I'm new to this so thanks for the advice!

LindyHemming Sat 05-Apr-14 20:19:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Taz1212 Sat 05-Apr-14 21:14:15

I stay in Livingston and I know this will likely cause offence but with the exception of St Margaret's (which is extremely difficult to get into if you aren't Catholic or have had a child attend a RC primary) I wouldn't touch any of the high schools with a barge pole. If I had to rank them I would put St Margaret's on top then Deans then James Young then Inveralmond.

If you are not planning on going private (our solution) and do want to stay in West Lothian I'd go to Linlithgow. It's a lovely town with great facilities and their high school is consistently in the top 10 in Scotland.

Feel free to PM me if you want more information on the area.

cazzyg Sun 06-Apr-14 10:00:45

I would also recommend Linlithgow.

Good schools, lots going on for families and it's on the main railway line into both Edinburgh and glasgow. There is a leisure centre in the town, rugby club etc as well as a country park.

As the secondary school is good, the town attracts lots of families.

The downside is that it is more expensive to buy a house than in neighbouring towns but the upside of that is when you come to sell.

powderfreak Mon 07-Apr-14 21:44:44

Look at balerno. I grew up there

Fab schools and v easy access to livi or edinburgh

Cleanthatroomnow Mon 07-Apr-14 22:02:11

Avoid Bathgate.

iggi101 Mon 07-Apr-14 22:56:53

You will get much more house for your money in Livingston. Have a look at the website for houses if you haven't already. It depends what is most important to you. I love Edinburgh but I don't love that I have a pokey home.
In my experience the non-dom schools have children from both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds (and others obviously) though more Catholics at the Catholic schools, as you'd expect!

Chicaescocesa Fri 26-Jun-15 19:48:10

Such snobbery!

Siolence Fri 26-Jun-15 19:56:51

You need to check school catchment areas to see where you would want to live if you are sticking with state education.

Might be useful.

CherylBerylMeryl Fri 26-Jun-15 19:57:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Siolence Fri 26-Jun-15 19:59:01

You might find it easier to say what your housing budget is and then people can recommend areas based on that.

Siolence Fri 26-Jun-15 19:59:21


Chicaescocesa Sat 27-Jun-15 10:18:56

Ha ha! No, I was searching for something about St Margaret's and this came up. Kids are kids, people are people. Linlithgow has a stick up its backside about how great it is. It has it's share of problems too, but it is a lovely town. Livingston may not be picturesque but it's the best new town in Scotland, it's handy, has great transport links and lots of amenities and facilities great for kids. Some of the places mentioned on here are not places I would live but they have great communities. Housing is generally good standard and affordable. Remember your childrens attitude and mindset and your input are just as important, if not more so, than the school input when it comes to their success.

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