Primary schools in East Grinstead/Kent - what to d(6 Posts)
My family are relocating back to the UK after being overseas for sometime. I was just wondering if any one knew what the schools are like in East Grinstead. We haven't lived here so if anyone has any views on family life too that would be great.
We are also thinking of living in Kent because of the grammar schools but I have heard that they are very difficult to get into. To find out about catchment areas do I speak to the school I am interested in? Am I correct in thinking that the LA will tell me how many places a school has if we make an admission request half way through the school year? Also if a child starts in Reception year, do we have to reapply for them to start in year 1 of the same school? With Kent I know I can make all applications online, is this the case for East Sussex too?
Any views or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Catchments come under the LA but not all areas define them, it may vary by demand from one year to next how far away a child lives to be allocated a place. Once you get a Reception place you wouldn't normally have to reapply unless you move from an infants to a separate junior at year 3 or transfer to senior at year 7. You are probably too late to do an online application for September Reception entry now, check the process with each LA, whether you would be treated as a late application or in-year , depending on timing of the move and ages of child/ren.
East Grinstead's a lovely place to live. None of the schools are bad. Lots of changes of head teacher in primary and secondary schools in the town, recently, due to retirements and moving area; one "federation" (Halsford Park and Baldwins Hill) of primary schools is academising, none of the others are academies, including the secondaries. The schools do all work together with each other. Which primary schools are considered locally to be the better schools each side of town changes over the years, it isn't consistently the same schools... and isn't necessarily based on reality... Changes of HT obviously can make a huge difference. So far, the new HTs in the schools which affect my children seem to have made very positive changes and improvements, so I'm happy.
Btw, it is possible to get into the super selective grammar schools in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells from East Grinstead (you'd have to have very bright children), although it's a hideous daily journey on windy roads, probably only worth it if you are totally set on it, or the local comprehensives go seriously downhill. The journey is usually done the other way - children from Kent coming into East Grinstead to avoid Kent schools they aren't happy with (or because Kent is rubbish at providing enough school places for its population?).
I believe going to a grammar school from Sussex is a more feasible prospect from somewhere like Crowborough (East Sussex), as it's closer to Tonbridge, so not such a slog.
NB East Grinstead is WEST Sussex. Suffers a bit from being on the borders of Surrey and East Sussex and v.v. close to Kent, too, so people seem to get confused which county it is actually in.
Thanks for the information Triggerthumb. It has given me a lot to think about and investigate. I hadn't even thought about the logistic of getting from schools in Kent. There is so much to considered but I think I will have to visit the schools to get an idea.
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