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Relocating to Margate from London & Schools?

(14 Posts)
MrsMaggoo Thu 17-Dec-15 16:22:52

We are desperate to leave London to buy a house and regain some quality of life. I can work from home some of the time, with a couple of days a week in London. Husband is a designer, keen to start his own business, also working from home. We are looking at a few areas, but Margate keeps coming up as a potential option as we love the houses, the sea and the light, and are very excited by the energy and cultural redevelopment there. My major concern is schools. We have a very bright almost 3 year old DD and another on the way, and given the economic difficulties the area has faced, I don't want to get stuck without a decent school. Are there any decent state primary schools? Alternatively, what are the independent primary schools like?

MrsSparkles Thu 17-Dec-15 23:01:24

I don't think there are any ofsted outstanding schools in Margate , but there are some in Broadstairs - but will depend where you're looking in Margate .

In terms of independents, Haddon Dene and Wellesley are both excellent prep schools (again both in Broadstairs), alternatively St Lawrence College in Ramsgate goes all the way through to 18. A bit further afield a large choice in Canterbury (but maybe a bit far for primary).

Dungandbother Fri 18-Dec-15 13:29:39

Can you afford Deal? Walmer or Kingsdown?
St Margaret at Cliffe?

Have a look. Nicer than Margate.

Dungandbother Fri 18-Dec-15 13:30:54

And do bear in mind there is eleven plus in Kent. Long way off but think if you like this selective type of education. If not then don't come to Kent.

MrsMaggoo Fri 18-Dec-15 18:12:21

Thanks everyone, super helpful!

@mrssparkles, does the catchment area for Broadstairs extend all the way to Margate? And do you know anything about Chartfield School?

@dungandbother: one of the reasons we are leaving London is because the school situation is pretty rubbish. I am open to the grammar school system at this stage.

MrsSparkles Tue 22-Dec-15 21:28:45

Nope - never come across it! I doubt the catchment extends that far tbh, but you can look up on the kent primary admissions how far the catchments were the previous year which would give you some idea.

Its a lovely place for children to grow up, I'd love to be back there now, but DH commutes every day so was a bit far for us.

mrsm43s Wed 23-Dec-15 19:26:44

For Primary, look at the Palm Bay area of Margate. It's a fairly well regarded area for young families.

Margate is still quite gritty though. Lots of social issues, high crime rate and high unemployment. I'm actually quite fond of Margate, but I wouldn't live there myself.

Have you looked at Whitstable?

Greengrass1982 Thu 24-Dec-15 08:16:59

I agree with the previous post. We moved from London to Ashford 5 years ago. 38mins to London on high speed train from Ashford. Lovely private schools in the area also Cantebury is really lovely. There are some better parts of Kent Margate still has a long way to go although try are trying to rejuvenate the area ...

Greengrass1982 Thu 24-Dec-15 08:19:08

If you like a sea side location Herne bay/ Herne village area is good and perhaps less expensive property wise than whitstable?

MrsMaggoo Wed 30-Dec-15 18:22:20

Thanks for all your suggestions. We are expanding our search and considering some other places, including those you have suggested. Whitstable is a bit outside our budget. Deal and Herne Bay look interesting. I'd be really interested in hearing more about Ramsgate too.

lbsjob87 Wed 17-Feb-16 00:35:36

Did you find anywhere yet, OP? Ramsgate is a far better choice than Margate. In fact, anywhere else in Thanet is better. Margate has a nice bit round by the Old Town and the Turner Contemporary, but the reality of the town in general is very, very different.
I teach in a Margate primary school. With the possible exception of Palm Bay, all Margate schools serve very deprived areas with a large number of FSM children. That's not an issue in itself, but it does mean results etc aren't generally as high. If you are worried about such things, think very hard about coming here.
Catchment areas are MINISCULE. When we were applying to primaries 3 years ago, we were told that we were out of catchment for our second nearest, first choice school 0.8miles away.

Ramsgate has its issues too, but nowhere near on Margate's level. I have lived and worked here all my life, before teaching I had a very different job dealing with some of the area's finest and I know this area incredibly well. Margate is great for a day trip or a weekend but 365 days a year is another story.
No doubt some people will berate me for saying this but I have a lot of years experience, and current information to go on.
Seriously, go to Ramsgate or Broadstairs instead, they are so much better. Several very good primary schools, including more than one excellent (very tough to get into but consistently high standard), a choice of grammar schools and several good high schools and three very good private schools. Plus in Ramsgate, there are loads of big Victorian houses that are still pretty cheap on London terms. Well worth a look.

AJ106 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:20:46

Hi there

Just wondering what happened regarding your move to Margate/Ramsgate? What info you managed to collect?

Also if you have any advice ibsjob87?

We currently live in Whitstable with kids at primary school. We are considering relocating to Margate or Ramsgate but will continue with our kids in primary school in Whistable but then move for secondary. It is looking likely that they will get into Grammar but I can't be sure.

What are the grammars like there compared to those in Canterbury and Faversham areas? Is Ramsgate better positioned for getting into Grammar over Margate?


Redbus66 Wed 11-Jan-17 14:01:47

I'm just wondering how you got on with your search / move?

We live in SE London and are considering the exact same move

I'm trying to gather lots of info to make an informed decision

I'd be interested to hear what you decided and a year down the line what other people's views are


HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 14:20:52

Redbus66 have you considered other areas of Kent? Lots of lovely villages slightly in from the coast around Ashford and Canterbury with outstanding schools, short drive or train to the beach and still on the high speed into London. Although Margate really does have some exciting redevelopment at the moment most of the coastal towns (with the exception of whitstable) do seem to suffer from social deprivation.

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