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Relocating from London to Hampshire- school advice needed please!!

(30 Posts)
Faz2015 Mon 21-Dec-15 18:51:36

Need some guidence please....

My husband has just got a new job in Baisingstoke..And we are now thinking of relocating within 20-25 miles radius of Baisingstoke. We are currently in west London and my dd has just started and settled in well into a good primary school in our local area. So ideally we would like to relocate to be closer to my hubands work, but we dont want to make the move, unless we find a school that is better than the school my dd is in aready. I have no idea about the schools in the area and also grammer schools/ excellent secondary school. I know its very difficult to get into good schools here in London, is it the same for Hamshire? Please adivse on schools and areas/villages for the move! thanks

TeenAndTween Mon 21-Dec-15 20:58:15

No need to fret. Hampshire has a wealth of good schools.

The DH of a poster Talk1npeace has 'connections' and she as lots of detailed knowledge and no doubt will be along in a while.

Hampshire luckily doesn't have grammars, and generally schools are good. The state schools don't have 6th forms, but has a variety of 6th form colleges to suit both academic and vocational routes.

Winchester has a number of good primaries, 3 good secondaries (Kings, Westgate and Henry Beaufort) and an excellent A level 6th form college. Winchester is expensive .

Romsey has a number of good primaries of varying sizes, 2 good secondaries (Romsey and Mountbatten). Romsey is a bit less expensive than Winchester but access to motorways is not so good.

Chandlers Ford, no idea about primaries, but if you buy a house well in the Thornden catchment you will have access to one of the top performing secondaries in the county (and wider?). Toynbee is also pretty good I believe.

Sorry don't know about Basingstoke itself.


Faz2015 Mon 21-Dec-15 22:32:51

Thank you so very much for the reply... Atleast now I have a starting place to do my searches.. We will probably pop down to to look at the local areas over the is st faith's school looked very good on papers... But must be impossible to get in year admission...and no grammar school is that. Good thing? Luckily our current house is the catchment of about 2-3 grammar schools and its that local mums desire- grammar schools!!! Thank you for the invaluable info xx

Ionacat Tue 22-Dec-15 07:24:23

Hampshire schools are great on the whole, if you pick the right area, you simply can't go wrong. We are unbelievably lucky! No is fussed about grammar schools here as the schools are so goodand much less angst abiut getting into grammars.

Schools in Basingstoke itself are a hit and miss so best avoided unless you are catholic as Bishop Challoner is great. However look at Winchester, (although very expensive, but great schools,) Alton (two great secondaries, all primaries are good), Liphook (on edge of your radius) but in catchment for Bohunt. Chandler's Ford, catchment for Thornden, (very fought over school) Fleet has excellent schools. Aylesford has Perins. For sixth form Peter Symonds in Winchester is outstanding. I'm not sure on in year admissions, but Hampshire publish on their website the admissions data so you can see which primary schools are likely to be full.

JWIM Tue 22-Dec-15 10:39:38

Check the villages around Basingstoke as many have Primary Schools that are Good/Outstanding. Would second looking at the Alton side of Basingstoke for great all through choices of school from pre-school to 6th form. Lots of property choice and range of prices from new build (reasonable prices particularly if moving from London) to chocolate box cottages (can be very expensive in some prime villages). Don't fret about the no Grammar School situation. Hampshire has been successfully comprehensive since the early 70s.

INeedACheeseSlicer Tue 22-Dec-15 10:56:18

Basingstoke secondaries are not that good.

If you do want to be in grammar school catchment, some of the postcodes of the Hampshire villages and towns northwards towards Reading will be eligible for the Reading grammar schools - but I would avoid Reading itself as some of the other schools there are not great either.

West Berkshire schools are good - Newbury, Thatcham - more affordable to live in than Winchester, but Winchester is posher, and seems rather more lively as a place to live.

Do you especially want to be in a village?

Ta1kinPeece Tue 22-Dec-15 13:07:56

If your DH is working in Basingstoke you want to live on one of the train lines or a good bus route.

Basingstoke is indeed a bit hit and miss, but the south side is better
Winchester is fab but expensive
Alton is lovely
Romsey is a bit of a trek from Bstoke
Whitchurch is nice
I'm assuming you'll want to stay in a town

Anything that feeds into Peter Symonds basically grin

TeenAndTween Tue 22-Dec-15 13:13:05

re no Grammar schools.

At the school DD just left the top kids were happily going away with straight A*/As. They were able to do triple science, 2 languages, latin on the side, etc etc.

But the comprehensive system allows for late developers, doesn't require tutoring from age 9/10, allows for a skewed profile of being good at one area but hopeless at another.

Westgate in Winchester is now (or going to be?) an all-through school from 4-16.

Sparklycat Tue 22-Dec-15 13:14:21

Toynbee is not good, teenandtween, it is slowly clawing its way back up but was in special measures a while ago. The only secondary school in the C Ford area worth going to is Thornden. Kings and Westgate are the best in Winchester. Perins also good in Alresford. Southampton has good private schools if that's what you're looking for.

Ta1kinPeece Tue 22-Dec-15 13:21:11

Toynbee is not good, compared to Thornden. Compared to many other schools it is just fine. Thornden is a freak.

Swanmore, Wildern, Wyvern, Testbourne, Henry Beaufort lots and lots of less well known ones that still get lots of kids to where they want to be in life.

MN likes to quote the "top" schools because many posters do not understand what a "Comp" is grin

Southampton has good private schools if that's what you're looking for.
KES and which others ?

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 22-Dec-15 13:22:09

The whole Basingstoke-Alton-Winchester triangle is pretty good, although I'm not so clued up about Basingstoke and Winchester town schools. Some of the primaries are oversubscribed, definitely worth checking that out. Secondaries usually ok admissions wise if you live in catchment or fairly close, the Alton ones and Perins are good schools. We don't have school 6th forms, it's all colleges, Alton and PSC are excellent too. Oh and it's a lovely area to live in.

BabyGanoush Tue 22-Dec-15 13:27:07

The things is that Basingstoke as a town is pretty soulless, I'd hate having that as my home town (sorry to all Basingstokites!).

Winchester has been mentioned above. It is posh and twee and pretty, and not at all ethically/culturally diverse. It's solidly middle class, which as its pros and cons. Also very expensive. Some nice villages surrounding it though.

Eastleigh is its working class neighbouring town, which has good schools too (Thronedn, Toynbee) and is affordable by comparison (just not posh and twee grin) and the snobby Winchester people call it Beastleigh. It is not actually that bad!

The Comprehensive system seems to work in Hampshire and is seen by many as a good thing.

Perrins in Arlesford and Thornden are also very good, I have heard. There must be more good schools, but those are the ones I know.

My DS is at a Winchester Comp, and the great thing is that sets are flexible, and he has moved up from middle set to higher set through working hard (and from lower to middle for English, he's dyslexic). If you have a grammar system, you cannot "work your way up" like this. Similarly, the lower sets have smaller classes and extra staff. Think it is one of the better systems in the UK, IMO. Most comps here get around 80% 5A*-C incl English and Maths and most go on to do A-levels at Peter Symmonds or Barton Peveril (both excellent).

Winchester and surrounding area has lots of good primaries, and when we moved we just contacted one directly and were given a place before we had even moved (DS was in yr 1 already so it was up to the school).

BabyGanoush Tue 22-Dec-15 13:28:53

I mentioned the diversity issue in Winchester as I am treated as a bit of a novelty as a foreigner. If you are white British, you may not notice it as much.

Ta1kinPeece Tue 22-Dec-15 13:31:59

If you are white British, you may not notice it as much.
We do grin
TBH even us in Soton refer to Eastleigh as Beastleigh smile

Sparklycat Tue 22-Dec-15 13:57:55

Southampton has good private schools if that's what you're looking for.
KES and which others ?

Aside from King Edwards as you've mentioned, the Greg school, Hampshire collegiate although that's more towards Romsey, and please don't be so rude in your response to me next time. Thanks grin

Ionacat Tue 22-Dec-15 16:03:50

I wouldn't bank on the Reading grammar schools. 90 places for Kendrick which is the girls grammar and over 1000 applicants. It is much better to say move into the catchment of a really good comprehensive and then not worry.
Drive around some of the towns and villages and see what you like and then you can always ask advice about particular schools, but as I say apart from the odd pocket, you simply can't go wrong with schools in Hampshire, I think we are unbelievably lucky.

BabyGanoush Tue 22-Dec-15 18:01:23

The way we did our move was a checklist:

1.) had to be commutable, at reasonable distance
2.) need a confirmed place at a school. Some schools will do this. If not, you can just move and wait and see what you get allocated by tge LEA. We managed to get a place at a primary and THEN moved into the catchment

After that, we looked for a house in our price range in the area.

Ta1kinPeece Tue 22-Dec-15 18:09:28

sounds like BabyGanoush has it sussed.

BabyGanoush Tue 22-Dec-15 18:31:55

grin in theory....

Faz2015 Wed 23-Dec-15 09:10:20

Ahh thank you so much everyone for all your advice... I feel much more confident about no grammar school in the area now.. As the aim is for a good education and life/ social skills.

After Christmas we will go around and see the towns where these schools are and will aim to be close to a good primary & secondary catchment. My hubby is not fussed with the commute and I'm not fussed with the size of the house.. As long as the school and neighbourhood is decent...

We are Asian Brits so not sure how it would be for us in Winchester or in a small village..?!!!?

Once we have shortlisted schools we will start looking for house... It's a big move and uprooting dd from a good school and her friends is scary... But also don't want hubby to travel for 1.5 hours each way either...

SkodaLabia Wed 23-Dec-15 09:11:53

Can I ask about the 'confirmed place' thing? We're considering a move, do you just ring up schools and ask whether they have spaces and if they will reserve one?

Faz2015 Wed 23-Dec-15 09:16:42

Baby Ganoush when did you move out? It would be ideal if a school place was offered before the move!!!! My fear is long waiting lists into chosen school...

Ohtobeskiing Wed 23-Dec-15 09:24:08

Alresford is great - one infant school, one junior school and one secondary school all are 'Good' or 'Outstanding' at Ofsted. Once you're in the system progression to the next school is pretty much guaranteed taking out all the stress of the school application lottery at secondary level. Perins feeds into either Alton College or Peter Symonds College for sixth form both are in the top 10 in the country. What's not to like fsmile

EBearhug Wed 23-Dec-15 09:33:26

A lot of the village are not exactly ethnically diverse. Basingstoke would be better than Winchester from that perspective, but Winchester is definitely nicer overall. I liked living in Romsey, but it is a bit of a commute. I also liked living in Whitchurch, but rent was cheaper in Basingstoke. There are loads of nice villages around.

Definitely look at commuting routes - the A33 from Reading to Basingstoke looks like it's crawling every morning when I pass it going in the opposite direction. There are a lot of problems currently with the roadworks all round M3 J6 and the Blackdam roundabout, one if the main routes into Bas. They are massively overdue to finish, and I'm not sure off-hand what the current ETA is. However, it should only be a temporary issue, albeit a long-term sort of temporary. And as I don't need to go that way, I can remain mostly oblivious, but I know others who can complain at length...

Train would be okay, if he'll be based near the town centre, or will be on a bus route. Some companies run shuttle buses to the station, too.

BabyGanoush Wed 23-Dec-15 09:37:37

This was 5 yrs ago, we called prospective schools, our DS was halfway through year R. 3 said no, but 1 said DS could start as they had a space available. He started in June (pretty much the day we moved there)

If you are looking for start in YEar R or Y7 you have to apply through LEA and it is all about catchment. Any other time I think it is up to the HT. Maybe we were lucky? We stated strongly we would move into catchment, and we did.

It is worth just calling a few schools, say you are moving to the area and have they got a space.

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