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Stay in Merton or Move to Wandsworth

(28 Posts)
Nomadtech Sun 12-Feb-17 18:01:25

Evening all,

I am a father to be in a few months and am looking forward to schools. Currently live in Merton in catchment of Singlegate school, but the secondary school selection in the area has always been rather poor. There are some grammar schools in Wallington/Sutton, but we both have mixed feelings about them.

There is a property in Wandsworth and it is right near Swaffield and Allfarthing schools, so there will be a bit more choice for primaries and secondaries are generally better in Wandsworth. It is more money, but we'd rather put money on the mortgage to ensure a good education, we are both opposed to private schools.

Anyone who has moved from one borough to the other or have children at the schools mentioned?


BIWI Sun 12-Feb-17 18:02:34

Why do you say that about Merton schools? Secondary schools have been doing really well over recent years, have they not?

MixedGrill Sun 12-Feb-17 18:10:17

What's your budget for a flat / house?

Nomadtech Sun 12-Feb-17 18:13:02

Hi BIWI, Rutlish and Ricards Lodge did not have a good reputation since I last knew people that went to them. Has that now changed?

MixedGrill - Up to £700K, preferably want a project that we can put our stamp on, so a few flats that can have loft conversions done.

BIWI Sun 12-Feb-17 18:14:51

Not sure about Ricards Lodge, because I have DSs smile

But Rutlish was making massive improvements and their results were truly impressive. Not sure whether this has continued, as mine left a while ago.

But I'd say research them first, before you commit to such a huge financial upheaval!

MixedGrill Sun 12-Feb-17 18:44:33

Is there a particular reason you fancy Wandsworth?
Would it be Wandsworth on a tube line?
Put min 2 beds and your price limit into Rightmove for Streatham Hill and you will find 3 bed semi detached houses (with capacity for loft conversion) for your budget. Look also at West Norwood. Catchment for Dunraven primary and secondary, Hitherfield Primary, Julian's Primary, Streatham Wells, LOADS of good primaries. Secondaries Dunraven and Elmgreen are good, lottery place at Kingsdale or selective place at Graveney all within reach. Be as close to Dunraven as possible though. Catchment is shrinking. Good transport from Tulse Hill or Streatham Hill overground, loads of quick buses down to Brixton tube. Streatham was featured in the Guardian colour supplement recently: it has a lot going for it, especially schools.

MixedGrill Sun 12-Feb-17 18:45:27

I know people at Rutlish though, meant to be good!

bittapitta Tue 14-Feb-17 06:25:27

There is a new secondary school being planned in Merton. I think to plug the gap where you are. Look on the council website. Surely it'll be long open by the time your kid is that age. Singlegate is a lovely primary school, probably the best in the area, and it's a nice enough area to live too.

It's a rather long way off to consider moving now just for schools when you're a father to be. Things change. And you know that you can apply to schools in any borough I hope?

FallenSky Tue 14-Feb-17 06:41:10

Anything can change in the 11 years before your dc goes to secondary. What about Wimbledon College or Ursuline? Or Raynes Park. It's been a while but my siblings and I all went to one of those schools and they were all very good.
Rutlish has become a lot better over the years I believe, although I haven't looked at results tables.

As a pp said, you can apply for schools in a different Borough so I wouldn't let this completely rule your decision.

teddygirlonce Tue 14-Feb-17 14:24:22

the secondary school selection in the area has always been rather poor

If you a father-to-be (congratulations BTW) for the first time, presumably the above statement is based on hearsay...? Granted, not all the secondary schools in Merton do have an equally good reputation. but at least four of them do so currently (Ursuline, Wimbledon College, Rutlish and Ricards Lodge are regarded as good, with the latter two improving immensely even over the past five years or so).

The same statement could be equally applied to some of the secondary schools in Wandsworth (and indeed most other boroughs TBQH). It's all a matter of perception and who you ask - and you need to find out from people with children currently in the local secondary school system rather than hearsay (which is usually from people who have no direct experience of the schools they are badmouthing!).

And it is far too soon to be planning where you live around current reputations of secondary schools (or even primary schools). Much can change with a new SMT. It may well be that in eleven years time, Merton secondaries eclipse those in neighbouring boroughs - stranger things have happened.

FWIW you can apply for secondary schools in other boroughs. Many Merton addresses are closer to schools in neighbouring ones than in their own.

Ashers40 Tue 14-Feb-17 19:33:03

You can apply to schools in other boroughs but in truth you probably won't get in if it's oversubscribed and you are not terribly near. If you are not religious or clever enough for the grammars you are mostly limited to your local state secondary, in Wimbledon this is quite often Rutlish or Ricards, both much improved schools by the way. I wish when I was moving house when pregnant that someone had told me to move into the catchment of a great secondary school rather than a great primary school. There are lots of good primary schools but not so many great secondaries. Yes you take a risk that a school might change, but if you are basing a decision on where to live on anything, why not base it around a good school providing all the other factors also work for you

JoJoSM2 Tue 14-Feb-17 22:41:21

Why don't you just move somewhere Sutton way? Eg Sutton, Cheam, Carshalton or Wallington? The borough of Sutton is a top 3 local authority in the country for attainment in schools and there are plenty of lovely ones to choose from at primary and secondary levels. If you're unsure about grammar schools, the comprehensives are very good too. For 700k you'd get a spacious house with a garden.

SixthSenseless Wed 15-Feb-17 06:30:11

Sutton has 9 non-selective schools and 5 'super-selective', I.e they have no catchment and children compete from within an enormous area for places.

More than a third are super selective schools, taking high achievers from miles around.

Of course the borough has a high average attainment in schools!

(I think Nonsuch has now introduced a distance criteria, but it will take a few years for the impact of that to show in the GCSE results)

JoJoSM2 Wed 15-Feb-17 08:45:41

SixthSenseless, the attainment is just as high all the other schools. All the comprehensives are considerably above the national average or high achieving. The same goes for primary schools which obviously are non-selective. It's just an area with great schools and good-value housing ;)

SixthSenseless Wed 15-Feb-17 23:16:43

JoJo - In that, I have no doubt! London's schools do, on the whole, do better than schools nationally. Which makes me wonder why there is such a frazzle about it all! And Sutton is a fine place to live.

It's just, Streatham (for example - plenty of other areas have great schools, too) is a bit nearer to central London. If that is an important factor.

teddygirlonce Thu 16-Feb-17 11:10:58

Sixthsenseless not entirely true that the super-selectives don't have catchments - some places at at least some of the Sutton grammars are ringfenced for those within certain postcodes.

And I think Nonsuch has now introduced a distance criteria, but it will take a few years for the impact of that to show in the GCSE results Not sure it will have any impact at all on GCSE results TBQH. Given how many of the children at these grammars continue to be tutored all the way through secondary school anyway it probably won't make any difference if some scored marginally less well in the 11+ exams than others.

SixthSenseless Thu 16-Feb-17 11:41:25

Which Sutton boys grammars have a distance criteria?

teddygirlonce Thu 16-Feb-17 11:56:04

I know for one that SGS does for over half of its Year 7 entry level places:

From most recent 'Admissions PDF':

"The following criteria will apply, in the order set out below, to determine the rank order of boys eligible for offers of places at the School:

1. Boys who are deemed to be ‘looked after’ by a local authority. Supporting evidence of the status will be required.
2. 75 places by rank order of the scores in the selection tests where the home address of the boy is in one of the postcodes (SM1-7, KT4, KT17, CR0 4--, CR4).
3. 60 places (plus any remaining places in criterion 2 if the number of qualified boys in criterion 2 is less than the 75 on offer) by rank order of the scores in the selection tests from any home address.
4. Proximity of the boy's home address from the school (where scores are equal)."

And I'd be very surprised if the same weren't true for Wally Boys - not sure about Wilson's

ShelaghTurner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:58:03

<narrows eyes at any Ursuline old girls>


SixthSenseless Thu 16-Feb-17 12:19:45

Do you think the numbers under criterion 2 do not fill all the places?

Distance is only used if there are not enough qualifying applicants under 'rank order'.

Nomadtech Sun 05-Mar-17 11:53:02


Thank you for the various replies. It is good to see the schools are improving. The other option is my father is selling a property (house) in Lewisham, a completely different area and our flat would probably be enough to get his house...

But the area...!

JoJoSM2 Sun 05-Mar-17 15:02:35

Lewisham is meant to be on the up. It's just a case of deciding whether you'd rather live somewhere where your house might go up in value by a lot or whether a nice, established family area is what you're after. Is the investment criterion is your main one, then you will probably want to consider Lewisham or Streatham etc. If you just want somewhere lovely for a family on a budget then the outer boroughs are a better option.

Arkadia Sun 05-Mar-17 17:43:32

Nomadtech, pardon my asking, but you are against going to a private school and you have mixed feelings about grammar schools, however you think it is OK to shell 700K on a house so that you can get to a better school?
So, selection by wallet is fine then.

Nomadtech Mon 06-Mar-17 21:21:52


If it was selection by wallet, then I could simply pay for a private education. Most of my peers do. What this is about is staying in London and getting a good environment for my child(ren). I grew up in this very city and my secondary school was plagued by bullets and drug dealers. The very same area is now unaffordable by a long stretch.

However please do not make assumptions to my values or politics. If you disagree with what you perceive them to be, that is fine. But it will not help you or I to have a public dispute over them...

JoJoSM2 not so much an investment. It is the fact I can get a house, versus a flat, but Lewisham may take 5 to 10 years to come good.

JoJoSM2 Tue 07-Mar-17 08:54:53

Well, if you can get your head round commuting then definitely look at places like Bromley or the borough of Sutton, around the borough of Bexley, possibly Kingston and their surrounding areas. You'll be able to afford a proper family house is a lovely, friendly, safe,clean area that's family oriented with a lot of options for children. Some of the schools in the suburbs are not only excellent academically but also have great grounds, heated swimming pools etc. Living in the inner city is compelety different and might not suit everyone. Places like Wandsworth are fab but catchment areas for the best schools can be literally 200-300 yards and with a 700k budget you'd need to live in a ftb type of property...

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