Best London area for great primary and secondary school(27 Posts)
Hi all! we are a young family and we will soon have our first son! We are planning to buy a 3/4 rooms house, but we are finding very hard to find homes within the catchment area of a great primary and secondary school.
We are looking into an area with good commute to Bank and Canary Wharf.
We have checked:
Greenwich - no good state schools
Balham - no good secondary state schools
Clapham - same problem as Balham
East Dulwich - commute to CW and the city is not great but perhaps is the best option in the school front which is our priority.
Does anyone else had the same conundrum?? we are not too fussy on the Ofsted classification rather we are keen on hearing opinions of all of you.
Our budget for the home is £1 to 1.2 million and our family is catholic if IT is of any help
Many thanks in advance!
West Wickham? Some lovely looking houses in the £800k-£1m+ bracket there, or within a mile or so. The Langley Park secondary schools have good reputations, and there's some very good primary schools. I'm hoping we're close enough to the Langley schools when my children are secondary school age. Trains from West Wickham station go to London Bridge and Lewisham to connect to Bank and Canary Wharf.
It is very much a suburb though. I don't know Balham or Clapham, but I do know Greenwich and East Dulwich a little, and they both definitely feel more "London." So it depends how far out you want to be.
What's wrong with (Balham) Chestnut Grove, Graveney, Thomas Grant, La Retraite...or Lilian Baylis and Burntwood towards Clapham?
Greenwich Millennium and Meridian are supposed to be good primaries, not so keen on Halstow.
If you meet all the Catholicity criteria that schools demand (baptism before 6 months, recorded attendance at mass for the last few years, etc), then you should have adequate choices in most places.
London Bridge area - loads of fab primaries and they're getting a new secondary shortly-ish from the Haberdasher Aske stable.
You have a while till you will need schools and Crossrail might be running by then which will make many more suburbs easily accessible to Liverpool Street (which is walking distance to Bank, really) and Canary Wharf.
You can have a play with journey times here: www.crossrail.co.uk/
By the way, if you think you want a Catholic school, make sure you baptise very early.
The Ofsted ratings of schools change quite a lot. My child is in year 2 now and we were looking to buy a house when he was in nursery, so 5 years ago. The worst school in the area at that point is now outstanding, and other schools are also going through some up and downs. It is quite a risky strategy in my opinion to base a house purchase in London on state schools, especially for primary.
Redbridge is a good bet. Head for Wanstead / Snaresbrook/ South Woodford.
Yep Woodford. As Catholics you could have st Antony's for primary and trinity for secondary. Both excellent. Less than 20 mins to bank on central line
Further to my post above re: Muswell Hill, from this Sunday's Sunday Times best places to live
Another vote for Redbridge. If you head for Snaresbrook/ Wanstead area you have the central line for both city access and the transport wonder that is Stratford. Good primary and Secondary schools and a villagey high street, also amazing open spaces close by and Epping Forest a skip and a hop away.
You're wrong about Balham's secondary schools - plenty of good choices from there but 3/4 beds might be hard to find there in your budget anyway.
As you seem to be focused on SW London how about Streatham? You'd get a decent 4 bed for your money and its great for schools with outstanding primary schools and good secondary options in Dunraven, Bishop Thomas Grant (catholic) and La Retraite plus Kingsdale and Graveney are both do-able too. Trains into London Bridge would suit you as well.
Would you get a 4 bedroom house for 1.2 million in Muswell Hil near Fortismere and near enough to one of the primaries to get a place?It's a bit of a pain to get anywhere near Canary Wharf from there isn't it? What about the Island itself?
I don't know of a bad area for schools in London; just some that are more acceptable to a certain sort of person. I think you need to work out what sort of family you are, what your values and work from there. You might want a strict no nonsense get the results school or something mellower and more liberal. Your child may have particular needs that are best met in a particular type of school that you wont know at the moment.
Some schools admission criteria goes on how often you attend a particular place of worship rather than distance. If you want to go for or avoid that type of school then look into it now. They can skew the admissions area for other schools-something to be mindful of if it's not what you are after.
I'd look at Holy Ghost catholic primary in Balham (#13 in The Times 500 this year) - for secondary, it's the norm for kids to travel out of their immediate area. Kids from Holy Ghost often go on to independent secondaries, but you will have very good catholic state options too - e.g.every year boys go on to the Oratory & Cardinal Vaughan. HTH!
I'd just focus on a the primary schools for now, you've got ages before secondary. Would private education be possible for secondary?
SE London (forest hill/sydenham) have brilliant state primaries. The commute into Canary wharf is good as you have the London overground. Trains to L Bridge in about 15 mins too.
Was also going to say the Brixton/Streatham/Balham areas, outstanding Catholic primaries and secondaries (particularly Bishop Thomas Grant).
thanks a lot to all of you for your contributions! it's been really helpful!
Muswell Hill is a lovely area but the commute to bank and CW wouldn't work for us same as West Wickham
We never considered Wansted/Redbridge, it looks pretty far when looking at the map, but the commuting times look reasonable. We will have a look!
Balham could work for us. We just have some reservation on Chestnut Grove, but who knows in 10 years time at what level they are going to be at... it's quite a long term gamble
We have been to Streatham but we didn't really like the area...
Not many takers on Greenwich, we love the area. But I guess schooling is not great
Commuting wise Balham beats East Dulwich easily, but schooling too? pricewise ED seems you can get a bit more for your money
Camden? All bar one school (both primary and secondary) are currently good/outstanding.
Second west Wickham/Hayes. Direct trains to London. Loads of houses in budget. Dh prefers his seat on his slightly longer (just over hour) commute (to cw) than squished on a tube! Lots of green spaces and 10 mins to open country side. Beckenham might be a good start (clock house/Kent house) for primaries but most people end up in Ww/hayes for the outstanding senior schools.
Greenwich has some ok primaries (Halstow/James Wolfe?) as does Blackheath (John Ball, Brooklands) - but secondaries are harder. Depending where you live, you might be in catchment for the Bexley grammars. Transport is easy and it's a nice place to live.
how about Chislehurst/Bickley - a bit further out but does have some strong comprehensives and primaries and transport should still be ok? Also get more house for your money.
Chestnut Grove has definitely been on an upward curve in the time I've been here. It does have a pretty small site though which isn't going to change. It isn't the only secondary serving Balham though. Have a look at the others that people have mentioned around the area too.
I'd double check house prices though - I doubt you'll get what you want within the tiny catchment areas of either of the catholic primaries (Holy Ghost & St Anselm's). Balham is expensive these days. Most of the more affordable housing is on the Lambeth side of Balham so the primaries you'd be looking at then would be Henry Cavendish, Telferscott and Alderbrook.
Great primarìes and st ursulas for secondary if you have girls. Not sure what catholic boys option is.
Brockley/dulwich/herne hill/sydenham/telegraph hill
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