Relocation to Bucks in Dec(10 Posts)
We are planning to move back to England this December, but we are given the opportunity to move back anywhere. We like Chalfont/Amersham and I have heard excellent things about the state schools. I have 2 kids aged 5 and 3. Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of choice as we are applying late and in mid year. We are planning to get a rental in Nov so can't apply for schools before then. Has anyone heard of or had experience with moving back mid year? Anything we should consider? Any help you could offer with schools or housing?
Also, are there any schools which we should definitely not consider in this area?
Lastly, are there any other suggestions of similar areas (village towns but commutable into London) which have decent state schools?
The bad news is that the good schools are unlikely to have any places mid year. It would be rare. If your 5 year old is currently Reception class and will be Y1 in September, I strongly suggest you contact School Admissions at Bucks LA and check the in year admissions page on their web site to see where there could possibly be a place. If there are several places, you can be sure no-one wants the school. The eAct one in Bell Lane, Little Chalfont, comes to mind. Robertswood may have a place.
Most commutable villages have good state schools but again, they are popular schools. You could look at Wendover and Great Missenden with rail stations and Gt Kingshill, Holmer Green, Chesham Bois, Chesham, and other villages nearby with a short commute to the main line stations. There are other possibilities in and around High Wycombe. Sometimes small village schools have a place but remember these schools usually go up to y2 only. You will just have to trawl through I'm afraid and hope for the best. The other problem is that other people may move in during the summer ready for a September start and get the place before you if one is available. It may be a case of taking what you are given.
Thanks for your advice and I believe you are right about getting what you are given. Unfortunately they have stopped any communication with Bucks LA on school admissions and direct you to the website. We have thought about putting our son into an independent school in the hope that a better state school becomes available the following year.
Does anyone know if good independent schools in Bucks area that may have a place in Jan?
Have a look at Berkhamsted - in Herts but just on the border with Bucks. Lovely market town and direct train into Euston (and you can get a seat in the morning).
If you are already thinking about secondary (and your reason for moving to Bucks is the grammars) then children from Berkhamsted regularly go to Chesham High and the Aylesbury single sex grammars.
There are reception places for Sep 2017 in several of the infant schools in Berkhamsted at present, all of which are rated OFSTED good or outstanding. Must be a low birth rate year as this isn't usually the case.
There are many independent schools in the area. Berkhamsted School, Westbrook Hay, Chesham Prep, Beechwood Park, The Beacon (boys), Hetherton House (girls), York House plus plenty more West.
Stoke Poges, Farnham Common have nice primary schools but are £££.
Farnham Royal has St Mary's School, not ever really heard good things about it though and Farnham Royal isn't as nice as Farnham Common.
Beaconsfield is lovely as is Gerrards Cross but expensive. Wexham is ok but nothing really there, couple of shops, farm shop and couple of pubs and the hospital (handy if you're accident prone)
Fulmer village is also nice.
It is the same problem in all the other towns and villages mentioned. There is no guarantee of a place at any good school.
Bucks is probably still conducting appeals for September, so will not have totally reliable info for you. There is not much point discussing places for January at the moment to be honest. Come August they will have a final picture for September and they do update their website with vacancies at pretty frequent intervals because they know people are looking.
I would look at Berkhamsted if there are less children than places but you still cannot rule out others taking the places before you arrive and have a permanent address. September vacancies can disappear very quickly.
There are private schools in Bucks such as The Gateway in Great Missenden, Godstowe in High Wycombe and Chesham Prep, plus others, and you could phone them about places available. Parents will have paid their deposits now so they will know numbers. However, do you want private education or not? It could be a very long wait to get the school you want in Bucks but some children leave at age 7 to go private and this could free up places. Are you up for staying private for several years financially? What about disruption to your child if you swap schools after a year? It is all very difficult and I do sympathise.
Have you thought of moving to somewhere like Twickenham? Not a village town but an area surrounded by many good state schools plus private options. Also transient so moving in and out of a school during the year is not unusual. Otherwise consider East Anglia, Woodbridge in Suffolk is a wonderful town with school options and you can reach London if you need to but not a good regular commute.
I know Woodbridge. One of the schools there is C of E and is very difficult to get into. It is all very well recommending areas miles away from London, but do the good schools have places free in January in Reception? This is the problem. Most good schools will be full and the OP will be allocated the schools no-one wants and these can be miles away from home if you settle in an area with first class schools. Everyone wants them and you are at the back of the queue.
Robertswood often has places available as it has a more rural/transient catchment. Our son was there for 3 years and it is actually a good school, and in some ways better than the private school he ended up at - The Beacon. Don't judge a book by its glossy vs scruffy cover is my conclusion from the whole experience!
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