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Hampstead or Richmond for state schools?

(12 Posts)
blackhaz Tue 11-Jul-17 00:11:44

Dear All,

I apologize if this has been asked before.

My family is moving from the EU and is considering either Hampstead or Richmond—hard not to fall in love with both. Assuming we want to enroll to a state primary school, not affiliated with church, which area would be better to rent in with a £3,000 pcm budget for a 3-bedroom?

If you can suggest other areas we should be looking at, I would sincerely appreciate this.

Thank you so much in advance!

sugarfoot Tue 11-Jul-17 18:12:30

Have a look at Crouch End and Muswell Hill - cheaper than Hampstead and lots of good state primaries.

Mary21 Tue 11-Jul-17 19:54:19

Quite a few primary schools in Richmond borough are church schools

Iwantawhippet Tue 11-Jul-17 20:59:38

It depends a bit which schools have spaces. In muswell hill teatherdown has a good reputation. In Highgate, highgate primary and Whitehall park are worth a look, ditto Coleridge in crouch end. Most primary schools in london are very good.

blackhaz Tue 11-Jul-17 22:11:11

Thanks a lot. Does anybody have any info on Fitzjohn's Primary School? We're currently very lucky to be in a private British school here in the Czech republic.

7thInningStretch Tue 11-Jul-17 22:28:26

How old are your child(ren)? All the good state schools in both areas will be massively oversubscribed so you may need to budget for private while you wait on the waitlist for the school you want. Unfortunately I'm speaking from bitter experience! We are .2 from local school and have been on the waitlist over a year and no where near the top.

blackhaz Tue 11-Jul-17 22:49:54

Hmm... So we have to check there's a place before we rent? There's really no budget for a private school... My kid is 8 years old (turns 9) and he is going to year 3 (starting year 4 this September.)

7thInningStretch Tue 11-Jul-17 22:57:44

Yes you absolutely need to check which schools have places and it's highly unlikely that any of the good or outstanding ones do. You can't apply for a place until you have an address and have signed the rental agreement so even if you one school has a place it may well be gone before your rental contract starts. The main criteria is distance to the school from your address for position on the waitlist which means you should find out how long the waitlist is and what position you would be in if you moved into x address. Basically you want to live as close as humanly possible and I do mean under .2 of a mile to the school you want. Going for a larger school with three form entry will give you a greater chance of a place freeing up sooner.

In all likelihood you will end up waiting at least a few months on the list. You can either send your child to the school that has a place (will be a less desirable and further away) for the interim or homeschool. Sorry that probably wasn't what you wanted to hear but better to go in with your eyes wide open.

blackhaz Tue 11-Jul-17 23:20:33

Wow! Thank you very much. I sincerely appreciate this advice.

7thInningStretch Wed 12-Jul-17 10:05:25

I would ask the council how many places became free in that year group last year at the schools you like. Everyone told us not to worry when we didn't get a place last year despite practically living on the doorstep of two state primaries. Everyone said the waitlist would move. A year and a half later we are no closer to a place as people have moved in even closer than us so we have actually moved the opposite way and gone down the waitlist! I'd choose the school in part based on where you can find a rental closest to a school. You may want to broaden your search a bit. For 3k you certainly get more for your money in Muswell Hill/Crouch end but transport links aren't as good. Highgate Primary has a waitlist that does move as it's not one of the first choice schools and reasonably big. And some parents have had great things to say about it. Can you come see a few schools? I would look at the religious ones as well. If that's the only place available and you turn it down the council are not obliged to give you another.

higgledypuggledy Wed 12-Jul-17 18:51:12

Don't panic OP. Even the most oversubscribed London schools have places coming up in Year 4. People relocate all the time and some switch to private at 7+.

You won't be able to secure a place before you move. Best just to rent near your preferred school and wait for a place to come up. You might be offered one further away at first, and just have to juggle until you can get the one you want.

Obviously bigger schools are likely to have faster turnover. They will also be better funded and have more going on (we chose a small school because it was gentle but there aren't so many clubs etc as bigger schools).

Recommend reading school newsletters online as a good way to get a feel for the personality of a school.

blackhaz Wed 12-Jul-17 22:01:01

Thank you all!

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