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Primary Schools Brighton - before moving 2018

(11 Posts)
TedandGinger Tue 11-Jul-17 12:17:13

Hi, I'm hoping some of you may be able to share some advice. My ds & I are relocating from Bedfordshire to Brading Road, Brighton in March 2018 to be with my partner. DS won't be 5 till next Oct but I need to start looking at potential schools for him now to be able to apply this year. Living in Brading Road my obvious choices are Elm Grove followed by Fairlight & St Martins I believe. Although I really like the sound of Downs Infant, even though it's further out & will require me driving to drop off/collect. Been researching all on the net & it's all becoming overwhelming. Do any of you have any past experiences of the above schools or any others you could recommend? We are from a village environment so after seeing Elm Grove I'm worried it's just to vast & intimidating for DS. Any advice greatly welcomed before my head explodes! confused

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CruCru Tue 11-Jul-17 17:42:57


I grew up in Brighton (but moved away once I was an adult). In the past there has been quite a major schools shortage - however, this might have changed now. Gossip from friends has told me that Elm Grove is a nice school. My understanding is that Downs is considered one of the more "desirable" schools (a friend's mum used to teach there) and I think you may need to live a bit closer to be sure of a place there.

This includes a link to the cutoff distances for primary schools in the past few years.

PathOfLeastResitance Tue 11-Jul-17 18:39:05

I very much doubt you would get a place at downs infants. You are too far away. Elm Grove is big but it is a lovely school, same with Fairlight. Being in an overcrowded city means that most of the schools will be big and many of them occupy buildings from the Victorian era which are imposing buildings. I'm sure your son will adjust quickly particularly after a year of living here and the size will soon pale into insignificance. Open days will be in the autumn term so go and investigate for yourself. Like in most cities, the idea of choosing your school is a bit a of misnomer.

MirandaWest Tue 11-Jul-17 18:51:35

If you move next March then this is after the application deadline which is in January. If schools are oversubscribed then you are unlikely to get a place at any of them.

Is there any chance you can move by January (can't remember which date applications have to be in but maybe 16th?)

Although you might be all right if you move by the middle of March, looking on the Brighton admissions page here. If you have a good reason then an application up to March will be treated as on time.

TedandGinger Tue 11-Jul-17 18:59:43

Hi, thanks for all your above comments, the link to the catchment areas is very helpful. Sorry, should have been clearer, my partner already lives in Brighton, he has done for 12 years so I am already starting to register us as living there for certain things before the January cut off. Hoping that's not an issue?? as we practically live there most weekends anyway 😄. I've heard good things about Elm Grove but the sheer size I find overwhelming, let alone DS.

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TedandGinger Tue 11-Jul-17 19:13:06

Apologies PathOfLeastResitance, my phone skipped past yr comments. Thanks for the info, I did think about Downs being too far away but as I've never lived in a city it's just another thing to get used to & more reading up to do. We walked past Elm Grove this weekend & they were having their fete & it was DS who pulled me in for a look & wanted to stay & play so I think I'm being the nervous child here not him. Glad to know it is seen as a good choice by you all.

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PatriciaHolm Tue 11-Jul-17 19:14:54

You will need a significant amount of documentation to prove your address, and that your child lives with you, on the date applications close in January -

Registering your child at an address at which they do not live is technically fraud as far as schools admissions are concerned. You can provide evidence up to March 10 if you have a good reason for being late, such as moving into the area.

smellyboot Tue 11-Jul-17 19:36:03

You are technically committing fraud as you are using some one else's address to apply for a school you want. He doesnt live there even if you visit on a regular basis...

Jenniferturkington Tue 11-Jul-17 19:44:25

Elm grove is a big school but due to the set up the reception kids are kept quite separate to the rest. And then the year ones also have a separate entrance & part of the school. The size of the school will only really be noticed by the kids once they go in to year two.

It's a couple of years since I have been there but elm grove wasn't without quite significant behaviour problems.

I hear positive things about Fairlight, and also St Luke's is a fabulous school if you could get in.

TedandGinger Tue 11-Jul-17 20:07:46

Well I've already spoken to them and they are very happy to accept the application due to us being committed to moving there at that structured time. So are the preschool next door to them.

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TedandGinger Tue 11-Jul-17 20:09:46

Thanks Jenniferturkington for your helpful input. All what you've said has echoed other advice I've had from mums in the area so I guess I'll start arranging some visits with all the options of the catchment areas.

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