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Primary School Advice Needed: Moving from LA to London

(5 Posts)
LALONMOM Fri 12-Jan-18 17:21:27

Hi all,
Thank you in advance for your advice! We are looking to relocate from Los Angeles to London this summer for work. I don't know the city very well. I have 2 children age 4 and almost 6 and a 7-year old dog. Looking for advice on neighborhoods and schools. As I understand it, many school applications are due next week! Questions are: 1) recommendations on child/pet friendly neighborhoods not too far from Central London (offices are in Soho) and 2) schools that are good for this age child for a temporary (2-3 year) stay in London. Any help is appreciated!

LIZS Fri 12-Jan-18 18:45:15

When did your youngest turn 4? Next week's deadline only applies for those starting Reception in September 2018 (those turning 4 between Sept 2017 and August 2018) and year 3 if there are separate Infant/Junior schools (Sept 2010 to August 2011) although this is increasingly unusual. Otherwise you are looking at the In Year admissions process and will be limited by whichever school/s have a place in the relevant year group. Until year 3 class size is limited legally to a maximum of 30 in state schools so there is little flexibility. You need a confirmed address from which to apply first though and can not do so in advance, as vacant places need to be taken up quickly.

CruCru Fri 12-Jan-18 22:06:00


If you are going to be in London temporarily, would you consider one of the international schools? They may be better set up for children who come and go but you would need to pay - I don't know whether going private is out of the question.

As LIZS has said, you will need an address to apply to state schools.

This may be useful.

CruCru Fri 12-Jan-18 22:17:13

I live in Islington and to get to Soho, I would get the number 19 bus. However, there will be lots of other areas that make Soho accessible. Is there a preference re getting the Tube to work?

Notenoughsleepmumof3 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:11:09

If you work in Soho/West End you have a variety of neighbourhoods to choose from depending on your budget and what type of area appeals to you. North, South, West, East.

Islington, Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Camden, Belsize Park, Hampstead, Highgate, Clapham, Dulwich, Battersea, Chelsea- Kensington, Notting Hill, Wandsworth, Balham, Earlsfield, Tooting

All good for families and have green space for dogs. Also they are accessible to the West End. If you need to get to the school for any reason from work it will be much easier than if you live further out.

I've done what you are doing the other way (to NYC) and then came back again. Since you will have missed the State School application deadline and you have 1 child reception age, you may need to consider private while you are here. Good schools here are notoriously over subscribed (like NYC) and you will be at the very end of the queue once you have an address.

Equally it can be tough to find a reception place in a private school. People put their kids names down here at birth for some of them.

I'd find a school that will take them 1st, then find your accommodation. You want the kids to be able to get to school easily. Walking if possible or a short bus/bike ride. Start phoning various schools, but check their Ofsted ratings and reports to get a feel for them first.

I'd also look at the international schools. They are usually more willing to take on situations like this but it is £££ expensive.

If you can get them into an English School I'd do that first. It's a great experience for them.

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