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Moving house/Primary schools in Brighton

(21 Posts)
upsticks Mon 14-May-07 16:08:37

Can anyone help? I want to move to the Brighton area with my family and have a 5 year old girl and 3 year old son. Which are the best primary schools in the area or surrounding area? How do I go about moving a child mid-term, is it possible or do you have to wait for a new term? I'm not sure where to start, do I pick the school first, then the area? How on earth do you line everything up, selling my house, buying one in Brighton and getting my kids into the right school/day care, all whilst working 4 full days a week. Help please.

Pollyanna Mon 14-May-07 16:12:53

with great difficulty I would say. I moved to brighton last year and didn't manage to get a school place for my dcs who were in years 1 and 3. I think school places do come up, but there are waiting lists for the most popular schools. on the plus side there are lots of good schools,but there are also some to avoid.

You can't register for a school until you have an address, but then you wouldn't want to live somewhere too far from the school you end up in. I would suggest renting first, and phoning up the schools admissions people to find out which schools might have places (is your dd in reception now?).

upsticks Tue 15-May-07 14:19:10

Thanks. My daughter is in reception now and my son is 3 and in nursery. So what did you do when you didn't get places for your kids?

Pollyanna Tue 15-May-07 20:34:23

I have gone private with my 2 older children. my 3rd child will start in a state school this sept.

I would phone the education dept and see what the situation about waiting lists for reception places is - they do come up - I was offered a place for both mine (not in a school I wanted though) a few months after we moved here. The problem was that we had bought a house and I can't drive so couldn't take up the places we were offered, but if you were renting then it would be easier to move.

upsticks Wed 16-May-07 14:15:43

Its so useful to be able to discuss this. I am completely settled here in North London, lovely school/nursery for kids, network of friends etc, but both my husband and I have been yearning to move to Brighton for ages (years for me). Sometimes I think I shouldn't bother, but being stuck somewhere for the next 18 years just because of the school situation would make me feel so trapped.

Are you glad you made the move?

Do good private schools tend to have more available places then? That could be an option

Pollyanna Wed 16-May-07 20:06:59

Yes the private schools do seem to always have places. - it is a completely different situation to North London (I also came from there). I sometimes miss my old life/friends in London, but not London itself. I really like Brighton - I wish I had moved here ealier, it is a fantastic place to bring up children I think. There is none of that competitive parenting that you seem to get in London, it is less materialistic and of course there is the usual crime/pollution issues (not that they particularly bothered me in London). House prices are a bit cheaper than London, and school fees are lower. Plus we are by the sea and can get to the countryside much easier. I don't regret the move at all.

upsticks Thu 17-May-07 10:35:45

Thanks, you have helped me a lot. Just finally, would you be able to recommend the best state schools. I know you can look at Ofstead reports, but its so much better to get recommendations, and also if you know which private schools are supposed to be good. Even one or two, then I can make a start.

I called the education authority yesterday and they were really helpful. I asked about Middle Street school which I heard was good and quite multi-cultural.

I think we should just do it and deal with the consequences. I lived in Brighton once and it was one of the happiest times of my life, but I was single then without a care in the world. I imagine it would be a great place for teenagers.

Thanks so much for all your help and advice, its helped me more than any other web-site.

Pollyanna Thu 17-May-07 14:09:30

The best schools off the top of my head are:
Stanford (everyone wants to get their kids in here but the catchment area is tiny), Davigdor (maybe not so good at junior level), Middle Street (I really like this one), Downs and Balfour both in Preston Park, Queen's Par. I only looked at these as they are in central Brighton where we were looking. there are others in Hove such as Aldrington and St Andrews (? st something anyway) which are good. I don't think many of the schools are awful, I know someone with a child in Elm Grove and they like that, Generally speaking, I don't think you should expect the schools to be very mult-cultural, but most of the schools are good I think.

the ones you should avoid are moulsecombe and bevendean and probably others???, - I need some other Brighton people to look at this thread, i don't really know much about the schools!

upsticks Mon 21-May-07 15:35:26

Thanks again. I'll make a start.

nearlythere Mon 21-May-07 15:40:48

worth a look at the private options after the lottery thing! BHHS is very good value for girls and the junior section now have a lovely site- there are a lot of assisted places avaliable, for boys i'm not so sure, mine are booked in to Lancing College, as i went there, i do know that there are some lovely schools with great oportunities if you can stretch to it.

Good luck, hope someone who really knows the area can help!!

upsticks Tue 22-May-07 13:21:49

Nearlythere, what does BHHS stand for, I have looked up the private schools in Brighton and cannot find it. Sorry if I'm being thick.

nearlythere Tue 22-May-07 14:29:58

Brighton and Hove High School for Girls (Girls Public Day School Trust) I went there for a few years before Roedean, my mum and gran also went to bhhs, the fees are very good value- especially if you can swindle an assisted place, some of my friends had to pay less than £20 per week in fees!

noddyholder Tue 22-May-07 14:35:20

My ds went to Downs it was brilliant.Balfour and stanford also good.Davigdor impossible to get into it seems.I moved here from London when ds was 4 and he's 13 now We love it A gerat place to live and as pollyanna says not competitive like London

katepol Tue 22-May-07 14:36:16


I live in Brighton and have done for nearly 20 yrs, and agree with what Pollyanna says really.

There are some good schools in Bton - state and private. Hwr, the good schools are all over-subscribed, so I would worry that you might not get a place...You cannot apply for a place in a state school until you have an address in Brighton, I believe, as places are allocated on distance-based criteria. In the meantime, your child might be directed to the nearest undersubscribed school, which MAY be a bit sh*te.

Hwr, the places to live in Brighton to be in the catchment for the 'best' schools are Fiveways, Preston Park, Roundhill, Preston Circus, Stanford and Prestonville areas, or their immediate neighbours. I am not sure about Hove though, although Hove Park would be a safe bet.

Have to say that catchments at the best schools have shrunk a lot in recent years, plus, while my dd goes to an Ofsted rated Outstanding School, I feel a bit disappointed by it, so it is hard to judge.
Balfour, Downs and Stanford are the highest rated though...

As for private, Brighton and Hove High School (BHHS) and Brighton College, plus St Mary's Hall all have very good reputations.

When moving though, I would be looking at Senior School catchments too, as there are two ok schools in Brighton and some really rubbish ones. The council have recently amended the criteria for these schools, but once you have an address in mind, I would phone the council if I were you, to find out which Senior School would be the one for that area - it would make a big difference...


katepol Tue 22-May-07 14:43:09

Just to add, I disagree with Brighton not being competitive. It didn't used to be, but is now becoming full of Ex Londoners, who have started to change the culture...

Lots of 4x4's, bugaboo's, and baby yoga/french lessons. That's fine, but that's not Brighton.

It is a dangerous place to bring up teenagers too - huge drug problems (regularly drug death capital of UK), the seafront and pier attract many dodgy people, excess alcohol culture, lots of street fights in city centre.

And don't get me started on the traffic, congestion, poor air quality, rude people, hordes of foreign students, poor housing stock, over stretched hospitals and schools.

We are thinking of leaving in fact.

Sorry. Went off on one there, but it is all true alas.

upsticks Tue 22-May-07 15:11:51

Thanks, this is so helpful. BHHS looks lovely. I have never considered private schooling at such a young age, but may have to I suppose. My son is 3. Any ideas which private boys schools are any good please?

Katepol, I appreciate both perspectives, helps put a bit of realism on the whole dream. Still want to join you though.

upsticks Wed 23-May-07 10:45:49


I couldn't find Fiveways or Roundhill on the map. Would it be possible to be a bit more specific, perhaps a street name that comes under these areas? I do know Seven Dials.

katepol Wed 23-May-07 20:14:11

Fiveways is a big junction linking Stanford Avenue, Ditchling Road, Preston Drove and Hollingbury Road. The areas all around there count as Fiveways, although the area to the east of Hollingbury Road (where I live - the WRONG side of Fiveways lol!) is called Hollingdean, and isn't as yummy mummy as proper Fiveways (houses are cheaper though and my dd is at Downs Infants). Fiveways houses are typically victorian 3-4 bed semis and terraces, although there are some much bigger. They go for about 400K or thereabouts.

Roundhill area is quite densely packed, but includes Princes Road and Roundhill Cressent. It is bordered by Ditchling Road and Upper Lewes Road. It is cheaper than Fiveways and closer to town. I personally wouldn't want to live there because parking is bad. Fievways parking isn't good, but Roundhill (and Seven Dials) can be a nightmare. Seven Dials is mainly residents permits (waiting list though), Roundhill is a free for all, as is Fiveways.

Hth - happy hunting!

chumspam Thu 26-Jul-07 12:58:19

Hi All

Moving to Preston Park in late August (was supposed to be early August, but solicitors,chains, etc, etc). My daughters are due to start in Year 1 and Year 2 at Brighton & Hove High - does anyone else have children there?

They have transferred from Sydenham High (part of the same group), and we have been to visit the school - all seems v similar to what they are used to - but it would be great to make contact with some other parents before term starts in Sept.

katepol Thu 26-Jul-07 19:15:13

Hi Chums
Can't help alas - being a local, I don't know many people who privately educate .
I have heard good things about BHHS though, and the girls do seem better behaved than most of Brighton's teenagers - when they are in uniform obviously...
Whereabouts are you moving to?

Brightonmum1 Sun 26-Jun-16 06:33:32

BHHS prep school is great, purely down to the dynamic passionate headmistress. However it's a totally different case with the upper school, I and many other parents have removed our daughters for this reason, the Head has no time for any parents or their daughters once you have given notice to leave which is absolutely appalling.
By all accounts the staff are also disgruntled and devided as there appears to a hive of unacceptable promotions, based on if your face fits rather than it being down to the best person for the job.
The sixth form is poor to say the least, with a weak selection of subjects. So girls are are leaving in droves.
This was once upon a time a superb school that delivered stupendous academic results but sadly this is not the case at all now. As with all schools, it's as good as the Head.
Brighton College would be my first choice of schools in the Sussex area. We have been delighted with our choice to move our DD to this school of excellence and regret not doing it sooner.
BHHS do not show their exam results clearly as they have declined over the past few years.

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