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Surrey schooling system - help!(8 Posts)
We are looking to move from SW London to Surrey, preferably a village near Guildford/Dorking/Farnham.
I understand that for the most part, state primary education in the county follows the pattern of infant school to junior school to secondary school (with the exception of a few 'traditional' primaries where you go straight from it at 11 to secondary.
How do you work out which infant schools feed to which junior schools, and then which secondaries? And if you attend a particular infant school, are you then guaranteed a place in the junior it feeds into or do you have to play the whole catchment area game again, before presumably doing that again come secondary?
We are also thinking of maybe moving into independent schooling when our daughter gets a little older (she's just about to start Year 2 in our local CofE primary). Is there a preferred entry year for this (if before secondary)? We wouldn't discount a state secondary if there are excellent ones about in Surrey (which I am sure there are).
Sorry if I sound a bit clueless but I wasn't raised in the UK and my DH is too stressed with work to be much help.
Thanks in advance!
In my experience, most infant schools are linked to junior schools, although there are plenty of traditional R-y6 primaries too. I know of hardly any feeder links to secondary schools, I think many of these were phased out. The area you mention is huge. You need to look specifically at schools and their admission criteria.
As you have said, it's a mix of infant/juniors and primaries. Some juniors give priority to the local infants, some don't. About now they are publishing admissions guides for next year so I would look on some local council websites. My local one (not those areas) has all the schools admissions criteria. Obviously for a place other than in reception (or possibly year 3 for juniors) there will be a separate admissions system based on where has places.
I live in a village 10 miles from Guildford
The schools in our village are all primary. I know of infants in surrounding villages but none are feeders into the local primaries or there are a few middle schools still around
Yes I would say i probably know more 4-11 schools than infant and junior schools. I live in between Guildford and Farnham, I know the outstanding secondary in Farnham - Weldon - is one of the few secondaries with feeder schools, have a look on its admissions pages (and those of other schools for their respective admission criteria). With both Guildford and Farnham, the secondary schooling is a bit 50/50 - some areas have excellent schools, some less so - be careful amount where you choose to live.
I’m Guildford area. Increasingly all-through primaries here now rather than infant to junior although there are still a few infants/juniors which tend to have clear feeder links (eg Merrow Infants to Bushy Hill, Stoughton Infants to Northmead)
Very common to move from state to private for Yr 3. After that it would likely be a move for secondary at Yr 7 (although it can be tough to get into the very selective privates like Guildford High at Yr 7)
Secondary schools don’t tend to have feeder primaries, it’s all done on “closest school” so you need to make sure you are living in the right place for the secondary you want....
Surrey Council definitely prefers primaries that run from age 3 -11. A few infant only schools have been closed in Surrey to move children into larger infant and junior combined schools.
Most schools have links with local secondaries but aren't often specific feeders to certain schools. ie no guaranteed places but more expected places if you live in that area.
Hi - the outstanding secondary in Farnham is WeYdon not Weldon just in case you are having trouble finding it.
Recommend that you use this Surrey County Council tool and relevant school admissions policies (on their websites).
Yes up to 3 catchments may need to be considered but I would suggest that you try to decide whether you want to go state for secondary school and then work backwards. You will pay a premium to buy a house in catchment for a good secondary school (and primary too for that matter). Either that or rent first to get the lie of the land and a feel for the schools.
Our experience of the infant and junior school options in Guildford was that some junior schools favour applications from specific infant schools but proximity to school is also relevant. e.g. See www.holytrinity.surrey.sch.uk/getattachment/The-School/Parents/Admissions/Admissions-2015-16/Admissions-Arrangements-2018-19-FINAL.pdf.aspx
As has been said above, admissions criteria vary from school to school. Secondaries more usually select by proximity rather than specific feeder schools e.g. Guildford County. www.guildfordcounty.co.uk/uploads/asset_file/3_1164_admissions-policy-2019-20.pdf
Re Secondaries in the Guildford area, you may find this thread interesting (but long!)
Second that the natural entry point to private schools is usually Year 3 or 7 (with exams sat in the January before a September start) but that doesn't mean that it cannot be made at other times (as mine did). Agree GHS difficult to move to for Year 7 without significant tutoring and, if your daughter is a quieter personality, perhaps more importantly, interview prep. Good luck!