Good catchment area in South or SW London

(26 Posts)
agreatday Sat 28-Dec-19 07:54:13

Hi All

My family is going to move to London in next summer and my husband is going to work in the Chelsea area. He also has to travel extensively and therefore we prefer to stay in an area not far away from the Heathrow airport.

We have two girls at the age of 8 and 12 and will have to start at Year 4 and Year 9 in Sep 2020 respectively. We plan to send our elder girl to a private school as we understand that it would be difficult for her to get into a good state or grammar school given that it's going to be an in-year admission to her. Therefore our focus is more with the younger girl and we prefer to stay in a good catchment area with relatively more good state primary schools.

Based on the above, we believe that it's better for us to live in SW or South of London. We are thinking of the areas including Richmond, Kingston, and Twickenhgam where we believe that they all have good catchment areas and they shouldn't be too difficult for my husband to travel to work and to the airport.

As we are not familiar with the neighborhood areas of London, appreciate if we could have your advice or comments on our choices. Please also let me know if there are any good areas in South or SW London that we should also consider.

Thank you in advance for your kind help!

OP’s posts: |
Gingercat1223 Sat 28-Dec-19 12:57:10

All the primary state schools in both Richmond, Twickenham & Kingston are good. Perhaps focus on a private school that has space for year 9, your dd may have to pass an exam. Also look at secondary options for your dd going into Year 4, you will apply when she is in Year 6 or if you go private she will take entrance exams in Jan of year 6.

agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 08:02:52

Thanks a lot for your reply. How about Barnes? Is this a good catchment area too? Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
BIWI Mon 30-Dec-19 08:04:57

What's your budget for housing though, as those areas can be very expensive!

Gingercat1223 Mon 30-Dec-19 08:14:47

Yes Barnes is very good but very expensive. Maybe start looking in St Margaret's which has 2 good primary schools, a good state secondary & the option of St Catherine's or Radnor House (private) in Twickenham which would probably take your dd in Year 9. You need to gauge how academic your older child is and consider house prices.

Brot64 Mon 30-Dec-19 08:21:58

Barnes is lovely, so are Wimbledon and Putney. The morning commute to Chelsea will be a pain (I live in Chelsea & wouldn't like commuting to Kingston/Twickenham during rush hour) from either of the places you have mentioned though. Why not try somewhere like Earl's Court, South Kensington, Fulham or even Parson's Green? Good schools and easy connection to Heathrow.

OrangeBuddha Mon 30-Dec-19 08:22:35

These are all good areas you've mentioned. I would say step 1 would be to zero down school options for your older daughter as getting in at year9 in private schools in SW London is no easy feat. You will need to decide
1. Which schools appeal (based on fitment/location/fees etc)
2. Which ones have vacancies for year 9 that have not already been offered out
3. Register for tests (usually taken in Jan but might vary)

Once you have firm offers these might dictate your options for your younger daughter/where to live. It is quite common for secondary school children in London to commute by themselves to school using bus/train/tube so you might have a range of locations to choose from once you know which school you might proceed with.

If the school has a junior division might be worth asking if they have year4 spaces (just for bank up in case you do not land a preferred school for your younger daughter).


Brot64 Mon 30-Dec-19 08:30:45

Also if considering Barnes, keep in mind that Hammersmith Bridge has been indefinitely closed. Again terrible during rush hour and would affect commute.

agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 08:37:36

Thank you all for your reply. My housing budget is not more than GBP 2.2K per month as I prefer to rent a place initially. I'm not sure if I can rent a decent place in areas suggested like Earl's Court, South Kensington, Fulham.

Is it really that bad to commute from areas like Richmond or Kingston to Chelsea in the morning? According to Google Map, it should take less than one hour to commute in the morning.

I've already helped my elder daughter to apply for the Y9 entry with a number of private schools. You're right that where we're going to live really depends on which private school my daughter is going to attend at the end.

Thanks so much!!!

OP’s posts: |
Doubleraspberry Mon 30-Dec-19 08:40:33

You will not get very much for 2.2k a month in many of those areas. It may be easier to find a state school place for both children and have more money for rent - there is a lot of movement in London so you may have more chance of an in-year Y9 place in state rather than private.

BIWI Mon 30-Dec-19 08:40:35

Don't believe Google! That's an awful journey in the morning (assuming you mean driving?). Your DH would be far better off exploring public transport options. Whereabouts, specifically, will he be working? That will help us also identify good public transport links for you.

reefedsail Mon 30-Dec-19 08:41:09

Would Windsor work? It’s not far from cross rail.

They still run the three tier system so your younger DD would start middle school in Y4. Your elder DD could go to one of the Ascot schools (St George’s etc) or to Wellington College, which starts in Y9, if she could get a place.

BIWI Mon 30-Dec-19 08:42:31

Just to give you an idea, in Barnes with that budget, the most you'll be able to rent would be a 2 bedroomed house - and I assume you'd want a 3 bedroomed one?

agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 08:44:56

My husband office is in Battersea near Chelsea area

OP’s posts: |
agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 08:47:36

Yes we prefer to stay in a 3 bedroomed place. If not, probably we will probably for a 2 bed one.

OP’s posts: |
agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 08:48:27

My husband plans to commute to work by public transportation only. Driving to Battersea / Chelsea can be quite challenging in the morning.

OP’s posts: |
helpneedshoes Mon 30-Dec-19 08:49:30

Maybe look in Balham or Wandsworth? you may get a 2 bed flat for that close to good primaries.

Brot64 Mon 30-Dec-19 08:55:41

I wouldn't believe google. The commute on public transport during rush hour is awful from all mentioned areas. Even on the tube which is usually quick. Keep in mind there is no tube station in Chelsea or Battersea per se. There's Sloane Sq which leads down the King's Road and Fulham Road or Fulham Broadway. If Battersea there's the overground in Clapham and/again Sloane Sq then further commute by bus. This would definitely be a commute for over an hour even on a good day when everything is running smoothly.

Yes, unfortunately that budget wouldn't work for previously mentioned areas or at least not for a 3 bed. It may work in Battersea or Clapham.

helpneedshoes Mon 30-Dec-19 08:58:52

What actual part of Battersea/Chelsea is it?

agreatday Mon 30-Dec-19 09:08:20

The exact office location is not known yet as my husband's company is going to move into that area later next year.

OP’s posts: |
helpneedshoes Mon 30-Dec-19 09:15:10

So it will be in Battersea & not across the river?

helpneedshoes Mon 30-Dec-19 09:18:36

If you look at Clapham your DH could walk or cycle?

Kathy11 Thu 02-Jan-20 23:21:05


You will get something in Twickenham for that budget and its only 20 minutes to Clapham Junction on the train - which is 10 minutes walk to Battersea. Its really family friendly place - with both excellent state and private schools.

Schools :
LEH is excellent - but very academic.
Radnor is co-ed - also excellent - but less academic
Locally both St Marys and Bishop Perrin are the best state primaries.


ForeverbyJudyBlume Fri 03-Jan-20 09:43:36

Surely from Richmond you could get the train to Queenstown Road in Battersea and then walk or get a bus a few stops - that journey's about 30 minutes - 10 minutes or so from Barnes. So actually quite an easy commute if the offices really are in Battersea not Chelsea

JoJoSM2 Sat 04-Jan-20 14:25:21

That’s where you can compare state schools.

I’m down in Sutton and that could work as well. Rents are cheaper so you’d get a better place and there are lots of family amenities and greenery.

For Battersea or Chelsea, there’s a a Victoria train that stops at Clapham Junction on the way. For Heathrow, there’s the X26 bus (9 stops but it can take a while in traffic).

State schools are excellent. There are many accessible independent girls’ and co-ed schools. Eg locally Sutton High is nice or it’s easy to get to Wimbledon High, Surbiton High, Streatham and Clapham High (several more girls’ schools with one change). Accessible co-Ed schools include Kingston Grammar, Emmanuels, Epsom College, Caterham School, Royal Russell, Ewell Castle and probably more but those have sprung to mind.

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